Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Chairman Cedric L. Richmond and members Reps. Yvette D. Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory W. Meeks of New York and Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina announce their support for Assembly Member Michael Blake in his bid for Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Their critical endorsement ramps up support from state party leaders, state party members, local labor and union organizations.
C.B.C. Chairman Cedric Richmond said, “Michael Blake is exactly who our party needs in our leadership right now to move us forward. Blake is a millennial elected official of color with a remarkable track record of success across the country who can help us build our bench of elected officials and embrace the diversity within our party. The 2016 election showed us that we must have leaders who understand what's happening with the people on the ground and who also appreciate the dynamics of Washington, D.C. I have worked with Assembly Member Blake for the last eight years on campaigns and in government. As the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and a proud member of Congress from the great state of Louisiana, I emphatically declare that with Michael Blake as a Vice Chair, our party goes to the next level and ensures that African Americans and all voices are the equal table of opportunity and political progress.”
Congressman Cedric L. Richmond has served as a U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district since 2011. On November 30th, 2016 he was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York joined in the endorsement and offered the following statement, “I am proud today to offer my endorsement to my fellow New Yorker, Michael Blake, for DNC Vice Chair. Michael Blake has an incredible, community-focused vision for the DNC and the Democratic party. His understanding of and appreciation for community organizing and local governance, his commitment to growing the future leaders of our party, and his vision for the Democratic Party are truly outstanding; the DNC – and indeed the nation – would benefit greatly from his leadership. I am proud to support his bid for DNC Vice Chair.”
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is serving his third term in the United States Congress and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and House Budget Committee.
NYS Congresswoman Yvette Clarke also shared her endorsement of Blake stating, "As a fellow Jamaican-American, it is with great pride that I endorse Michael Blake for DNC Vice Chair. Michael is absolutely committed to organizing on the ground, mobilizing communities to vote and communicating how policies are directly impacted by political decisions. I have been a surrogate with Michael on countless occasions and have seen how hundreds of people are motivated to action because of his words. He is exactly what we need as a party to heal and unite. I wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy."
Congresswoman Clarke was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2006 and represents the Ninth Congressional District of New York.
North Carolina Congressman and former Chairman of the C.B.C., G.K. Butterfield said, “I wholeheartedly endorse Michael Blake for DNC Vice Chair as he is exactly what we need right now for our party. He is a proven organizer who as a local elected official is a perfect voice to help us rebuild our party and forcefully reject the Trump-Pence agenda. He has worked in North Carolina to bring us victories in the past. I've worked with him in D.C. and know to my core that he is ready to help lead our party across this country. We need fighters who know how to win, and we get that and more with Michael Blake.”
Congressman G.K. Butterfield served as a Judge in the North Carolina courts for 16 years before he was elected to Congress in 2004. He served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2015 – 2017.
Congressman Meeks offered the following statement, “I enthusiastically endorse the candidacy of Assembly Member Michael Blake for the role of Vice Chair. His leadership and ability to bring Democrats together is without question. Michael brings new young leadership and energy that we need in the Democratic party now more than ever.”
Gregory W. Meeks is the U.S. Representative for New York's 5th congressional district, formerly in the 6th District since 1998.
Assemblyman Michael Blake responded, “It means everything to me to have the ringing endorsement of these Congressional Black Caucus leaders, who have spent their entire political careers fighting for the middle and lower class, ensuring justice for all, attacking poverty, and infringements upon Voting Rights. We don’t just share a vision for the DNC, but we also share a strong commitment to Criminal Justice reform, community organizing and leadership at the local level, and a dedicated focus on providing opportunities for the next generation of leaders. It is because of leaders like Congresswoman Clarke and Congressmen Richmond, Jeffries, Meeks and Butterfield, those who share a community-oriented lens of government and my vision for #LeadershipForTomorrow – for the DNC to Build our Bench, Strengthen our Party and Embrace our Future – that the future of the DNC is so bright.”