Stacey Abrams delivered a mighty Democratic response at tonight’s State of the Union, making history as the first Black woman to do so.

Standing in front of a racially diverse group of people, Abrams spoke to Democratic values, and brought up issues which President Donald Trump didn’t mention once in his speech: mass shootings, LGBTQ support and voter suppression.

Abrams, a rising star in her party, was selected to give the response after a hard-fought race for governor of Georgia during midterm elections.  She lost by 2 points in the face of suspected voter suppression by her opponents’ administration.

Abrams, the former Minority leader of the House in Georgia, also didn’t hold back on criticizing President Trump’s historic government shutdown, which lasted 35 days.

“Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks,” Abrams said. “Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace.”

Abrams said the “shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.”

“In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security,” said Abrams. “But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it.”

Notably, Abrams made clear that she didn’t want the President to fail, but to change his leadership approach.

“I don’t want him to fail— but we need him to tell the truth. Respect his duties,” said Abrams.

“We may come from different sides of the political aisle, but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable.”

Samuel M. Gebru, a community organizer, was one of many supporters who hosted a watch party for Abrams tonight.

“This watch party really on one end is to celebrate her as an individual but it’s also to celebrate the vision that she and many other Democratic women, particularly Black women, bring to the table,” Gebru told theGrio.

“One of the things that I admire most about her is that last year throughout her candidacy… She was tested time and time again and throughout all the trials she kept her composure,” Gebru says. “She was dignified. She was powerful in her message.”

Praise poured in across social media from many Democrats and supporters who agreed that tonight she was equally powerful.

 

Watch the full speech from Abrams below.