Black lawmakers: 2016 is most ‘consequential’ vote of our lifetime

Photo courtesy of Congressman Meeks


Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging participation by young, minority voters


Three influential lawmakers are calling on young voters and minority voters to get behind Hillary Clinton in the upcoming presidential election, saying she is the “clear choice” for the American people.

“This election we are about to enter is the most consequential [election] our lifetime” said U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-Queens.

On Sept. 27, Meeks, Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis. — all members of the Congressional Black Caucus — joined the Democratic National Committee to discuss the importance of voting on November 8 during a press call with reporters.

The three highlighted how Clinton was the clear winner of the first presidential debate at Hofstra University on September 26, and how she is the “clear choice” for the American people.

“Last night showed us a clear choice,” Lee said. “The winner was the American people.”

Moore said that, “Hillary Clinton is a fantastic candidate. I think we saw that last night. She demonstrated commitment to our future.”

Meeks added, “It’s absolutely clear that Hillary Clinton has the solutions to make us a more perfect union.”

The press call was held on National Voter Registration Day, and the three lawmakers pushed for young people and minorities to go out and register to vote.

“We always want to increase new voters,” said Meeks, who is a former state assemblyman.

Moore cited an old African proverb, “Together the ants eat the elephant,” suggesting there is strength in numbers, no matter the size of the opposition.

Meeks said, “We are stronger together, that is the message that Hillary is putting out.”

“We need to put a lot more resources into targeting millennials,” said Moore. “It’s time to do some non-traditional campaigning and target those who are not registered,” suggesting that more campaigning be done by tapping into the social trends of young people.

Clinton is already using different social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat to reach out to millennials.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center on April 2016, an estimated 69.2 million millennials (ages 18-35) are eligible to vote. This is roughly the same number of baby boomers who are eligible, which is estimated to be 69.7 million people.

Clinton must also focus on getting support from young people and minority voters, say the lawmakers.

“She clearly laid out issues that are important to African-American voters,” Meeks said.

Registering to vote shows respect to “those who fought, died, and spilled blood” for that right to vote, Lee said, especially within the African-American community.

Drawing heavily from the first debate, the lawmakers cited examples of what they say is Trump’s disrespect toward women, minorities and working class voters.

“Trump insulted the 44th [U.S.] president by not apologizing for being the father of the ‘birther’ movement,” referring to Trump’s accusations that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Trump has since backed off those claims.

Meeks added that “all Donald Trump is talking about is giving a tax break to the top 1 percent. I don’t know what he wants a tax break for since he doesn’t pay taxes in the first place.”