The trailblazer took the oath with a Bible that belonged to her grandparents, according to Project Q Atlanta. She also donned a stole that was gifted from the Reverend Pauli Murray, the first Black woman ordained as a priest in the Episcopal church.
“I am honored to be afforded the opportunity to represent the people of Senate District 41 in the state capitol and I am humbled by the trust displayed in me,” the Democrat said. “As the hardworking legislatures before me have demonstrated, we must always continue to promote legislation that supports the needs and concerns of every Georgian. I am eager to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, to ensure all voices are heard and represented.”
Yesterday, I woke up as Senator-Elect and was sworn in on my grandparents' Bible, wearing a stole passed down from The Reverend Pauli Murray.
Today, I woke up as Senator for Georgia State Senate District 41, and received my committee assignments:
>> Agriculture and…(continued) pic.twitter.com/iz4kjtqnFU
— Kim for Georgia (@KimforGeorgia) January 13, 2021
The lawmaker, who defeated Republican challenger William Park in the District 41 race, ran her campaign with the promise of protecting reproductive freedom and voting rights, as well as advocating for gun safety. As she oversees DeKalb and Gwinnett counties in her new role, Jackson will serve in four committees. That includes Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Government Oversight, Natural Resources & the Environment, as well as Public Safety.
Jackson, who is the daughter of a social worker and a nurse, joins six other LGBTQ+ lawmakers in the Georgia legislature, them reported. The seven lawmakers make up the highest number of LGBTQ+ legislators Georgia has ever had. State Rep. Marvin Lim, who recently became the first queer Filipino lawmaker to serve in the state House, is among the barrier-breaking group.
“I really hope that there will be more who come after me and very quickly,” Jackson said. “I think that when we get our foot in the door, that’s the key — and if my foot can get in the door, then I am prepared to push it wide open so that other queer folks can come and stand alongside me.”
According to Decaturish, the Georgia politician worked as a volunteer EMT before attending Emory’s Candler School of Theology. While attending school, Jackson advocated for criminal justice reform in the state. The Episcopal priest has also served as a college chaplain, a nationally renowned consultant, preacher and a social justice advocate.
“I’ve been serving as a clergyperson here in Georgia for the past 10 years, and I’ve always been very clear that there is a role for theology in public life, and specifically that God has something to say about how we do justice in the world," the senator told Decaturish. "I maintain that, while also being very respectful of the separation between church and state."
With the recent success of LGTBQ+ candidates and other trailblazers, the state of Georgia is experiencing a blue shift. Democratic candidate the Rev. Raphael Warnock contributed to the transformation when he became Georgia’s first Black senator, defeating Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in the runoff elections earlier this month, as Blavity previously reported. Jon Ossoff continued the trend when he defeated David Perdue in the other runoff, helping Democrats secure control of the U.S. Senate.
Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams has been widely praised for galvanizing voters in her community and ensuring the transformation of a state which is traditionally known as strictly conservative, as Blavity previously reported.
"Shoutout to the soldiers on the ground who labored for a decade to educate, register, and turnout a coalition in Georgia. Climbing over roadblocks erected along the way to suppress the Black vote. Bravo and Brava," Detroit entrepreneur Vincent McCraw wrote on Twitter, highlighting Abrams, along with activists LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, as well as Congresswoman Nikema Williams.
S/O to the soldiers on the ground who labored for a decade to educate, register, and turnout a coalition in Georgia. Climbing over roadblocks erected along the way to suppress the Black vote. Bravo and Brava: @staceyabrams, @MsLaToshaBrown, @cliff_notes
— Vincent McCraw (@vdmccraw) January 6, 2021