Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus backs Kamala Harris for president

By: - July 29, 2019 2:22 pm

Kamala Harris takes selfies at an SEIU rally for security officers in Detroit, July 24, 2019 | Andrew Roth

On the eve of back-to-back Democratic presidential candidate debates in Detroit scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus announced on Monday that it has endorsed U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif).

“The Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus is proud to endorse Kamala Harris for President,” said caucus Chair Keith Williams. “She is a proven leader who has given a voice to the voiceless and championed our community as district attorney, [state] attorney general, and United States senator. Her plans to close the racial wealth gap, invest in our classrooms and higher education is a clear investment in our future but also America’s future and her continued economic growth.”

Harris, one of two African American Democrats running, campaigned in Michigan last week. She was one of 10 candidates participating in the national NAACP presidential forum last week in Detroit and attended an SEIU rally for Detroit security guards. The other is U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who also attended the forum and met with leaders in Flint afterward.

Harris has been spotted in the Motor City in recent days at a music concert on Saturday night and at a neighborhood restaurant on Monday. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, however, has endorsed another candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Michigan is considered vitally important in 2020 by most political observers. The Democratic Party nominee won the Wolverine State each presidential campaign cycle between 1992 and 2012. Republican Donald Trump, however, won Michigan in 2016 by roughly 10,000 votes.

Last Friday, Harris, a Howard University graduate, announced plans to invest billions in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Black entrepreneurship. She says the proposals will address the wealth gap in order to build opportunity for African Americans.

The Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus was founded by David Holmes, a former state senator from Detroit. Its mission is to support and promote African Americans for political office while promoting pro-African American political issues.

Harris’ campaign will host a debate watch event on Wednesday at Bookies Bar and Grille located just outside of downtown Detroit. It begins at 5 p.m. 

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.