By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford and
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Darrio Melton
Last week, a journalist wrote an article claiming that the Alabama Democrats are making “phony” attempts to “whitewash diversity” in an attempt to keep white voters from leaving the party and taking their money with them.
We’ll ignore the ridiculous assumption that Black Democrats don’t donate and that Black leadership can’t fundraise. We’ll even look past the Republican Party’s lack of diversity and failed attempts to appeal to anyone who isn’t a wealthy white business owner.
The Democratic Party is, and hopefully will remain, a party of coalitions of people with Alabama’s best values at heart: schools that give every child an opportunity to succeed, jobs that reward hard work with fair pay, elections that protect one vote for every person, and, most importantly, a government that is fair and honest with the taxpayers’ money.
Although gerrymandered districts have reduced the ability for white democrats to get elected to the state legislature, there is no shortage of Democrats of all colors, backgrounds and upbringings in Alabama.
In fact, the Alabama Democratic Party may be more diverse today than ever before in our past, and we’re proud to see that our internal leadership reflects that.
The House members elected Representative Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) to serve another term as House Minority Leader because he knows the legislative process and campaigning from his years in the legislature and from a lifetime of watching and learning from his father, the late Representative Joe Ford.
The House also chose to elect Representative Darrio Melton as caucus chair because of his fresh ideas and willingness to move the Party forward. His experience as a preacher helps him inspire and bring people together.
The caucus also elected two women as caucus whips, Representative Patricia Todd and Representative Adline Clark, giving women an opportunity to shape policy and have a greater voice in the process.
We’re looking forward to working with Senator Figures and her fellow Senators, the State Party and staff, and a range of constituency groups to grow the Party and look towards the future.
This isn’t about white and Black – it’s about moving Alabama forward and growing the Party with the most qualified leaders available.
With such a great team of qualified, confident individuals, the Democrats are ready to share our plan for building a bigger and stronger Alabama.
Rep. Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden and the Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. Rep. Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.