Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak to a coalition of Black and Hispanic journalists on Friday in her continued efforts to court voters of color and secure the White House in November.
The Democratic nominee for president is on track to become the first female president but she needs broad and solid support from African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters to beat Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president.
“I pledge a new and comprehensive commitment to equity and opportunity for communities of color,” Clinton said in a statement.
“That means reforming our criminal justice system and rebuilding the bonds of trust between our communities and our law enforcement officials,” she said. “But it also means making major new investments to create jobs, to make it easier to start and grow a small business, to end redlining in housing, and to build reliable public transit systems.”
Clinton has stuck the right tone on the campaign trail, saying she supports criminal justice reform, which resonates with many African-Americans tired of police abuse.
Her calls for overhauling the criminal justice system, raising the minimum wage and speaking out about racial profiling earned an endorsement from members of the Congressional Black Caucus in February and numerous civil rights organizations, labor groups and prominent educators.
High-profile black women in Hollywood have also rallied around Clinton’s candidacy. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes and actresses Kerry Washington and Viola Davis are featured in an ad, “Real Life,” that says Clinton is a “bonafide, roll-up your sleeves woman who fights for what’s right, in it for you, won’t back down, champion for all of us.”
In contrast, as Clinton locks up the Black vote, several polls show Trump has support from about one percent of black voters. Aside from former reality television star Omarosa Manigault, there are few black Americans who have publicly rallied around Trump.
“Black folks are not dumb. They come out for individuals that have their best interest at heart,” New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, chair of the CBC political action committee, told CNN.
And Clinton isn’t taking the Black vote for granted. She is traveling the country, speaking to Black Americans from coast to coast. While she speaks to Black organizations like the NAACP and The National Association of Black Journalists, Trump’s crowds have been overwhelmingly white and often hostile to Blacks in attendance.
“Many African-Americans fear the police. I can hear you. Some of you in this room,” Clinton said at the NAACP annual conference in July. “And today, there are people all across America sick over what happened in Baton Rouge and in Dallas but also fearful that the murders of police officers means that vital questions about police-community relations will go unanswered.”
On Friday, Clinton will make her case to journalists of color, who watch polls closely. In a new CNN/ORC Poll, Clinton leads Trump 52% to 43%. Polls will undoubtedly shift between now and November, but Clinton’s support among Black voters will remain steadfast.
For African-American voters, there is no other choice.
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