By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President of the United States ahead of Alabama’s March 1 primary.
The Chair of the Alabama Black Legislative Caucus, Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) said in a statement, “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this election who truly understands the struggles African American families face every day in Alabama, and the only candidate that has put forth a realistic plan to improve the quality of life for all Alabamians regardless of the color of their skin.”
Senator Smitherman said, “This election is historic. Not because of who is running, but because of what the next president will be asked to do. The only way for our country to continue moving forward is to elect Hillary Clinton. On March 1, we hope state Democrats will vote with their heart and their head and join us in nominating Hillary Clinton for President.”
State Representative Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) said, “Black Alabamians know we need Hillary Clinton in the White House to fight for us on issues ranging from fixing our broken criminal justice system to keep innocent children safe and out from behind bars to strengthening Obamacare so that every person can have access to affordable healthcare.”
Representative Coleman added, “For decades Hillary Clinton has been by our side and has spoken out against unfair policies being advanced in our state when other candidates were silent. I can think of no better person to be our President.”
Members of the delegation cited what the feel has been Sec. Clinton’s decades-long record fighting for racial and social equality for communities of color and their shared support for Clinton’s detailed proposals for fixing our criminal justice system, increasing voting rights access, and expanding affordable health care options to more Alabamians, among others, as reasons the Black lawmakers endorse Clinton.
The lawmakers endorsed Clinton following her speech in Harlem on Tuesday where she outlined her agenda to break down all the barriers holding Americans back and to combat systemic racism and build ladders of economic opportunity for African American families.
Sixty years ago Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. launched the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery. They were enormously successful in securing Blacks’ rights to vote, run for public office, and in breaking down the barriers in the law that divided Blacks from sharing in the American dream. That enormous record of success has not translated well to economics. Blacks are still less likely to be employed full time, have less cumulative wealth, have higher rates of incarceration, higher poverty rates, lower incomes on average and poorer test scores on average than their White counterparts.
Sec. Clinton is locked in a battle with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) for the Democratic Party nomination for President. The battle for Black voters is likely to decide the outcomes in a number of southern states including Alabama.