With very few resources, The Collective PAC is moving the needle forward.
On the heels of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, black candidates are on their way to becoming new mayors. Yvette Simpson of Cincinnati, OH; Jamael Brown of Youngstown, OH; and Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS all won close mayoral races on Tuesday, along with Carla Baldwin winning her judicial race in Youngstown.
The Collective PAC was excited to endorse these candidates because they represent the best and brightest our community has to offer. Their fresh perspectives on addressing the needs of their cities is the kind of leadership we’re looking for on every level, and our members stepped up in a big way.
On election day, Collective PAC volunteers spoke with and drove 7,021 black voters in Cincinnati, Jackson and Youngstown to the polls to support our candidates. Although voter turnout ranged from 12% in Cincinnati to 19% in Youngstown, we were able to make a difference at the margins on behalf of our candidates.
For instance, in Youngstown, 8,185 votes were cast on election day. Jamael Brown won by a 461 vote margin. The Collective spoke with 1,598 black voters, and don’t forget, Jamael lost his 2013 mayoral bid by 142 votes. Now, in no way can we take sole credit for this win, but we were able to provide additional resources and support, which is critical at the margins in local elections.
Cincinnati City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson is positioned to become the next mayor of the Queen City. On Tuesday, she received 45% of the vote in the mayoral primary election and will face current Mayor John Cranley in a runoff later this year. The Collective is calling on Rob Richardson, the other African American in the race, to endorse Yvette Simpson and campaign on her behalf over the next few months. Division in our community led to a devastating loss in St. Louis a few weeks ago and Mr. Richardson has an opportunity to unite his supporters behind Yvette and help elect this gamechanger.
Our most exciting win came in Jackson, MS, where Chokwe Lumumba was able to garner over 50% of the vote in a 9-way mayoral primary race! Chokwe Lumumba represents the next generation of black leadership and Jackson, MS will be in great hands over the next four years as long as voters continue to stay engaged at all levels of government and civic life.
These four wins feel amazing. With very few resources, The Collective PAC is moving the needle forward. But can you imagine what we could achieve if we had the resources available to truly build black political power in cities all across the country? Imagine what we could do with your entire network supporting this work?
Now, let’s stop imagining and put our dreams into action. It’s time to get to work.
Quentin James is the Founder and Executive Director of The Collective PAC. A seasoned political organizer, most recently Quentin was the COO of Vestige Strategies where he designed and implemented organizing, political and community engagement campaigns for various clients including Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister; the Governor of Lagos, Nigeria; Adrian Garcia for Congress; Google; Tumblr; and SC State Senator Karl Allen. Quentin is the co-founder of Inclusv, a diversity hiring initiative and a former National Board Member for the NAACP. Quentin was recently named one of the 2017 NBC BLK28 Under 28.