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Opinion: Abrams will help rural Georgia
Stacey Abrams
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams - photo by Associated Press

Living in rural Georgia, it’s easy to think that our government doesn’t care much about our communities. From broadband access to outgrown infrastructure to transportation and education, rural communities like ours face many challenges — challenges that often we’re left to solve on our own. Right now, internet access is a barrier to education, job growth and investment: How are kids supposed to do their homework, residents to work in good, modern jobs, or companies choose to come to an area where high-speed or even reliable internet is sparse or even nonexistent? Because of this and other barriers, we need to elect officials who are committed to working to help our area, not just their own interests or those of wealthy donors.

As a longtime North Georgia resident, I have seen our state senators and representatives make promise after promise about bringing funds or new investments to our area that have yet to materialize. We are past the time for empty promises — we need action. I’m truly excited to support a leader who has real, concrete plans for our area, and whose track record shows that she’ll follow through. Stacey Abrams has a dedicated plan for rural Georgia — one that includes full funding and support for our schools and raising teacher pay to $50,000 to attract and retain educators all over the state. Real investment in public education will give our teachers and our students the skills and support they need to succeed.

In addition, Abrams’ plan includes working with local governments collaboratively to bring broadband to underserved areas like ours. Federal funding — already allocated but never spent by the current crop of politicians — can be used immediately to make sure we can attract good jobs, new families, and more investment. Colleges like UNG can also be partners in this effort, and Abrams has a plan to work with places of worship, schools and libraries for broadband in rural communities.

Her plans for rural Georgia also include healthcare — because all of us deserve to live healthy, safe and vibrant lives. By expanding Medicaid, we can bring $4 billion dollars in federal funding — money our taxes already pay for, but under Brian Kemp, we never benefit from — to help keep our hospitals open, make doctor’s visits and prescriptions more affordable, and make healthcare accessible to over 500,000 Georgians. She also has a plan to incentivize doctors and nurses to work in rural areas, making sure your city or county has a pediatrician or family practitioner to keep our families healthy.

As residents, we love our community and the beauty of our region—and we deserve a government that will work with us, not stand in the way of our progress. We have a chance to choose a leader who can bring investment, infrastructure, and hope to North Georgia, and I’m excited to vote for her this November.

Judy Kreps