ICYMI: The Grio: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison makes case for why Black voters should support Dems in 2022 elections
|The Grio: DNC Chair Jaime Harrison makes case for why Black voters should support Dems in 2022 elections
By Gerren Keith Gaynor
Feb. 17, 2022
“One thing I learned in 2020 is you can make your own history,” Harrison said during a sit-down interview with theGrio.
Referring to former President Donald Trump’s crushing defeat in the 2020 presidential election, Harrison said, “History also taught us that incumbent presidents rarely lose reelection. Well, for the first time in almost 30 years, an incumbent president lost.”
The January 2021 special run-off election wins in Georgia by Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, Harrison added, also defied historical precedent.
The election victories for Democrats in 2020, however, were largely credited to the massive turnout of Black voters, whose support for President Biden and Democrats has waned.
Making the case for Biden and Democrats, Harrison said, the president “inherited so many issues and problems from Donald Trump [and] has been rolling up his sleeves along with the vice president and Democrats in the House and Senate to try to address those issues.”
“There was such a disproportionate amount of resources going into Black communities to deal with the COVID crisis and this president and the Democrats in Congress changed it,” Harrison told theGrio. “We also saw a disproportionate number of Black businesses not getting the resources necessary in order to stay open. They weren’t getting the grants, they weren’t getting the loans that many other businesses were getting during the Trump administration. And that has changed as well.
He added, “We have seen the Biden administration basically saying to federal agencies that we need to change purchasing power and we have to grow our contracting with small businesses, particularly Black businesses.”
Harrison also championed the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to increase funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
But in order for Democrats to accomplish more in Washington, Harrison argued, the party needs more votes in the Senate, which means Democrats need their electorate base — Black voters — to show up to the polls in November.
“There’s still so much more to go. But in order to get there, we also have to recognize that we need more votes. We need more votes in the United States Senate in order to get around the filibuster, which Republicans have utilized so much the block a lot of the progress that the administration and the president wants to make,” said Harrison. “We cannot allow them to take control of the House in the Senate because our democracy will be threatened in the end.”
There is some positive news for Democrats heading into the 2022 elections, as according to a Pew Research Center report, Democrats are viewed more favorably than the Republican Party on most issues including the COVID-19, climate change, health care and education.
Ultimately, Harrison said he believes Democrats will prevail on the issues that matter most to Americans. But ultimately, he said, it’s important that all Americans exercise their right to vote this year, regardless of which party they support.
“You need to make sure that you are actually exercising your right to select that person who will fight for your values,” said Harrison. “Yes, I would love for you to vote for a Democrat, but ultimately I just want you to be able to go and vote. Make sure that you express yourself and exercise the most sacred right we have, as Americans.”
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