2020 BWOPA State PAC Endorsement Update on Presidential Candidates
BWOPA STATEMENT ANNOUNCING A “NO ENDORSEMENT” POSITION FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS
BWOPA’s mission is to activate, motivate, promote, support and educate African-American women about the political process, encourage involvement, and to affirm our commitment to, and solving of those problems affecting the African American community.
The BWOPA State Board and the BWOPA PAC looks forward to further dialogue with the Presidential candidates and offers its resources to assist in the development of a platform that addresses BWOPA’s Core Issues to be advocated in the 2020 General Election campaign.
At its annual State Board meeting on January 24, 2020, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) State Board President Hon. Dezie Woods Jones announced that the BWOPA PAC voted to NOT endorse a Presidential candidate in the 2020 Democratic Primary Elections.
The BWOPA PAC previously endorsed and supported U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’s candidacy for President of the United States. Following the announcement that Senator Harris had suspended her campaign and was no longer a candidate, the BWOPA PAC evaluated the remaining Democratic Party candidates and determined that no candidate has yet addressed or demonstrated, to BWOPA’s satisfaction, a demonstrable platform or track record that unequivocally supports BWOPA’s Core Issues, particularly as they affect Black Women, as follows:
Health: African-Americans have higher rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, HIV/AIDS and cancer. African-Americans also are more likely to suffer from depression and substance abuse, and have less access to quality care due to financial barriers and lack of insurance.
BWOPA advocates awareness about health disparities in our community, and actively advocates for policies that increase access to and utilization of high quality health and mental health care. BWOPA also advocates for just and fair environmental policies that reduce exposure of African Americans to environmental toxins in the built environment, land, water, and air.
Education: High School and College completion rates are lower for African-Americans than for the general population. Urban schools in which African Americans are concentrated are under-resourced. BWOPA advocates for school reform that promotes universal access to preschool and early education, more supportive school climates, high quality and culturally appropriate instruction, increased graduation rates, reducing the minority achievement gap, and more equitable funding support for urban schools. BWOPA continues to address the high rate of suspensions and expulsion rates among African American students.
Criminal Justice: African American youth and adults are more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts. BWOPA advocates for fair policies that reduce discrimination in the adjudication process that provide alternatives to incarceration for youth and drug offenders, encourage prison reform that promotes rehabilitation, and assists those who were formerly incarcerated in re-entering the community; particularly providing assistance to African American women and girls incarcerated in California institutions.
Economic Security: Rates of poverty and unemployment are higher in the African American community than in the general population. African Americans are also less likely to own businesses with non-African Americans, and have less access to job training programs. BWOPA advocates for greater economic opportunity for African Americans, including green jobs training, equal opportunities for advancement, financial literacy, and small business opportunities.
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