Voting rights advocate and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is lending her voice to be one of many behind a new campaign and public service announcement aimed at getting Americans to fill out their 2020 Census forms.
The PSA campaign #BeCounted has partnered with Abrams’ Fair Count organization and Harness, a census count advocacy and social change group founded by actors America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrrama and Ryan Piers Williams.
"The census is one of the most powerful tools of progress in America, and one of the least understood. It's how we allocate $1.5 trillion in investment every year, and it's also how we allocate political power for a decade," Abrams said to Entertainment Weekly.
Abrams has been involved in the fight for voting rights and census count initiatives for years. She started Fair Fight in response to frustration over statewide allegations of voter disenfranchisement in her 2018 run for the Georgia governor’s office. She is also featured in the upcoming PBS documentary “And She Could Be Next,” airing June 29, which focuses on women of color changing the political spectrum.
As for the new PSA, Abrams said that she wants to remove the political emphasis and focus on making sure people are counted.
“It's political only in the sense that the Constitution is the census's authority, but it's one of the most American things we do,” she told EW.
“We need communities that are often kept out of the process, often ignored by these decisions. We need them to understand that this is a part of their story too, and there are no better storytellers in America than the artists that are part of this PSA. We are simply saying that you are a part of our American story and you should be counted.”
Photo: Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images