Biden, Harris Bolster Appeal To Black Voters

Vice President Kamala Harris at the Economic Opportunity Tour in College Park. Photo by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice.

This post was originally published on St. Louis American

By Alvin A. Reid

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been invited to attend the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) annual national convention June 19- 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.

The invitation comes as the president launched a nationwide effort on Wednesday in Philadelphia to mobilize Black voters during a campaign rally in Philadelphia.

Biden was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Black elected officials at a rally at a majority-Black prep school in Philadelphia. The summer-long goal is to revive the coalition that helped propel Biden to the White House in 2020.

According to the Biden campaign, Black leaders across the country will hold events in the battlegrounds and kick off a weekend of action – including Black church engagement in Arizona, new office openings throughout Georgia, a community-led block party-style celebration in Nevada, community hub events across barber shops and hair salons in Michigan, and more.

On May 30, Black Voters for Biden-Harris will host a nationwide stakeholder call to build a network of trusted messengers within Black communities across the country. The call will include remarks from several national leaders and be inclusive of an organizing pitch to supporters. 

“While we are busy putting in the work to earn Black America’s support, Donald Trump continues to show just how ignorant he is. Hosting janky rap concerts doesn’t hide the fact that he lacks the resources and competence to genuinely engage our community,” stated Biden-Harris 2024 Principal Deputy Campaign Manager Quentin Fulks.

“We will continue to be aggressive, innovative, and thorough in our work to earn the support of the very voters who sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020 and will do so again in 2024.”

Fulks said “Black voters deserve to hear from Team Biden-Harris, and they deserve to have their vote earned, not assumed.”

“That’s exactly what we are doing through historic investments in Black media and outreach, creative engagement efforts, culturally competent content and innovative organizing initiatives. No campaign has valued Black voters like we have, including through investing earlier and with more money than ever before talking to Black voters.”

New York Times/Siena College survey of battleground states released in early may found Trump winning more than 20% of Black voters in a two-way matchup with Biden, which would amount to a historic high if it translates to votes in November. 

Trump won roughly 1 in 10 Black voters nationally in 2020, according to multiple estimates, including 12% in CNN’s exit poll.

Another concern is that Black voter turnout will plummet in November 2024.

This year’s NNPA convention theme is ‘Empowering the Black Press, Communities, Families, and Voter Turnout.’

“This conference is a critical platform for addressing the unique challenges and opportunities for political parties to share their messages with the media that serves the population and can make or break elections,” said NNPA Chair Bobby Henry.

The convention will include a keynote address by Damon Todd Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director, titled “What is at Stake for African Americans: the 2024 Vote.”

Rev. Mark Thompson of NNPA Global will moderate the “Generation Z Voter Issues” panel, featuring current and former HBCU students.