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Blacks, Women Contest Democratic Party Leadership

African-American and women leaders in the Democratic party are voicing their concerns about the party’s inattention to these key populations in party strategy and leadership nomination. Former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson hightened the debate when he announced today that he will challenge fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe’s bid for chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Jackson sees a great need to reinvigorate the Democrats’ grassroots efforts, and to consult with minority leaders on key issues and party decisions. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) is supporting Jackson’s candidacy, saying that the party must “[give] stage and voice tone of the most loyal elements of the Democratic base, the African-American component.” Women, blacks, the labor movement, and latinos are the major component of the Democratic party’s grassroots constituency, and were often overlooked by party strategists in the 2000 campaign _ despite the fact that these groups disproportionately voted for Gore, and carried many of the states where Gore won.

Sources:

New York Times - December 22, 2000 and Feminist Majority Foundation