Hope In Their Hearts: Refugees, DACA, and the Future of Immigration in America

Please join host Kevin Abel, Candidate for Congress, for a panel discussion.

Hope In Their Hearts

Refugees, DACA, and the Future of Immigration in America

Featured speaker: Dr. Heval Kelli, Cardiology Fellow, Emory University

Panelists:

• Stephanie Ali, Organizer and Educator

• Marisol Estrada, DREAMer and Advocate

• Rizwan Hasan, President, Independent Political Action Committee

Saturday, March 3rd, 12PM
Tucker Recreation Center
4898 Lavista Rd, Tucker, GA 30084

Please RSVP to Charlie Blaettler at 974-261-4248 or charlie@kevinabelforcongress.com

Atlanta Jewish Times: “Kevin Abel Challenges Karen Handel”

October 26, 2017

Temple Sinai member Kevin Abel announced his Democratic campaign for Congress in Georgia’s 6th District early Thursday, Oct. 26.

In announcing his 2018 run, Abel said he wants to work across political lines to find solutions for health care, immigration, Social Security, climate change, campaign finance and the national debt.

“I am committed to engaging earnestly with members of both parties to find the common ground for which we Americans so deeply yearn,” said Abel, the co-founder with his wife, Cindy, of Alpharetta-based IT consulting firm Abel Solutions.

He has been active in support for refugees, rising to vice chair on the board of New American Pathways and leading efforts at Temple Sinai to aid an Atlanta-area refugee family. He also has served on the boards of the Carter Center, the Arthritis Foundation’s Georgia Chapter, the Davis Academy, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia.

Cindy Abel served as Hands On Atlanta’s interim CEO in 2016, and the Abels received the organization’s Changemakers of the Year award this year.

Abel joins former CBS 46 news anchor Bobby Kaple in launching Democratic challenges to Republican Rep. Karen Handel, who was elected June 20 to fill the congressional seat Tom Price vacated when he became President Donald Trump’s health and human services secretary.

Jon Ossoff, the Jewish Democrat who finished first in the open primary for the seat in April and received about 48 percent of the vote in the runoff against Handel, recently moved into the 6th District in Brookhaven. Living outside the district was an issue for him in the special election.

Ossoff has not said whether he will run again in 2018.

Abel said he moved into the district, which Republicans have won in every congressional election since 1978, when he and Cindy bought their first house in Alpharetta after marrying in March 1992. They have raised three children.

Abel, a native of South Africa, immigrated with his family to Texas when he was 14. He graduated from the University of Texas. He moved to the Atlanta area in 1990.

He issued the following statement on why he is running for Congress:

I came to America as an immigrant. I received an incredible public education. I started my own business. I have a beautiful wife and three lovely children. I have truly lived the American Dream.

But while my family and I have enjoyed the American Dream, this beacon of hope and opportunity has been eroded. Our national political arena has devolved into a perpetual shouting match; anger and acrimony dominate our national dialogue. Republicans and Democrats alike have an abysmal view of our United States Congress.

This is quite frightening when you think of it. After all, our democracy, our freedom, the perpetuation of our great American experiment depends on a government that represents the interests of the electorate and works to address the key issues that impact us all. When the voters have no faith or trust in this government, it cannot be long before the experiment will fail.

My candidacy represents an effort to rekindle the spirit of public faith in government. We the people — the voters; Americans — deserve better in our elected officials. But it begins and ends with us. We need to vote for the candidate we want in government, not for the least distasteful person our Party puts on the ballot. I want this election to be about putting America back on course; about ensuring that our children and grandchildren and future new Americans can aspire, as I have, to realize the American Dream.

I am inspired to represent people who truly want change. I am inspired to bring together people across the aisle to address our country’s biggest domestic challenges including health care policy, immigration, social security, climate change, campaign finance, and the ever expanding debt.

That is why I’m proud to be a candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

I’m running as a Democrat, but let’s be clear: I’m first and foremost an American. If elected, I will work tirelessly to deliver results for our entire community; I am committed to engaging earnestly with members of both parties to find the common ground for which our fellow Americans across the country so deeply yearn.

If we take a step back and look at our democracy, if we consider our freedom, if we recognize our strength, we should be awed. Let’s look beyond the needs of the individual and see that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

Read the full article here. 

ReporterNewspapers.net: “Sandy Springs Democrat launches GA 6th Congressional campaign”

October 26, 2017

Sandy Springs Democrat Kevin Abel is the latest candidate to announce a challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th Congressional District next year.

Abel is the founder of Abel Solutions, an Alpharetta-based IT consulting firm, and serves on the board of such organizations as Sandy Springs’ Davis Academy and New American Pathways, a refugee resettlement and assistance nonprofit.

According to his campaign’s Facebook page, Abel is a native of South Africa. He says he lived the American Dream, but is running because he fears for its future.

“While my family and I have benefited from the American Dream, this beacon of hope and opportunity has been eroded,” Abel wrote. “Our national political arena has devolved into a perpetual shouting match; anger and acrimony dominate our national dialogue. Republicans and Democrats alike have an abysmal view of our United States Congress.”

He said he wants to work in Congress on bipartisan solutions to “our country’s biggest domestic challenges, including healthcare policy, immigration, social security, climate change, campaign finance, and the ever-expanding debt.”

In a phone interview, Abel said his campaign was inspired by Democrat Jon Ossoff’s relatively close competition with Handel for the 6th District seat in a nationally spotlighted special election earlier this year.

“Living in Georgia as a Democrat, I never considered getting into politics because it’s not very friendly to Democrats,” he said. But the special election showed the “door opened to a centrist Democrat … to get elected.”

Abel said he grew up in Alpharetta, living there for 20 years before his move to Sandy Springs. He said many of his friends then and now are centrist Republicans. They include Sandy Springs City Council candidate Jody Reichel, who is his neighbor in the Mount Vernon Woods subdivision, and whom he says he supports. Reichel is competing with Le’Dor Milteer, a Democrat, in the nonpartisan race for the District 4 council seat.

“I always thought that we had more in common that what separates us,” especially on domestic policies, Abel said of the area’s centrist Democrats and Republicans.

Abel does not count Handel among those centrists.

“Her stance on Planned Parenthood doesn’t exactly make her a centrist in my mind,” he said. In 2012, Handel resigned as a vice president at the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity after enormous controversy over its defunding of a Planned Parenthood cancer screening program. Critics say Handel played a key role and was motivated by her anti-abortion stance, while Handel has said she was following the organization’s general plan to focus on more proven cancer prevention programs.

“I’ve got nothing bad to say about Karen Handel,” Abel said, but then immediately added, “I believe Karen Handel represents the right wing of the Republican Party … that is not going to stand up to Donald Trump and say no to the crazy things emanating from the White House.”

“Karen Handel is part of that … That is not centrist, in my opinion,” he said.

One of Abel’s passions is his work with New American Pathways, a Tucker-based nonprofit that resettles refugees, largely in Clarkston. An immigrant himself, he said his experience is nothing like that of, for example, people fleeing Syria’s civil war. But he said he understands “coming from the outside where we looked in and said, ‘Oh, my God, look at how lucky they are.’ … We really are a great country.”

Trump’s election was an “absolute disaster for refugee resettlement from Day One,” Abel said. The “travel ban and Muslim ban” was not a specific motivator for him to enter the race, but is “something that’s very disturbing to me,” he said.

Abel described today’s political divisions at making him fear for the immediate future of democracy itself. He said of his campaign, “If not now, when? If not who, me?”

Read the full article here. 

NBC 11: “Another Democrat running for Handel’s seat”

October 26, 2017

Another Democrat is looking to unseat Karen Handel in next year’s midterms.

Kevin Abel, founder of an Alpharetta-based IT firm, announced he is running in metro Atlanta’s 6th congressional district.

Handel, a Republican, won the seat in a hotly contested special election earlier this year, a race that came down to a runoff between her and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The race drew national attention and campaign donations, and eventually became the nation’s most expensive congressional election in history.

Former TV news anchor Bobby Kaple is also running for the seat.

“I am committed to engaging earnestly with members of both parties to find the common ground for which we Americans so deeply yearn,” said Abel.

Handel has invoked Ossoff’s name in multiple fundraising emails to her supporters, including from about three weeks ago: “I’ll be honest, Friends. I have no idea what he’s going to do. But from what I’ve heard, our old friend Jon Ossoff is seriously considering running for Congress again … We must be prepared no matter what happens.”

Read the full article here.