Stacey Abrams Says Money and Peer Pressure Can Hold Politicians Accountable

Politicians are like "15-year-old girls", and can be held to account using money, peer pressure, and attention, according to prolific Democrat and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

Abrams' comments came on from upcoming interview from three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry's new podcast Fifteen Minutes from Home, which is set to debut December 9 on Audible.

As well as Abrams, the podcast also features interviews with comedian Kevin Hart, the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, and American singer-songwriter Kane Brown.

Asked by the former basket ball player how politicians can be held to account, Abrams said: "So I get in trouble sometimes, and I say this, but having been one myself, I think it's a good analogy. Politicians are like 15-year-old girls and I used to be one, they respond to money, peer pressure, and attention."

"So money: invest in candidates that you think are going to do a good job and even if it's $1, if it's $5, if it's $500 when we invest in candidates, we are sending the people that we need to positions of power. And sometimes we think 'well, I'm not the kind of person who puts money into a campaign'—[but] you don't give money to a politician, you're giving money to their vision."

She said people need to invest more in politicians who need them the most, "not the ones who have all the money they need, but the ones for whom that $10 or $15 or $500 can change the way they are heard and seen and we get them into office."

Abrams said peer pressure helps politicians know they are being monitored by the public and that more lawmakers need to be comparing themselves to one another and striving to better serve their constituents.

On the third "attention" point, Abrams said that protests and communicating with your local politicians can bring about change.

"When you send your information, when you call your city council member and say 'this is happening on my street', and they don't call you back, call them again. But then also call other people in your neighborhood and say 'we need to call this person', 'we need to email them', 'we need to text them' and 'we need to tell them what we need'.

"The same thing is true whether you're talking about us someone in Congress in DC, or someone in your state legislature or your school board, but remember that money, peer pressure and attention, make people behave better. That's true in almost every facet of life, but it's completely true when it comes to politics."

She said voters need to vote for politicians based on how their policies impact their lives instead of how "exciting" a character they might be.

Abrams last week announced that she would be running in the Georgia gubernatorial election in November 2022 again Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

Trump-ally David Perdue joined the race on Sunday. In 2018, Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp by around 55,000 votes.

Stacey Abrams at Terry McAuliffe rally
Former US Representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams is introduced before speaking at a Souls to the Polls rally supporting Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on October 17, 2021 in Norfolk, Virginia. Politicians are like “15-year-old girls”, and can be held to account using money, peer pressure and attention, according Abrams. Zach Gibson/Getty