Thursday, October 05, 2006

Working the Black Vote
By The Associated Press
DETROIT - The Democratic Party no longer can sit back and wait until three weeks before an election to ask minoritites for their vote. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said. (Oklahoma Democratic Party and DNC organizer Teresa Hill has been working in the community since August 2005 following years of organizing through individual campaigns and initiatives.)

"In many ways, the Democratic Party hasn't moved itself out of the '60s and '70s," Dean said in remarks to the DNC's African-American Leadership Summit, which is aimed at mobilizing black voters and encouraging more minority candidates for state offices. (In Oklahoma this election cycle voters will see black candidates including Anastasia Pittman in HD 99, Larry Jefferson in HD 65 and Kimberly Fobbs 80 in HD. Oklahoma voters re-elected Connie Johnson to SD 48 and Mike Shelton to HD 97 already this year. Rep. Jabar Shumate, and Senator Judy Eason-McIntyre drew no opponents this year.)

"If we don't get smart about having folks on the ticket that look like the people whose votes we're asking for, in meaningful positions of authority, then we're not going to win. And the party that gets to do that first is the party that's going to win," Dean said.

Annie Mae Holt, 59, a Detroit teacher who attended the gathering, said Democrats must be careful not to allow Republilcans to create a divide. "We need to make sure that people who look like the diversity that is evolving in the United States is represented on our Democratic ticket," Holt said in an interview. (In Oklahoma there are at least 174,567 African-American voters.)

"In order for this party to win, we have to include more people," Kilpatrick said. "The numbers say that we need to move the African-American (and) Latrino vote inside urban America. Unless we go get it, we won't win."

(The Oklahoma Democratic Party, through the DNC Partnership Program, is not taking any voter for granted. Join us for an Every Voter Counts event in participating counties on Saturday, October 14. For more information contact Teresa Hill at 405.427.3366.)

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