As we awaiting final Election Day voter tallies, some analysts are reading the stats on early voting levels this election cycle and are speculating that it signals a decline in enthusiasm among people of color, especially among African Americans for Hillary Clinton.
On the contrary, based on the evidence I’ve seen, the testimonials I’ve heard and what I know about the longstanding bond between Secretary Clinton and minority communities, there’s intense passion for her candidacy and deep commitment to making her the next President of the United States.
I have known Hillary Clinton since 1992. I first met Hillary, when I was a young lawyer working as a Lead Advance person for her husband, who, at the time, was the little known Governor of Arkansas and she was the First Lady of the state. Fast forward to the time we spent together while I served in the Clinton White House in the 1990’s, and then to 2010, when I served as the first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton, and over the course of our more than 30 year relationship, I have remained enthused by her passion and inspired by her purpose and desire to help people.
In August 2015, I helped found Women of Color for Hillary, a grassroots effort to organize a diverse network of mothers, grandmothers, daughters, wives, and partners from across America who are passionate about electing Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.
During the 2016 primary and general election season, more than 1,000 members in the Women of Color for Hillary network have devoted time, energy and money to spreading the message around communities of color about why we support her. We have held numerous events in 15 primary and battleground states that attracted thousands of people. In October 2016, alone, we reached roughly 2 million people online, and we have maintained an engagement rate of 3.3% – 4.0%, throughout the campaign cycle, our message remains clear: #ShesGotMyBack.
This is the cause of our lives, because we know how high the stakes are in this election. We know that Secretary Clinton is the only candidate for President who understands our concerns and the issues that matter most to us. We know that she is a fighter of unprecedented tenacity. Even her opponent praises her as someone who won’t give up until she achieves her objectives. That’s the kind of brawler people of color need in Washington and in the White House.
Along with fortitude, Hillary has fidelity. We know she is committed to putting in place the best policies to solve the nation’s problems and to improve the lives of all people –especially people of color, and particularly women of color.
As women of color know, Hillary has our backs. That’s why we are enthusiastically marching to the polls along with legions of other people of color and marking our ballots to elect her as the 45th President of the United States.
Reta Jo Lewis, Esq. is a former U.S. diplomat serving under Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S. Department of State, Obama Administration (2010-2013)