Black chair of Democratic National Convention Committee seeks to engage Black voters

Minyon Moore



There are just six months left before the global spotlight is on Chicago as it hosts the Democratic National Convention at the United Center on the West Side.

Chicago police, state and federal law enforcement officials are busy mapping out security details for the big event that will bring the biggest names in politics to the city.

Leading the preparations is Minyon Moore, a Chicago native and political strategist who serves as chair of the Democratic National Convention Committee. Her leadership comes during an unprecedented time in American politics.

For the first time in history, Blacks lead the Democratic Party with Moore heading the convention committee and Jaime Harrison serving as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Hakeem Jeffries is Democrat House Minority Leader, who may make history again as the first Black House Majority Leader, should Democrats reclaim the House of Representatives in the November election.

During an interview with WVON’s Perri Small, Moore noted that Black women are making history, too.

“Just this year, by the way, three of the state party chairs in our battleground states – South Carolina where we just came out of, has a Black woman chair,” Moore said. “Nevada … they have a Black chair. And Michigan has a Black chair. So, we are making history.

“But it’s not enough to just make history. To me, history isn’t, you know, you put it in a history book, but history is what do you do with it. What do you feel your assignment and your obligation is to the American people.”

Despite the recent historic achievements, after years of giving their votes to Democrats, Blacks have had enough of empty symbolism and broken campaign promises. Poll after poll shows Blacks—especially Black men—are not happy with President Joe Biden and plan to vote for another candidate in November.

Many Blacks in Chicago have grown weary with the state of politics and feel the Democratic Party no longer represents their interests. Some have grown fed up with the migrant crisis that has cost the city hundreds of millions and fueled concerns that assisting the migrants has sapped resources from underserved neighborhoods.

“You can’t ever discount what a person feels. I’m a firm believer in that,” Moore said.

“But we also must be noticeably clear in what we have accomplished, especially in the Biden-Harris Administration…Every promise this president has made, he still has work to do.

“Let’s start with the Supreme Court Justice that we have. I’ve had the privilege and honor of working with her. I was on the confirmation team. That was my first throwback to the White House. To see what she had to go through to get that, but to know that she had a committed White House fully behind her was something to watch.

“This president has invested over $7 billion in HBCUs. And what people don’t quite understand is that we have the lowest unemployment rate (5.4 percent) in 50 years in the Black community.

“Now, I am a firm believer in when you elect someone, don’t go in the house eand shut your doors. You always have to stay with your elected officials. You have to make sure they’re committed to the things that you’re committed to. We can’t be an every four-year person that shows up [to the polls]. You have to show up every two months. You have state offices you can call.”

Moore said she hopes to engage and inspire disillusioned voters through volunteerism at this year’s Democratic Convention in Chicago. The convention is looking for hundreds of volunteers to help with the event’s operations.

“You get to open up the process to the Chicago community. We invite them in, we have a great Host Committee who’s working very hard to make sure that Chicago is involved from top to bottom and so for me it just means that, you know, our family, the Chicago family, gets to host one of the greatest conventions of all time. “ … I’m excited about being on this show to tell people that we welcome them, we welcome their participation, we welcome their volunteerism … We want the city to get involved, we want the city to be proud.” Raised by a mother and stepfather who worked for the U.S. Postal Service, Moore graduated from Altgeld Elementary School and Chicago Vocational High School. She attended the University of Illinois in Chicago.

To pay for college, Moore worked at Encyclopedia Britannica and the post office. Moore entered politics working with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Willie Taplin Barrow, Rainbow Push Coalition. She started as a volunteer before she moved to deputy political director in Jackson’s 1988 primary campaign for the presidency. Moore also worked the General Election in 1988 for the Dukakis-Bentsen campaign, where she served as deputy national field director. In 1992, she became Dukakis’ national deputy field director. That same year, Moore accompanied Jackson to register young voters in Georgia. The two encountered heavy resistance from the state’s Republican establishment. From 1991 to 2001, Moore served under President Bill Clinton as assistant to the president and director of White House Political Affairs and Director of White House Public Liaison, where she served as the principal political adviser to the president, vice president, first lady and senior White House staff.

Her responsibilities included planning outreach events and directing the political activities of the White House. Before working in the White House, Moore was National Political Director for the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 election season. She served as a senior advisor on the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton and served in top positions of the 1988 presidential campaigns of Reverend Jesse Jackson and Governor Michael Dukakis. A native of Chicago, Moore majored in Sociology while attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a graduate of the digital filmmaking program at Boston University and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and at Yale University. “We really started seeing Black women take control and really deciding that it was their time to run for office in 2016. We have to start getting more women to run for office, and we also have to start praising the women that are running for office, especially many of the women in the Congressional Black Caucus, and others. “We have to have control of our voting power because we know that we are a powerful voting bloc in the Democratic Party, and with that comes not just voting but it also comes with the responsibility of making sure that our communities know what we are there for and what we are there to do.”


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