Georgia State Representative “Able” Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta) grew up and lives in the English Avenue neighborhood of Vine City in southwest Atlanta which she has represented for 26 years serving in the Georgia House of Representatives starting in 1985 as the youngest Georgia Legislator. She also served on the Atlanta City Council.
Now, State Rep.Thomas is running to fill the seat in Georgia’s 5th Congressional District left vacant after the death of United States Representative John Lewis. Four other Democratic candidates are also running Robert Franklin, Kwanza Hall, Barrington Martin II, and Keisha Sean Waites -plus Steven Muhammad, an Independent, and Chase Oliver, a Libertarian.
Rep.Thomas is the candidate with the most experience in government and always supports the needs of the people in her district and elsewhere. She has been getting into “Good Trouble” her entire life and Lewis’ legacy will be in good hands with her in his seat in Congress.
She is a veteran grassroots organizer and is always on the front line of every issue be it civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, veterans issues, homelessness, or environmental issues. She will fight for all Georgians and disenfranchised people.
In the Georgia General Assembly, she fought for criminal justice reform, juvenile justice reform, economic justice. She works to get seniors access to housing, healthcare, food, and medicine and supports full funding of public schools.
Thomas is the candidate with the most experience in government and community organizing to take the place of the late Congressman John Lewis who was known as the “Conscience of the Congress.” Her entire life has been dedicated to helping the people – she is the People’s Representative.
VOTERS TELL WHY THEY ARE VOTING FOR “ABLE” MABLE THOMAS
“I support Able Mable Thomas for CD5 because through working with her in the legislature, I’ve witnessed firsthand her unwavering drive for justice and equity for communities which are often marginalized in legislation. Her resolve to unapologetically fight for equity for the Black community, Women, and the LGBTQ community through policy has had the effect of lifting more communities than specifically listed and I know she will serve the residents of the 5th congressional district well,” State Rep. Renitta Shannon, District 84, tells the Streets of Atlanta.
“I believe she is for the people and has done her civic duty for the people. She is a people’s person and will do the right thing. We need somebody like her in Congress who will fight for us and I believe will not sell us out. Mable is a great supporter of equity, she will fight for equity and be a voice for the voiceless. She needs to be in that seat because she is experienced, seasoned, and has proven herself. Mable is able,” Sherise Brown, advocate for affordable housing and a community organizer, tells the Streets of Atlanta.
“John and I are voting for Able Mable because she represents the people that we love and care about [homeless community]. She has courageously stood up to the powers and principalities to represent the needs of the people without hesitation. She has faced enormous odds to do that and has been successful on most of those issues. She is the only politician who stood faithfully for the people all through her career,” Anita Beaty, Executive Director of the now closed Metro Task Force for the Homeless, tells the Streets of Atlanta.
Former Mayor Kasim Reed invoked Eminent Domain to close the largest homeless shelter in the Southeast in 2017 and the property was sold to Emory University Since then, the homeless population in Atlanta has grown larger with many sleeping in the streets, under bridges, and in wooded areas.
“When I look at the seat in the Congressional 5th District, out of all the candidates, I believe Able Mable Thomas is the one who will be able to work at the fast pace of Congress, considering she is transitioning from the State General Assembly. One thing I learned is that there is always a learning curve but she will be ready on day one. She has been representing the interest of the people of the 5th District in various capacities, she knows the district, she knows the people, and I think she is the best one to represent us in Congress,” Byron Amos, former Board Member Atlanta Public Schools tells the Streets of Atlanta.
THOMAS POLITICAL CAREER SPANS DECADES
Thomas first served in the Georgia House of Representatives for the 55th District from 1985 to 1993.
Next, she served on the Atlanta City Council from 1997 to 2002.
Thomas was re-elected to serve in the House of Representatives for the 55th District from 2003 to 2009.
Currently, Rep.Thomas serves in the Georgia House of Representatives for the 56th district and was elected in 2013 to present.
As a member of the Atlanta City Council, she was responsible for passing the Affordable Housing Policy Bill, obtaining $4.9 million for Atlanta Green Space Conservation, and was a major stakeholder in community efforts to secure the Historic Westside Revitalization Project.
GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
As a state legislator, Rep. Thomas consistently voted in favor of public policies that improved the lives of people. Whether it was educational reform, women’s reproductive health, living wages, racial profiling, economic development, access to health care, or senior issues.
“I’m the most accomplished Democratic State Representative in the Georgia General Assembly,” State Rep.Thomas tells the Streets of Atlanta and shares a few of her many accomplishments from her 22 years in the General Assembly.
She was the author of legislation in the State of Georgia requiring mammograms, pap smears, and prostate exams to be covered under medical expenses thus saving many Georgians thousands of dollars in doctor bills. More important, her legislation saved lives!
Rep. Thomas amended the Rape Shield Law in Georgia that makes it harder for a woman’s past sexual history to be brought into court in a rape case unless there was a past relationship between the two.
She gave every fire truck in the State of Georgia First Responders License so they can hook you up to an IV or give you other medication without fear of being sued.”
In 1994, she was a consultant to the National Black Women’s Health Project when she went to a Pro-Choice Conference in Illinois and there were only 12 Black women at the conference. “I asked each Black woman to come into a room with me for lunch and we started a group called Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice that was the first time the words Reproductive and Justice were together. We coined a phrase [Reproductive Justice] that did not exist in America before that day.”
“I was one of two non-lawyers that served on the prestigious Judiciary Committee where we put in the Advanced Directive Plan. This plan gives power to the patient to designate who can handle their affairs.”
“Black women die 3 to 4 times more than any other race at childbirth and Georgia is the worst in the nation. When they calculate maternal mortality they don’t calculate the day you die at the hospital, it’s up to 12 months that is when Black women are dying,” Rep. Thomas said.
She led a coalition of House members that moved postpartum Medicaid from 2 months to 6 months. So women could go back to the hospital and get medical care if they have high blood pressure or start hemorrhaging.
“On June 26, 2020, I was able to put $21 million dollars in the budget in the middle of a pandemic and put an additional $500 thousand dollars for Morehouse School of Medicine to study maternal mortality, research, training doctors, and community engagement.”
“I have a relationship with so many people that’s why I can work across the aisle with both Republicans and Democrats. You can trust me in a room with big shots and I will still be for the people,” Rep. Thomas tells the Streets of Atlanta.
She is a proven leader with years of experience in government and will be ready to lead on day one in the United States House of Representatives.
If you live in the 5th Congressional District don’t forget to vote Tuesday, September 29th in the special election to fill the unexpired term of the late Congressman John Lewis.
by Gloria Tatum