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Last Updated:
Friday, May 26, 2006 05:31:06 AM

Friday, May 26, 2006

Rep. Cynthia McKinney To Be Honored By Black Progressive PAC
by Leutisha Stills, May 25, 2006

Last Updated: Friday, May 26, 2006 05:31:06 AM

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, (D) GeorgiaIn its first public event, the recently formed Black Progressive PAC (political action committee) is hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Sunday evening, June 18, at Washington, DC’s BusBoys & Poets. The affair at the popular watering hole, restaurant and bookstore will benefit both the McKinney campaign and the Black Progressive PAC (BP PAC).

“The Black Progressive PAC is a logical offspring of the CBC Monitor,” said Jared Ball, a founder of the CBC Monitor and spokesman for BP PAC.  “We reviewed our efforts to facilitate accountability on the part of African-American lawmakers and determined we needed an additional vehicle to accomplish our goals. The PAC allows us the flexibility to not only monitor the legislative performance of the Congressional Black Caucus, but also to endorse progressive legislative initiatives, provide political education to our communities, and support progressive potential candidates for public office.” 

Cynthia McKinney has served 12 years in congress representing the majority Black, suburban Atlanta 4th district, centered in Dekalb County. Massively outspent in a successful primary challenge from Denise Majette in 2002, McKinney returned to the U.S. House in January, 2005. This year she is again being challenged from the right, by Dekalb County Commissioner Henry “Hank” Johnson Jr., who claims voters “are tired of politics of polarization and divisiveness and they want solutions – not politics.” In reality, McKinney has been enormously successful in uniting her Black constituency behind progressive politics, winning 85 percent of the African American vote even while suffering the only loss of her career. McKinney maintains she was overwhelmed by white Republican “crossover” voters, who can legally cast ballots in Democratic primaries in Georgia.

McKinney’s 2004 comeback gave the lie to massed corporate media’s propaganda line, that Blacks are becoming more politically conservative. Far from being a racial polarizer, the congresswoman has emerged as a national political leader, supported by progressives of all races. She is a shining star of the Congressional Black Caucus.

African Americans desperately need others in the CBC who will take principled stands on legislative matters that affect all Americans, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or social/economic status.  We are holding this fundraiser to honor her efforts, and to send a message to CBC members who willingly sell out themselves and their offices to the god of Corporate Cash: their dereliction of duty to their districts will no longer be tolerated. 

The call for a Black progressive political action committee was first issued by BlackCommentator.com in April, 2005 – a month of when 37 percent of CBC members voted with Republicans on one or more important pieces of legislation. It was clear that Black progressives needed to arm themselves with both carrots and sticks to prevent a wholesale rightwing subversion of the Black Caucus: 

“The creation of a Progressive Black PAC will require the drawing of ‘bright lines’ for candidates that seek support. This is a necessary exercise, which will define the limits of acceptable Black political behavior. In this era, in which corporate institutions have decreed, through their heavily funded think tanks, that there is no Black Political Consensus, it is vital that we reaffirm its existence – and put our money where our principles are.” 

Cynthia McKinney’s principles have always been in the right place. Supporters of McKinney and the Black Progressive PAC are urged to contribute to the 7:00pm June 18 fundraiser, whether they can make it to the event or not. Busboys & Poets is located at 2021 14th St., N.W, Washington, DC, corner of 14th and U Streets, N.W. Cost is $50 per person. Use PayPal to attend and/or make a contribution.

Leutisha Stills can be reached at leutishastills@hotmail.com. The CBC Monitor's website is cbcmonitor.voxunion.com.

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