A "sea of black excellence" illuminates the stakes of this election

"My experience at the History Makers gala affirmed for me more than ever that our Movement is connected," says Progressive Maryland Chief Operations Officer Alexiss Kurtz. "The sister campaigns and organizations doing this work are connected. I have mentors who have paved the way for me in this work.... I realized, standing in a sea of black excellence, that we are all connected in this work. National victories are my victories too."


 

/By Alexiss Kurtz/ On Friday, September 14, I stood on the Historic Howard Theater balcony, looking down at a flood of suits and cocktail dresses in a sea of black excellence. I was an attendee at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)’s History Makers Fundraiser event hosted by the Collective PAC in Washington, DC. I felt a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment by being a part of this Movement work. Sometimes we can get distracted by the day to day and not enjoy the impact that we have made thus far in this world. There standing on the stage were three Black Progressive Gubernatorial candidates -- our Ben Jealous in Maryland, Stacy Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum of Florida (represented in this case by his wife). Their speeches reminded me about the high stakes of this election.

The Baltimore Sun’s Michael Dresser, reporting from a different CBC showcase event for the three candidates on the same weekend, said “the mostly African-American crowd in Washington treated Jealous as a rock star among rock stars. Audience members reveled in the history of seeing three gubernatorial nominees who look like them sharing a stage.”

My experience at the History Makers gala affirmed for me more than ever that our Movement is connected. The sister campaigns2018ProtestToPowerCanvassesbanner.jpg and organizations doing this work are connected. I have mentors who have paved the way for me in this work. I thought about my former Emily's List Political Director that I interned for, who is Stacy Abrams’ campaign director. I thought about my former Coordinated Campaign Regional Field Director (RFD) for a U.S. Senate Race, who is the Program Director for Inclusv -- an organization that bridges the gap between people of color and political opportunities. I realized, standing in a sea of black excellence, that we are all connected in this work. National victories are my victories too.

So let’s make our Movement proud by doing our part in Maryland. On September 22, Progressive Maryland is kicking off our 1,000 shifts in 42 days campaign. We will contact voters; we will enlarge the electorate in Maryland, and we will win. The Washington Informer reported Jealous’s remarks at the weekend event featuring the three candidates:  “We vote, we win …Politicians don’t give the people courage. The people give the politicians courage.”

Sign up today to host a canvass in your neighborhood. http://www.progressivemaryland.org/septdayofaction