Black American Caucus Profile: Candidates Needed

By Daniel Neill
WashCo Dems Communication Committee Member

Black American caucus chair Glendora Claybrooks

Glendora Claybrooks has a concern.  Black people in and around Washington County are not coming out to run for office.

A sure way to provide equality in opportunity for the black community is equality in representation.

Glendora should know that such progress takes hard work. As the youngest of 16 siblings born to a farmer in Arkansas, she is a first-generation college graduate and current doctoral student in Health Services specializing in Public Health Policy. Yet giving back to her community is what drives her, from serving on several committees and boards of local councils and political organizations to running for Washington County Commissioner, District 3, in 2016.

That’s where Glendora says the Democrats of Washington County have a chance to inform black candidates and volunteers how they can step up to the plate and participate.

Not by calling on traditional bonds, because historically the Democratic Party has let down the black community over the years.

  • By informing constituents with appealing content and marketing.
  • Asking for help.

Not telling people of color what to do or taking them for granted.

  • Rather, by asking the black community how to best work together with the establishment leadership to move forward to mutual benefit.

Not only is there a lack of outreach by Dem organizations, but there are challenges within black communities themselves. Many black leaders have a Stockholm Syndrome of fighting for Medicaid dollars and inner city funding – or in Oregon, PERS pension dollars – rather than building the wealth of both black individuals and black businesses to grow their power and influence. Further, the self-siloing of different black communities into isolated groups, even a lack of willingness to travel to meet in a central location with other black community leaders regularly, has slowed the fight to organize power.

The Black American Caucus meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the Washington County Democrats office in downtown Hillsboro. Get more details here.