(Phoenix, AZ) -- November 23, 2021 -- The members of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, Black Engagement Committee (BEC) applaud the historic $2.75M race and sex discrimination jury verdict by Ms. Talonya Adams, Esq. The case has exposed what many African Americans have experienced for so long in the workplace: systematic marginalization and devaluation of their professional skills, and as in this case, racial and gender discrimination and termination. While Ms. Adams’ courageous and impressive court victory is something to applaud, it should have never been warranted in the first place. Ms. Adams and all people deserve to be fairly compensated and not discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
In 2019 members of this organization bravely and courageously spoke out about Katie Hobbs' role in the first jury verdict when no one else did. Today again, speaking out is the right thing to do. The MCDP Black Engagement Committee will always lead with our values, and speak truth to power, even if it means speaking out about our own Democratic candidates.
Leadership requires taking responsibility for our actions. And, when we get it wrong, we should be direct and just say so, no matter the consequences. That builds credibility and trust, qualities we need in all of our candidates running for Governor. We simply cannot overlook what we stand for in exchange for political expediency. We cannot ask that of the opposing party and not do so with our own. That would be the height of hypocrisy.
The Black and African Diaspora now accounts for almost 10 percent of the voting population in Maricopa County alone. Based on data from the 2020 census, individuals who self-reported as Black or some part thereof are registered to vote at 77%, the highest percentage of all minorities in Arizona, and only two percentage points behind non-Hispanic Whites (79%). This makes a sizable voting bloc for the Democratic party. The unjust treatment of Black Arizonans on the basis of race, sex or any other factor makes for bad judgement, policy and political strategy.
We are exceptionally disappointed this case occurred at all, much less on a Democrat’s watch. We demand and require better of Katie Hobbs and all of our Democratic candidates. We must hold them to a higher standard and calling. As such, the BEC sees this moment for all of our Democratic candidates for Governor and other offices to reaffirm our values and commit to fundamental tenets that:
- Advances policies and create access and opportunities for Black Arizonans as members of transition teams, senior executive staff, professional staff, and administration leadership. We then will have a Governor’s office that reflects the vibrancy and racial diversity of Arizona;
- Affirms a commitment to social, employment, and economic equality. Not with words, but with a written and detailed plan that explains why this is valuable to all residents of Arizona;
- Affirms an unwavering stance against any policy, formal or otherwise, that hinders the access to economic and business opportunities no matter your race, gender, or zip code; and,
- Levels the playing field that advances African American judicial appointments and other court leadership roles. That they are committed to having our court systems reflect not only the population of Arizona, but those who come before judges the most often-something that’s been missing from our courts for far too long.
Finally, we expect all candidates to develop a specific plan to engage the Black community in meaningful policy and publish their plans prior to the primary elections in 2022.
From Protest to Power,
Maricopa County Democratic Party
Black Engagement Committee
Media Contact: Warren H. Stewart, Jr., Co-Chair, MCDP BEC, 602.931.3863, email@example.com.
About The Maricopa County Democratic Party, Black Engagement Committee
The Maricopa County Black Engagement Committee exists to elevate and build Black political influence in Arizona. We do so by increasing engagement, participation, and voter registration and turnout of African American voters in the political process. Our priorities include increasing the number of African American precinct committee members; increasing African American voter engagement, communication, registration and turnout across Maricopa County; building mutually beneficial relationships and advancing the work of MCDP; identifying, developing, and preparing African American candidates to run for office; and, supporting legislative policies that impact African American interests. Learn more at Maricopadems.org/BEC, Follow us: www.facebook.com/BECMCDP.