In politics, the name of the game is public support. And Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is boosting her already large list of supporters. More than 170 Black women leaders are endorsing Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, among them: Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Karen Weaver, mayor of Flint, Michigan, Shonda Rhimes, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Alexis Herman, former Secretary of Labor, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and former NAACP president Hazel Dukes. Clinton’s campaign believes these women will mobilize their networks and other groups in efforts to make her the first female President of the United States.
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Dukes has known Hillary Clinton for decades, meeting her years ago when Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas. Dukes says Clinton is not a “Johnny come lately, she is a progressive” and she would be “pragmatic in her approach to getting things done” on issues like education, employment and health issues. Dukes is also looking down the road on issues important to people of color. “One of the most important things is when I look and think about this election, the next President of the United States of America will have the opportunity to appoint at least three Supreme Court [Justices].”
In a phone interview with ESSENCE, Secretary Clinton said, “I feel very grateful for the enormous amount of support I have in the African-American community. Also former Attorney General Eric Holder has done an ad for me that is running. A whole group of Congressional Black Caucus [members], has been surrogates for me in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and other states.”
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She continued, “I have deep and very loyal friendships and networks within the African-American community that are very important to me.” In the most recent Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton won non-white votes in Iowa by 24 points. Her tight win made her the first woman to ever win Iowa.
Clinton’s list of public support form African American women leaders was released during Black History Month. She noted, “As we kick off African-American History month it is incumbent upon us to remember all of the struggles that brought us to where we are and also acknowledge the problems we still face…the racial and economic and educational and health inequities that have no place in our country.”