Why I’m Running — A Letter From Andrew Ferguson
Our healthcare system is broken, our economy works only for the good old boys, voter suppression is at an all time high, and our confidence in government is at an all time low.
And we haven’t even gotten to climate change.
Georgia. Can’t. Wait.
It’s not a slogan, it’s a reality.
The gap between the richest and the poorest households is the largest it’s been in 50 years.
Black home ownership is the lowest it’s been in 70 years.
And 2019 is on track to be the hottest year on earth in recorded human history.
Georgia. Can’t. Wait.
Our district has one of the highest incarceration rates … in the entire state.
Our state has one of the highest maternal mortality rates… in the entire country.
And when August rolls around there’s a mad dash for… bullet-proof backpacks.
Georgia. Can’t. Wait.
Yet all we do is wait. On better schools and better jobs. On affordable healthcare. On equality. On racial justice. But it never comes, no matter whom we elect. From Georgia to Washington, the gridlock rarely, if ever, breaks. And while we’re stuck bumper to bumper on an endless highway, the good old boys fly back and forth overhead, counting their money. OUR money.
Well no more. Enough is enough.
I am Andrew Ferguson, and I am running for Congress because Georgia Can’t Wait another two years while nothing changes. People aren’t just struggling in this district, they’re dying.
The crisis isn’t now. It’s been happening. And I apologize for being late to the fight.
But I’m here now, in part because I come from a family that’s had its own share of struggles.
My parents divorced when I was six months old. My Mom was a single Mom, raising two kids on a school teacher’s salary. Winn-Dixie. Sears. Mrs. Winner’s. We did not go anywhere without a coupon. And my Mom did not go anywhere without her emergency $20 bill. It was hidden in her purse, tucked in a secret compartment that only she knew about. It was always scary when she had to use it, because my sister and I knew… there was no more money after that.
Our district spent our emergency $20 a long time ago, folks.
My Mom toughed it out, got remarried, earned her Master’s, and taught 1st grade for 29 years. She also saw all three of her kids graduate college… and earn their Master’s Degrees, too.
I could not be prouder of my Mom.
My Dad was a businessman and a Gwinnett County Commissioner in the 80’s and early 90’s. Back then Gwinnett was poor, rural, and had few prospects. But my Dad and some others had a vision. One of good schools, nice parks, and family owned businesses. They saw a Gwinnett where if you worked hard… anyone could succeed.
They started with roads. Then water lines and sewer systems. And thirty years later…
Gwinnett is the most prosperous county in the state. It also has the best schools and is the most diverse. Now I won’t pretend that story is as simple as I’ve made it. Progress is hard. But the point is that people are proud to be from Gwinnett — a place where anyone can succeed.
My Dad also ran a successful family business for over 30 years. He raised two children who earned Master’s Degrees, too. And he did it all while being… a bi-polar manic depressive.
There were ups and downs. Laughter and tears. And far too many medications to count. But he always did his best — for his kids and his community — despite dealing with a cruel illness — and the even crueler stigma that comes with it. Folks who struggle with mental illness deserve better.
I could not be prouder of my Dad.
I tell you all of this because you deserve to know who I am and where I come from. I know the value of education because I’ve lived it. I know the value of public service because I’ve seen it. And I know the value of healthcare that treats the body and mind because I’ve experienced it.
Please know my family is the foundation of who I am, and I carry the best of them everywhere I go. And when I meet you, and we sit and talk, well I’ll carry the best of you from then on, too.
See we’re all a product of our families, our communities, our environments. That’s how I know the 10th District deserves better representation than what we have right now. From Baldwin to Monroe, from Jefferson to Clarke, the people of the 10th District are good people. We are kind and welcoming. Generous and hard working. But we’re also fed up with politics as usual.
Government leaders here in Georgia boast that we’re the #1 state in the country for business. Yet with all that wealth Georgia has the 9th highest poverty rate in the country.
According to them, Georgians everywhere should be thriving.
So why aren’t we?
The truth is our wealth is either concentrated in the hands of good old boys that are protected by politicians, or it leaves the state entirely, protected by corporate interests in other states.
The result is that none of that wealth ends up in our communities, or in the hands of working families. It doesn’t go to improving our schools, our roads, or to making sure everyone has affordable healthcare. It doesn’t go to teachers, service workers, first responders, or anyone you or I know. And that’s the point. The good old boys care about businesses, not families. Corporations, not people. And we all know how that story ends…
That’s why we’re committed to spending the next year with you, crafting a new story, one of hope and hard work, that puts the power back in the hands of everyday Georgians. We’ll build this story throughout the 10th District, through conversations in community centers and farmer’s markets, in church basements and in town halls. Because no one knows our pain, and how to heal it, better than we do.
Today we’re kicking off “Georgia Can’t Wait”, a movement designed to build power that people can use year round, not just on one single day in November. This means that we’re —
Throwing out the “Celebrity Candidate” playbook. No more swooping in, asking for your time, your money, and your vote, and then splitting town, never to be heard from again. That’s strip mining, and if it’s not good for our land, it’s certainly not good for our people. Instead we’re —
Organizing 25 County Teams that can advocate for their communities as only they can
Organizing 15 Constituency Teams that can advocate for their issues as only they can
Yes, I’m running for Congress. But first and foremost I’m lead organizer. The only way to create lasting change is to build lasting power. If we stand together and empower everyday Georgians no one can beat us at the ballot box — not even the good old boys. Georgia. Can’t. Wait.
It’s not just a slogan. Let’s make it a reality.
Please join us.
Would you like Andrew to come to your event? Whether it’s a student group or a seniors lunch, a women’s breakfast or a church retreat, he’s excited to come visit, listen, and learn.
To invite Andrew, complete the contact form and let us know the details of your event, and we’ll do our best to add it to our schedule.