Dear Georgia Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me before my trip to Los Angeles. Your personal stories reaffirmed the importance of Georgia keeping a strong relationship with its film industry. As a fellow Georgian, as an entrepreneur and as a long-time advocate for the film industry, I am proud to stand with you and help protect Georgia’s economy.
This week, I met in California with film executives, producers, show runners and a variety of workers and businesses that support the industry. Their question is one that many of you share: how do we best “stay and fight” for justice and opportunity. While I deeply respect the role boycotts have played in fomenting change, Georgia is not yet in a position where an economic boycott is the most strategic option. Rather than abandoning the state as we wait for the result of a long legal battle, we should use this time to change the power structure in Georgia. The only permanent defense for women and healthcare is political change — removing from office those who disrespect our choices and electing those who will fight for our freedoms.
With the resources, platforms and engagement of the entertainment industry, the strongest posture for those who revile this law is to take civic action. Together, they can help Georgians elect leaders who reflect their values, combat voter suppression and improve voting rights and ensure a fair census count — the multi-pronged democracy goals we must fight for in Georgia to guarantee our families and our economy will thrive into the next decade.
Our business climate has been made unstable by leaders who do not feel accountable to the majority of our state. By criminalizing medical care and those who provide it, companies across the board may start to back away from long-term investment in Georgia. The film industry spoke up first, but tech companies are following suit and the worry about Georgia’s ability to foster growth will spread.
As this battle continues, I promise to continue using my experience, my platform and my long-standing relationships to stand up for workers, families and businesses. Our fight for free and fair elections and for elected leaders who are truly representative is not an easy one; but together, we can move this state forward and maintain our thriving film and entertainment industry. Together, we can get good done.
In service, Stacey Abrams