Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic Party’s official rebuttal to the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Considered a rising star in the party, Abrams ran for governor in Georgia last year, before losing to the Republican Brian Kemp, and is currently weighing another bid for higher office.
Below, the full text of her remarks as delivered.
Good evening, my fellow Americans, and happy Lunar New Year. I’m Stacey Abrams, and I’m honored to join the conversation about the state of our union.
Growing up, my family went back and forth between lower middle class and working class, yet even when they came home weary and bone-tired, my parents found a way to show us all who we could be. My librarian mother taught us to love learning. My father, a shipyard worker, put in overtime and extra shifts, and they made sure we volunteered to help others. Later, they both became United Methodist ministers, an expression of the faith that guides us. These were our family values: faith, service, education, and responsibility.
Now, we only had one car, so sometimes my dad had to hitchhike and walk long stretches during the 30-mile trip home from the shipyards. One rainy night, my mom got worried. We piled in the car and went out looking for him, and we eventually found my dad making his way along the road, soaked and shivering in his shirtsleeves. When he got in the car, my mom asked if he had left his coat at work. He explained that he’d given it to a homeless man he’d met on the highway. When we asked why he’d given away his only jacket, my dad turned to us and said, “I knew when I left that man, he’d still be alone, but I could give him my coat, because I knew you were coming for me.”