April 2019

Lucy McBath Brings a Voice for Change to Congress

Congresswoman Lucy McBathCongresswoman Lucy McBath

Congresswoman Lucy McBath
Lucy McBath spoke during the 6th Annual New York Peace Week Press Conference in New York City in January 2016.

Lucy McBath wiped away tears as the U.S. House of Representatives voted on and eventually passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act in February 2019. For McBath, this was the result of hard work she had been doing since 2012. The Bipartisan Background Checks bill was the first legislation McBath signed after being elected to represent Georgia’s 6th congressional district in November 2018. If passed in the Senate, the new law would require a federal background check for all gun purchases in the United States. In April 2019, McBath began holding town hall meetings to call for more support for the bill.

McBath began her mission to end gun violence on November 23, 2012. On that day, her only son Jordan Davis was shot and killed near Jacksonville, Florida, by someone who got angry with him for playing loud music. After that day, McBath became a spokesperson for ending gun violence with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety. She also became the faith and outreach leader for both groups. She spoke out because she did not want other families to go through what her family had.

As an activist, McBath spoke with lawmakers in state capitols. She met with President Barack Obama. She worked for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign and spoke at the Democratic National Convention. She also made speeches at events and rallies to raise awareness about the gun violence epidemic. McBath’s message expressed the concerns of African American communities affected by everyday gun violence. After years of being an advocate at the local, state, and federal level, McBath decided to run for office herself.

As a child, McBath observed both of her parents working for civil rights and social justice. Her father was a dentist who served as president of the Illinois chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also owned an African American newspaper called The Black Voice. McBath’s family traveled around the country, attending marches and rallies for civil rights, including ones led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

McBath graduated from Virginia State University in 1982 with a degree in political science. After college, she interned for Douglas Wilder, who became Virginia’s first African American governor. McBath lived in Atlanta, Georgia, and worked as a flight attendant for many years before becoming more active in politics again.

In addition to gun reform, McBath works for other important causes, including strengthening voting rights. She also strives to help small businesses get more of the resources they need to succeed. As a cancer survivor, she wants to make sure everyone has access to good healthcare. She works to make communities in her district and across the nation safer, healthier, and happier.

Image credit: ©Mike Pont/WireImage/Getty Images
Question 1
Which state does Lucy McBath represent in Congress?

Question 2
What bill did McBath help pass in the House of Representatives?

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