WASHINGTON – The Black Economic Alliance is endorsing seven candidates in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia today that it believes will be strong advocates for Black economic progress on Capitol Hill and in their states: Andrew Gillum (FL-GOV), Tom Wolf (PA-GOV), Bill Nelson (FL-SEN), Lauren Baer (FL-18), Debbie Powell (FL-26), Linda Coleman (NC-02), and Lucy McBath (GA-06). The candidates join a growing list of Black Economic Alliance endorsements in closely-watched races nationwide who will benefit from the group’s direct financial contributions, public messaging, and a variety of on-the-ground tactics designed to turn out Black voters in November.
“In an election season with so much at stake and so many voters sizing up candidates to see where they stand on the kitchen table issues that impact our communities most, we have to make Black economic progress part of the equation,” said Akunna Cook, Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance. “This cycle – and in elections for years to come – it’s critical we support and highlight political leaders we know are committed to policies that will expand access to the American Dream for the Black community.”
Nationwide, Black communities remain hamstrung by systemic inequities, and those inequities are only growing larger. A recent report released by the Center for American Progress details the staggering economic impacts of the persistent, policy-driven wealth gap between Black and Caucasian families. If we continue along the current path, without substantive, meaningful policy changes, “leaving wealth inequality to market forces would likely create a massive gulf in economic opportunity and security by race.” Burdened with more costly debt and with less access to critical savings vehicles, the deck is stacked against Black communities – and the visionary leaders which the Black Economic Alliance has endorsed will play a key role in leveling the playing field, so everyone can have access to the American Dream.
Led by a group of executives from a wide range of industries, the nonpartisan Black Economic Alliance launched its 2018 multimillion-dollar effort last month to fight for economic policies that will help Black communities access sorely-needed opportunities. To date, the Black Economic Alliance has endorsed more than two dozen candidates in key congressional, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial races – including groundbreaking Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke (TX-SEN), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Kathy Manning (NC-13), and others.
Black voters have already proven to be a critical demographic for 2018 special elections – notably in Alabama, where the Black vote played a key role in Doug Jones’ upset victory – and the Black Economic Alliance has targeted competitive races where advanced data and analytics show that the Black vote can be similarly decisive.