Now that the Primary Elections have come and gone, for the most part, all eyes have turned to the November General Elections. In the past I’ve written about Donald Trump, Birtherism, the KKK and the Grand Old Party (GOP). This coalition of bigotry should prompt voters of color to turn out in record numbers in November.
Be that as it may, I’ve also written about the pall that voter apathy has casted over mobilization and participation of voters of color. To understand what needs to be done to address voter apathy it is important to discuss the motivation driving the huge crowds that continue to turn out to support Donald “the Birther” Trump and Bernie Sanders.
People of color would be wise to analyze the motivation behind Trump and Sanders’ supporters. I believe that although many Trump supporters are motivated by racial bigotry that the same cannot be said about the supporters of Bernie Sanders. I believe that much of the appeal of both of these candidates is simply driven by economics. People need and want jobs and economic opportunities and the candidates making their appeal to voters on these issues are being very successful and finding very responsive audiences.
Candidates depending upon an inspired turnout by voters of color will have to make jobs and economic opportunity a highly visible part of their campaigns. Historically, the economic needs of people of color have not been spoken to with any specific plans, if spoken to at all.
There were two candidates of color for Council of State offices that survived the Primary Elections. They are both running on the Democratic Party ticket. Linda Coleman is making her second bid for Lieutenant Governor and Dan Blue, III is the candidate for State Treasurer.
Many of our readers know that I’ve promoted the idea that voters of color should “vote their economics” and that I’ve written that candidates seeking votes from people of color should pledge to ask the public body that they seek or on which they serve, to adopt Diversity Plans that call for equitable hiring and spending on contracts for goods and services for people of color.
Those officials or candidates that don’t serve on public bodies that have direct control or influence of budget decisions, should become ambassadors for our proposal for equity in public hiring and spending. In North Carolina we have nearly 700 elected officials of color and many more elected officials that depend upon voters of color to get elected. They should be working in coalition to insure fairness and equity when public funds are being spent.
Over the past three months I’ve given presentations on Equity in Public Hiring and Contracting at the monthly meetings of the Eastern North Carolina Civic Group (ENCCG). I plan to continue my presentations as long as they’ll allow me to do so. Last week Dan Blue, III sat through my presentation after being asked by the ENCCG’s Chairperson to evaluate it. Dan is a former Wall Street Investment Banker whose evaluation comes steeped in financial knowledge and credibility.
It is safe to say that the meeting attendees and I were very pleased and reassured with his evaluation.
Unless and until a more substantial proposal that addresses the legitimate economic concerns of voters of color is offered, it would behoove candidates depending upon inspired voter participation by people of color to embrace and support our efforts for equity and fairness in public hiring and spending.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us atwww.facebook.com/greaterdiversitynews, “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com. He is available for radio commentaries upon request. Follow Peter on twitter.com/yourrighttovote. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our page.