"We have demonstrated our commitment to the Party. It is time for the Party to demonstrate its commitment to us."

Yesterday, a group of Black women who are activists, civic and community leaders, and/or elected officials published a letter to DNC Chair Tom Perez, asking for a meeting "with Black women leaders and activists where you can hear not only our concerns, but also our thoughts on how the DNC can invest in Black women's engagement and leadership moving forward from hiring of key staff and consultants to investment in training and leadership opportunities."

The letter makes the case—and you know that I resoundingly and unequivocally agree—that Black women are the heart of the Democratic Party, the most reliable of Democratic voting blocs, and thus should be leading the party.
Dear Chairman Tom Perez:

Black women have consistently shown up for Democrats as a loyal voting bloc, demonstrating time and again that we are crucial to the protection of progressive policies such as economic security, affordable healthcare and criminal justice reform.

We have voted and organized our communities with little support or investment from the Democratic Party for voter mobilization efforts. We have shown how Black women lead, yet the Party's leadership from Washington to the state parties have few or no Black women in leadership. More and more, Black women are running for office and winning elections — with scant support from Democratic Party infrastructure.

Well, like civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, who testified at the 1964 Democratic convention demanding Blacks have a seat and voice within the Party, we are "sick and tired of being sick and tired."

The Democratic Party has a real problem. The data reveals that Black women voters are the very foundation to a winning coalition, yet most Black voters feel like the Democrats take them for granted. The Party's foundation has a growing crack and if it is not addressed quickly, the Party will fall even further behind and ultimately fail in its quest to strengthen its political prospects.

...Organizing without the engagement of Black women will prove to be a losing strategy, and there is much too much at stake for the Democratic Party to ignore Black women.

...We have demonstrated our commitment to the Party. It is time for the Party to demonstrate its commitment to us. We stand ready to join you, your team, and Party leadership on the front lines — but not as silent partners.
There is much more, and I strongly encourage you to read the entire thing.

This letter is not mine to co-sign, but I do take up space in solidarity with the women who wrote and signed it.

I have said many times over the past couple of years that I believe progressive Black women should be leading the Democratic Party. Routinely, I get pushback accusing me of being "performative" or pandering to Black women. And let me be perfectly frank: I don't give a fuck what the people leveling those accusations think of me or my motivations, but I do care a whole hell of a lot that implicit in those charges is the idea that Black women don't deserve and haven't earned my fervent support.

The fact is, the reason I believe that progressive Black women should be leading the Democratic Party is because I get behind smart people. I follow the lead of people who have proven time and time again that they know what the fuck they're doing.

Black Democratic women have demonstrated that they make good political choices. For a very long time. I would be a fool if I didn't listen to them and support their leadership.

And while a person with my particular privileges cannot know what is best for Black women and their communities, any decisions they make will be good for me, too. I believe in a bottom-up (rather than top-down) model of social justice, for that very reason.

So, if anyone wants to question my motives—fine. I can't control what someone else thinks of me and won't bother trying. But I won't let that narrative serve as distraction from the very real reasons that Black women deserve my (and your) support as Democratic leaders.

As a voting bloc, they have gotten it right over and over. They know how to win, even with meager (or no) institutional support. They are indeed the "very foundation to a winning coalition."

That is the coalition of which I want to be a part. And I believe progressive Black women will get us there.

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