Minority Outreach? Time to Pay More Attention!

Minority Outreach? Time to Pay More Attention!

Republicans reaching out to the African American community? Say it ain’t so! It’s about time. The GOP has been taking some hits of late in this area. Just look at the trouble they got into over a Rosa Parks tweet. A simple tweet, ouch. The party needs an image upgrade and Rand Paul was in Detroit last week helping them open up a minority outreach center.

“Today’s opening of this office is the beginning of a new Republican Party,” Paul said. “This is going to be a Republican Party that is in big cities and small cities, in the countryside, in the city. It’s going to be about bringing a message that is popular no matter where you’re from, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re black, white or brown.” … (LATimes)

According to Perry Bacon Jr on The Grio, “Republicans are implementing one of the first planks of their new approach. Borrowing from the tactics of the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns, which created a network of offices and aides in each state to build long-term relationships with communities and voters, the Republican National Committee over the last month has hired more than a dozen staffers who are specifically focused on outreach to minority voters in key states to prepare for both the 2014 and 2016 elections.”

This is only part one. The next step will be taking further action to show that the GOP really intends to make a difference.

“[RNC Chairman] Priebus and other Republicans readily concede the obvious challenges with winning over large numbers of minority voters. Simply opening the offices helps address one problem: the perception from some voters that the Republicans are comfortable as a party dominated by bloc of older and mostly white voters. Changing that perception could help the GOP not only with minorities, but white voters who don’t want to back a party that they feel isn’t in touch with today’s increasingly diverse America.” (The Grio)

The media has been having a hey-day with the GOP’s awkward handling of minorities but Paul is making efforts of his own by bringing the focus back to what’s important. Focus on core issues. Stop with the nonsense. Let’s get back to helping people.

“[In Detroit], Paul talked about how the so-called war on drugs has disproportionately incarcerated blacks and Latinos, and said he was advocating that judges have more discretion during sentencing in drug cases. He also mentioned that many convicted felons can’t vote and have trouble finding jobs, which makes their lives more difficult.”

“Something has to change,” he said. (LATimes)

He’s one of the few Republicans passionately taking up issues like voting rights for felons and mandatory sentencing reform that unfortunately affects a disproportionate amount of minorities. Minority outreach isn’t going to be easy for the GOP but maybe Paul can create change without stepping on people’s toes.



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