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Democrats in Washington are speaking out to address the need for the party to do more for the Black community, who has continuously supported them and have been the deciding factor at the pools through decades of election seasons.
Fresh off of the Alabama Senate special election, which saw Black voters turn out en masse again to push Democratic candidate Doug Jones to victory over Republican candidate and accused sexual predator Roy Moore, several prominent Democrats have come forward to weigh in on the party’s lagging outreach efforts targeting communities of color. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez held little back in his comments, calling on his party to place more focus on mobilizing in the areas that have consistently support them most.
“It’s undeniable that over the course of a number of years, the Democratic Party fell short in our outreach and engagement in communities of color,” Perez said, according to The New York Times. “We, frankly, all too frequently took them for granted. We’ve really worked hard to make sure we’re mobilizing with people who know the various communities. That is a really important part of what we’re doing.”
In a Tweet earlier in the week, Perez specifically referenced Black women, who were largely responsible for the recent democratic victories in both Alabama and Virginia.
“Let me be clear: We won in Alabama and Virginia because #BlackWomen led us to victory,” he said on Twitter. “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period.”
Congressional Black Caucus member Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) further elaborated on the issue, also noting the continued challenges Black democratic lawmakers face with getting their voices heard within their own party.
“This has long been a sore spot,” Cleaver said in an interview, according to The Hill. “We’ve had meetings, countless meetings, with the political arms of our party and we would go away wondering if we were heard. And not only were we not heard, we were ignored.”