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Former President Barack Obama Announces First Wave of Midterm Endorsements

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have issued a wave of endorsements ahead of the midterm elections.

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By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were recently caught on video dancing at a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert in Landover, Md.

Now, the Obama’s are back to business, announcing that they’ve endorsed dozens of candidates in advance of November’s all-important mid-term elections.

This large, diverse contingent comprises 81 candidates from across the country in federal, state and down-ballot races.

“I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates—leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law.”

Obama continued: “But first, they need our votes—and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”

Obama said he and his wife believe the country’s long-term challenges can be addressed best when all Americans take a more active role in democracy. That’s why he is dedicating his post-Presidency efforts to identifying and elevating the next generation of leaders, he said.

In issuing this first round of endorsements, Obama said he also hopes to help current and aspiring Democratic leaders establish themselves, build their profiles, and lead their communities.

This fall, Obama promises to prioritize supporting redistricting targets recommended by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and growing the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus.

The round of endorsements also includes several promising Obama Administration and campaign alumni who heeded the former president’s call in his farewell speech to “grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself,” Obama said.

Both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said they expect to campaign in several states this fall and to issue a second round of endorsements in advance of November 6.

Here’s a list of endorsements issued by the Obamas:

California
Gavin Newsom (Governor)
Eleni Kounalakis (Lt. Governor)
Josh Harder (U.S. House, CA-10)
TJ Cox (U.S. House, CA-21)
Katie Hill (U.S. House, CA-25)
Katie Porter (U.S. House, CA-45)
Harley Rouda (U.S. House, CA-48)
Mike Levin (U.S. House, CA-49)
Ammar Campa-Najjar (U.S. House, CA-50)
Buffy Wicks (State Assembly, District 15)


Colorado
Jared Polis (Governor)
Dianne Primavera (Lt. Governor)
Phil Weiser (Attorney General)
Jena Griswold (Secretary of State)
Tammy Story (State Senate, District 16)
Jessie Danielson (State Senate, District 20)
Brittany Pettersen (State Senate, District 22)
Faith Winter (State Senate, District 24)
Dylan Roberts (State House, District 26)
Dafna Michaelson Jenet (State House, District 30)
Shannon Bird (State House, District 35)
Rochelle Galindo (State House, District 50)
Julie McCluskie (State House, District 61)

Georgia
Stacey Abrams (Governor)
Sarah Riggs Amico (Lt. Governor)
Matthew Wilson (State House, District 80)
Shelly Hutchinson (State House, District 107)

Illinois
J.B. Pritzker (Governor)
Juliana Stratton (Lt. Governor)
Kwame Raoul (Attorney General)
Sean Casten (U.S. House, IL-6)
Brendan Kelly (U.S. House, IL-12)
Lauren Underwood (U.S. House, IL-14)

Iowa
Deidre DeJear (Secretary of State)
Tim Gannon (Secretary of Agriculture)
Kristin Sunde (State House, District 42)
Jennifer Konfrst (State House, District 43)
Eric Gjerde (State House, District 67)
Laura Liegois (State House, District 91)


Maine
Louis Luchini (State Senate, District 7)
Laura Fortman (State Senate, District 13)
Linda Sanborn (State Senate, District 30)

Nevada
Jacky Rosen (U.S. Senate)
Susie Lee (U.S. House, NV-3)
Steven Horsford (U.S. House, NV-4)


New Jersey
Andy Kim (U.S. House, NJ-3)
Tom Malinowski (U.S. House, NJ-7)


New Mexico
Debra Haaland (U.S. House, NM-1)
Daymon Ely (State House, District 23)
Natalie Figueroa (State House, District 30)

New York
Antonio Delgado (U.S. House, NY-19)
Anna Kaplan (State Senate, District 7)


North Carolina
Wiley Nickel (State Senate, District 16)
Ron Wesson (State House, District 1)
Terence Everitt (State House, District 35)
Julie Von Haefen (State House, District 36)
Sydney Batch (State House, District 37)
Rachel Hunt (State House, District 103)

Ohio
Richard Cordray (Governor)
Betty Sutton (Lt. Governor)
Steve Dettelbach (Attorney General)
Kathleen Clyde (Secretary of State)
Zack Space (Auditor)
Aftab Pureval (U.S. House, OH-1)
Jill Schiller (U.S. House, OH-2)
Phil Robinson (State House, District 6)
Stephanie Howse (State House, District 11)
Mary Lightbody (State House, District 19)
Beth Liston (State House, District 21)
Allison Russo (State House, District 24)
Erica Crawley (State House, District 26)
Tavia Galonski (State House, District 35)
Casey Weinstein (State House, District 37)
Taylor Sappington (State House, District 94)
Pennsylvania
Madeleine Dean (U.S. House, PA-4)
Susan Wild (U.S. House, PA-7)
Tina Davis (State Senate, District 6)
Liz Hanbidge (State House, District 61)
Carolyn Comitta (State House, District 156)

Texas
Adrienne Bell (U.S. House, TX-14)
Colin Allred (U.S. House, TX-32)

Stacy is a frequent contributor to the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. You can also find Stacy’s work in The Washington Informer, Baltimore Times, Philadelphia Tribune, Pocono Record, and the New York Post. Stacy is the co-author of “Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s Mother.” Follow Stacy on Twitter @stacybrownmedia.

This article was originally published at BlackPressUSA.com.

NNPAFreddie

Freddie Allen is the Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. Focused on Black people stuff, positively. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.
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PRESS ROOM: DCCC Announces “Cycle of Engagement” – an Aggressive and Sustained Effort to Connect with People of Color and Young Voters

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress.

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Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Building on the Success of 2018, Cycle of Engagement is the House Democrats’ Strategy to Earn Every Vote and Take Nothing for Granted from these key constituencies

Today, DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos formally announced the Cycle of Engagement – the largest early investment House Democrats have ever made to improve the way we’re connecting with the base of our Democratic Party – especially people of color and younger Americans. Following through on a promise to expand upon 2018’s Year of Engagement, and inspired by her own work recruiting and training diverse voices to run for office, the DCCC’s Cycle of Engagement program began with a major early investment in grassroots organizers across America and has continued with targeted digital ads holding Republicans accountable.

In a recognition of the importance of this work, Chairwoman Bustos also announced that DCCC veteran, Tayhlor Coleman, will lead this effort as the DCCC’s first ever Director of the Cycle of Engagement.

“Four years ago, I launched a candidate boot camp that focused primarily on electing women, people of color and younger Americans because our strength as Democrats has always come from our diversity,” said DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos. “We can’t take anything for granted in 2020; we need to work to earn every vote one conversation at a time. That’s why one of my first decisions as DCCC Chair was to put boots on the ground in dozens of communities across America.

“We know that having the support of people of color and young Americans is more important than ever. We are launching Cycle of Engagement to make sure their voices are both listened to and reflected in our strategy to fortify and expand the most diverse House Majority in our nation’s history.

“I want to thank Tayhlor Coleman for taking on this tremendous challenge at this critical moment in our nation’s history. I can think of no one more prepared to lead this effort than her.”

What is Cycle of Engagement?

Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress. With the stakes this high in 2020, we know we can’t take anything for granted, that’s why we’ve launched our Cycle of Engagement in the off-year.

  • Boots on the ground:In March, the DCCC launched its first Cycle of Engagement program, March Forward – our first major field initiative that has placed nearly 60 grassroots organizers in targeted communities across America. Our March Forward Field Managers are building on and expanding the conversation Democrats had with these vital communities in 2018 through early voter registration drives, Republican accountability projects, digital outreach and traditional grassroots organizing.
  • Research and Data: We will be making significant early Cycle of Engagementinvestments in polling, focus groups and other research projects to make sure the work of the Democratic Party is responsive to the hopes, dreams and concerns of communities of color and younger Americans.
  • Paid Media aimed at People of Color and Younger Americans:We will invest in extensive targeted paid media, including digital, radio, mail, texting and mobile outreach programs that are in development at the DCCC. The Cycle of Engagement’s digital program is already in full swing with the launch of multiple Spanish language ads holding vulnerable Republican Reps. Scott Tipton and Will Hurd accountable.
  • Utilizing the talent of Minority Staff and Vendors to lead the Cycle of Engagement: In a recognition of the importance of this work, Tayhlor Coleman, a veteran of the DCCC and Texas native, will serve as the DCCC’s first ever Director of the Cycle of Engagement. To ensure that the messenger matches the message, our work will be created primarily by political consultants of color.
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Bernie Sanders Sole Candidate to Address the Black Press at NNPA National Convention

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “This is our revolution,” said Sanders, who will speak during the NNPA Convention’s Lifetime Legacy Award Black Tie Gala, Friday June 28th at 7:30pm at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel. Also in attendance will be former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, a key surrogate for Sander’s 2016 campaign and co-chair of his current campaign for the Democratic nomination and presidency.

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U. S. Senator Bernie (I-VT) has openly reached out to African American leaders like NAACP President Derrick Johnson and others, where he’s discussed the economic climate, voter suppression, jobs and other issues facing the Black community.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Every major newspaper and news organization in the country has labeled the Black vote crucial to success in the 2020 presidential election, and statistics show that African Americans are 60% more likely to utilize and trust print-related resources for information than the general public.

However, of the 24 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the only one that has agreed to address key influencers of the African American community — the Black Press of America — at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) annual convention later this month in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s no secret that Sanders has work to do to get his campaign message through to African Americans. “We thought we could do respectably in South Carolina, and we got decimated,” Sanders said in a campaign memo released earlier this year in which he discussed losing the Black vote to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina.

Clinton won an astonishing 86 percent of South Carolina’s Black voters in 2016.

“This is our revolution,” said Sanders, who will speak during the NNPA Convention’s Lifetime Legacy Award Black Tie Gala, Friday June 28th at 7:30pm at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel. Also in attendance will be former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, a key surrogate for Sander’s 2016 campaign and co-chair of his current campaign for the Democratic nomination and presidency.

The NNPA represents Black-owned newspapers with millions of weekly readers across the country, including major markets like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago and all of the nation’s “swing” states.

“You’ve got to win Black voters to win the primary,” Lawrence Moore, a former Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, told NBC News.

“It took [Sanders] a while to grow into and learn the issues, but he’s willing to listen and understand, unlike other politicians,” Moore said.

In a poll commissioned by The Black Economic Alliance and conducted by Hart Research and Brossard Research, Sanders currently trails former Vice President Joe Biden among Black voters.

The poll, which measured how enthusiastic Black voters are about the Democratic presidential candidates, showed that 76 percent of respondents said they were most enthusiastic about Biden; 64 percent said they were most enthusiastic about Sanders who finished ahead of Sens. Kamala Harris of California (53 percent) and Cory Booker of New Jersey (43 percent).

African Americans surveyed said affordable healthcare, college and the creation of more jobs with good benefits, were most important.

Sanders has openly reached out to African American leaders like NAACP President Derrick Johnson and others, where he’s discussed the economic climate, voter suppression, jobs and other issues facing the Black community.

In addition to Sanders’ campaign office, NNPA Newswire has contacted each of the remaining 24 Democratic presidential candidates for comment, including Biden, Harris, Booker, and Texas’ Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.

“The path to economic security is rocky for families in America but that path is even rockier for Black families who have stared down decades of government sponsored discrimination and institutional racism,” Sen. Warren told NNPA Newswire in an email.

“This campaign is about making our government and our economy work for everyone and Black Americans will be on the frontlines of that conversation. The Black Press of America and its journalists are an integral part of how we make our democracy work,” Warren said.

In a statement to NNPA Newswire, O’Rourke’s campaign said they’re grateful for the invitation to speak to the attendees of NNPA’s annual convention and wishes the 2020 candidate from Texas was able to participate in the dialogue.

“Beto believes we cannot just pay lip service to the problems faced by communities and towns often forgotten or written off, but that we must also listen to their ideas and welcome them to be a part of the solution,” the statement reads.

“That’s how he served in Congress and it’s how he has been running his campaign – making sure no person, no group, no constituency is taken for granted. We thank you for your continued coverage of topics that matter to all Americans – especially the African American community – and look forward to partnering with you to address these topics in the future.”

Last month, Harris cleared her schedule to attend and deliver a keynote address at the 75th anniversary celebration of the San Francisco Sun-Reporter newspaper where she said the Black Press was “more important than ever before.”

“The Sun-Reporter is an example of the significance of the Black press in America,” Harris said at the event held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

“There are issues that are unique to the Black community, and until we have true diversity in the press we must rely on papers like the Sun-Reporter,” Harris said.

In addition to the decision to skip the NNPA’s Annual Convention, With the exceptions of Warren and O’Rourke, no other candidates responded to our request for comment.

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VIDEO: President Frederick reacts to Sen. Kamala Harris running for President

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Senator Kamala Harris of California announced her 2020 presidential bid on the campus of Howard University, surrounded by her friends and family. Howard University NewsVision’s Maya Reese has more on this national story.

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Photo: Howard University News Service/YouTube

By Maya Reese, Howard University News Service

Senator Kamala Harris of California announced her 2020 presidential bid on the campus of Howard University, surrounded by her friends and family. Howard University NewsVision’s Maya Reese has more on this national story.

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OP-ED: Our Democracy is on the Line, Congress Must Act Now

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Barr’s lack of independence and Trump’s obstruction raises critical questions about the rule of law. But this is also about the integrity and security of our democracy. Just as important in the Mueller report was the astounding disclosure that our country was subjected to a full-scale attack on our democratic process.

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“Trump has caused infinite damage to the office of the presidency by impeding justice and subverting the rule of law. He should be called to answer and held accountable for his actions to harm our democracy.” — Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO

By Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO

While the debate whether President Trump obstructed justice should be over with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, unfortunately, it is not. In fact, it has just begun as Congress prepares to conduct exhaustive examinations into these breathtaking revelations.

Given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Attorney General Barr’s attempt to exonerate Trump is simply stunning. It is crystal clear that Trump interfered with the Mueller investigation. Even the redacted report contains a multitude of actions in which Trump obstructed justice in one of the most consequential investigations ever conducted regarding the state of our democracy.

We warned the nation about Attorney General Barr when we opposed his confirmation to the position. We told the Senate that William Barr “can never overcome the public perception that he endorsed Trump’s efforts to hold himself above the law. William Barr simply cannot serve as the independent leader our country needs at this critical time.” We were correct.

Barr’s lack of independence and Trump’s obstruction raises critical questions about the rule of law. But this is also about the integrity and security of our democracy. Just as important in the Mueller report was the astounding disclosure that our country was subjected to a full-scale attack on our democratic process.

Astonishingly, the Mueller report concluded that Russia “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systemic fashion.” Russia intended to benefit and did in fact benefit Trump. We also know that the Trump campaign knew about Russia’s assistance and welcomed it with open arms. Russia helped Trump win the presidency by manipulating voters, fomenting racial division, and targeting the African-American community to suppress voter turnout.

Back in December 2018, we led a boycott of Facebook. We called upon Congress to conduct further investigations into Facebook after a report released for the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed that the Russian influence campaign “made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans” using an array of tactics to suppress turnout among Democratic voters.

Now, with the results of Robert Mueller’s report, the outrage should be palpable. Congress must fully investigate, take all appropriate action, and ensure the integrity and security of our democracy. This must be done with the urgency it requires. The 2020 election has already begun. Candidates are making pitches. Voting machines are being purchased. Yet our democracy is not safe from the external forces that want to cause us harm.

Congress begins their examination and investigation without a full record, and completion of that record must be a top priority.

The redacted report released by Attorney General William Barr falls woefully short of what is owed to Congress and to the American people. It shows that the Trump administration is intent on hiding facts and covering its tracks. Mr. Barr should immediately release the complete Mueller report in unredacted, unedited, and unvarnished form. The American public deserves the truth.

We are also troubled by Special Counsel Mueller’s decision not to press for a subpoena or interview of Trump. Trump has caused infinite damage to the office of the presidency by impeding justice and subverting the rule of law. He should be called to answer and held accountable for his actions to harm our democracy.

Our democracy is in a holding pattern. We need answers and we need them fast. The Trump administration has already harmed our civil rights in devastating ways, and it will take us years to recover. But we cannot, and must not, allow the foundations of our democracy to be undermined, knowing full well of the threat. This is our democracy, and we must act to protect it.

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Former Mayor Teresa Tomlinson Files for Senate Race in Georgia

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Tomlinson is gearing up for a race that has garnered national attention because of the possibility that former Georgia Democrat and Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams may run for the seat.

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Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson May Run for GA Senate Seat if Abrams Doesn't

By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., NNPA Newswire Contributor

Former Columbus, GA Mayor Teresa Tomlinson announced this morning she is taking the first steps toward running for the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican David Perdue in the 2020 U.S. Senate race.

Registering an official committee with the Federal Election Commission earlier today, Tomlinson is the first Democrat to formally explore a run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. In an email alert to supporters, Tomlinson expressed some of the considerations behind her decision.

“I believe that the US government is the greatest civic achievement the world has ever known, but the current power structure in Washington has corrupted it,” she wrote. “We can do better, and that starts with Georgia. We can elect a Senator who is ready to take on this entrenched power structure so that government serves the people once again.”

Tomlinson is gearing up for a race that has garnered national attention because of the possibility that former Georgia Democrat and Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams may run for the seat.

Tomlinson states, “Democrats owe a debt of gratitude to Stacey Abrams. As we give Stacey the space she needs to make the decision about her next chapter, I have begun to lay the foundation for a run for the U.S. Senate myself should she decide not to.”

Before becoming Mayor of Columbus, Tomlinson served as Executive Director of MidTown Inc., a non-profit that partners with business leaders to clean up and rebuild blighted communities. Her successful service led her to back-to-back wins in her Mayoral races, earning more than 60 percent of the vote each time in the minority-majority city.

Tomlinson is the first woman Mayor of Columbus, Georgia’s second largest city. As Mayor, Tomlinson served 200,000 diverse citizens and oversaw nearly 3,000 employees and a $275 million budget.

As Democrats look to regain a majority in the U.S. Senate, Tomlinson’s political strength could go a long way in helping turn Georgia blue. But first, she’ll need to make a final decision about entering the race and make her case to Georgia voters.

“If I decide to run for Senate,” she added, “my commitment will be to work every day to make sure the U.S. government serves ALL Georgians and ALL Americans.”

Find out more about Tomlinson at https://teresatomlinson.com/tomlinson/

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., entertainment and culture editor for Black Press USA. She is also founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire which covers news of the African Diaspora. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

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Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Bid, Raises $6M in 24 Hours

WASHINGTON INFORMER — “I can tell you very happily, and I think any objective observer would confirm what I’m saying, is that in the last year and half or so, the Democratic party has moved in a far more progressive direction than they were before I ran for president,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN last year.

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Bernie Sanders speaks at an event in Phoenix in July 2015. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Sen. Bernie Sanders has tossed his hat in the ring for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, marking his second consecutive bid for the White House.

The Vermont independent and self-avowed “democratic socialist,” who lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, declared his candidacy Tuesday. In the 24 hours following his announcement, his campaign said it raised $6 million from more than 223,000 donors.

“I can tell you very happily, and I think any objective observer would confirm what I’m saying, is that in the last year and half or so, the Democratic party has moved in a far more progressive direction than they were before I ran for president,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN last year.

Sanders, 77, who enters the upcoming race as one of the front-runners in a growing field of contenders, has denounced President Trump, calling him “a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.”

This article originally appeared in The Washington Informer.

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