On the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, an important conversation took place in Dallas on the role of women of color in the Democratic Party. Political power brokers Leah Daughtry, CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, Minyon Moore, the former CEO of the Democratic National Committee and director of White House Political Affairs, and Jara Butler, the political outreach director for the campaign of Beto O’Rourke, the U.S. Senate candidate who challenged incumbent Ted Cruz, took to the stage at the 5th annual Women in the World Texas salon, which was held at the Dallas Museum of Art, to answer the question: Does the Democratic Party take women of color for granted?
Journalist Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani led the discussion and from the outset, established that black women have been showing up to vote for Democrats in recent elections — big time. Modarressy-Tehrani pointed to a couple of staggering statistics: Ninety-eight percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and then last year more than 90 percent of black women helped propel Doug Jones to victory over Roy Moore in Alabama in a special election for the U.S. Senate seat to replace Jeff Sessions, who became the U.S. Attorney General. Moore had been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct years ago.
“Black women are the largest and most consistent voting bloc in the nation,” Daughtry told the live audience. “We know how to size up a candidate, we know how to parse the issues and we know how to go to the polls and not just take ourselves — but take our communities, our sororities, our churches, our neighborhoods, our girlfriends, whoever. We’re going to drag you with us to the polls. And we’re going to make sure you get there. And I think what we’re seeing now is we’ve reached a zenith where we are requiring the Democratic Party to invest in us, in our communities and in our issues in the same manner in which we invest in the party.”
“Sometimes they do a good job,” Daughtry added. “And sometimes they could do a better job.”
Above watch the full panel discussion and below, see some key highlights from the conversation.
It makes a difference when women are in the room
“We tend to show up because we no how much is at stake”
“We got so close in 2016 … I can’t go back.”
More from the 2018 Dallas salon