NCDP African American Caucus gears up for 2018By Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Contributor / December 15, 2017
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As with Tuesday’s special election vote in Alabama, or the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial contests in North Carolina, the Black vote is always key to Democratic victories. Simply put, if African Americans vote in large numbers, Democrats win.
And if they don’t, Republicans remain in charge.Linda Wilkins-Daniels is all too familiar with this act, and that’s why, now that she’s been elected to a second term a president of the African American Caucus of the N.C. Democratic Party (AAC-NCDP), she’s rallying twenty-two chapters of the AAC-NCDP to mobilize the African American vote to turnout for the all-important 2018 midterm elections.
“The agenda of the AAC is to promote political participation and education within the African American community,” Wilkins-Daniels said. “To encourage African Americans to seek public office, represent issues and concerns of its membership to the Democratic Party leadership, and work towards strengthening the Democratic Party.”
Even in the face of the Trump Administration and its controversial policies, and Republican majorities in the Congress and North Carolina legislature, Democrats believe they can possibly make tremendous headway on all electoral levels come 2018. Just this week, Gov. Roy Cooper unveiled the roster of legislative candidates who will be running for the N.C. General Assembly next year, and six of the candidates are women.On top of that, former state Representative Linda Coleman has already announced that she’s running for Congress in the tough Second Congressional District, seeking to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. George Holding. And civil right Attorney Anita Earls is running for the N.C. Supreme Court.
“Qualified candidates,” Wilkins-Daniels said in reaction. “We have a lot of these in the Black community.”
Wilkins-Daniels is convinced that the Black vote can make all the difference in 2018, and she’s making sure that the AAC-NCDP is properly gearing up to do just that. But make no mistake, the AAC-NCDP president is the first to maintain that the Democratic Party “…has to take a look at itself.” She, along with other Black Democrats, is frustrated with examples of the party not being loyal to its most loyal base of supporters – African Americans.
Indeed, like the recent mayoral race in Raleigh showed, there is clear evidence that many of the party leadership will turn its back on qualified Black candidates in favor of what are considered more bankable White candidates (in the Raleigh mayoral race, the incumbent was an unaffiliated White female, and her Black challenger a Democrat, yet prominent Democrats like former Governor Jim Hunt publicly endorsed the White unaffiliated incumbent).Wilkins-Daniels blasted the party for that, and pushed an online petition drive to have Hunt’s name removed from the annual Sanford–Hunt-Frye Democratic fundraising dinner. She insists that if Black voters are going to continue to support the Democratic Party, then the party needs to stop even the appearance of taking the African American vote for granted, and deliver on its promises, and become even more inclusive in its Black candidate support.
“Or else more people will be driven away,” Wilkins-Daniels warns.
Right now, thanks to numerous court cases involving redistricting, exactly how the 2018 midterm elections shape up is up in the air. But Linda Wilkins-Daniels assures that the AAC-NCDP, through Black voter issue education, and Black voter mobilization, will be doing its part to take North Carolina back.
“We’re going to be a force to reckon with in the 2018 election,” she promised.