Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams unveiled a multi-pronged economic plan on Thursday, a platform she hopes will help her become the nation’s first black female governor later this year.
“I grew up in a working poor family, and in addition to the immorality of families working hard and barely scraping by, poverty is economically inefficient,” Abrams said. “We must promote a fair economy that removes barriers to opportunity and fosters prosperity.
“This platform addresses roadblocks for families facing low and stagnant wages, highest unemployment, and biggest skills gaps,” she said. “These initiatives promote fairness in earnings and savings, learning opportunities, and employment options.”
Abrams is calling for a an earned income tax credit that she says will protect workers from wage theft. The credit is also designed to secure equal pay for women through pay history reforms.
"The Economic Policy Institute recently estimated that for minimum wage violations alone, Georgia workers are likely underpaid a total of $301 million in annual wages," Abrams said. "This translates to an estimated $71 per week for those workers experiencing minimum wage violations in Georgia."
Abrams also wants to designate $500,000 to create a Georgia FinLit Iniative that, she says, "will promote financial wellness and financial literacy by fostering public-private partnerships."
Abrams likens the proposal to Delaware's StandByMe financial wellness program that includes partnerships with United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, the Latin American Community Center, Goodwill and other nonprofits and foundations.
Abrams is also calling for the creation of cradle-to-grave savings programs for children of poor working families; developing programs to enhance employability skills and adult literacy; expanding employment opportunities for Georgians with disabilities; and ending workplace discrimination.
Abrams and another former state lawmaker, Stacey Evans, are both seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Several Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, are running for the GOP nomination.
Five Republicans are running for Georgia governor, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.