By Chris B. Bennett
The Seattle Medium
Earlier this week, I looked over the list of candidates who filed to run for office in King County and one thing stood out to me – Black women are all over the ballot.
Under normal circumstances, I would be talking about how Black men make up 1/3 (Yes, 5 out of 15) of the candidates running to become Mayor of Seattle. But we are living during an extraordinary time, where the circumstances that we live in are anything but normal.
When I look at the ballot for the upcoming election and see that four Black women are vying for seats on the King County Council, a Black woman is running to become mayor of Kent, a Black woman is running for the Port Commission, and numerous Black women are running for city council seats in various cities throughout our region, I get excited because I know the political conversation will undoubtedly stay focused on issues that are important to underserved communities that more often than not get swept under the rug in favor of things that benefit those who have a loud political voice and/or deep political pockets. Win, lose or draw these women will move the needle as it relates to the political empowerment of our community, as they challenge the historical narratives that are divisive, deceptive and misleading along the campaign trail.
Now, let me be clear. This is not intended to be an endorsement for anyone currently running for political office. I encourage everyone to do their own due diligence, follow the respective candidates along the campaign trail, and make their own decisions about who is worthy of your vote/support. However, when you look at the success that a newly-elected group of Black women had during the last legislative session one cannot help but get excited about the possibility of having more Black women holding public office in our region. Nothing against my brothers, as most of them are doing a great job as well, but the sisters have done a remarkable job in creating a narrative beyond Black Lives Matter. Yes, they are proposing legislation and passing bills because they [the legislation] matters. It matters to them, it matters to us, it matters to our community and it matters to the future generations that will come behind us.
So, no this is not an endorsement. But it is noteworthy to acknowledge where we’ve been and where we are going politically. We have a lot of very bright and talented individuals in our community, many of whom are reluctant to run for political office for many reasons. But now, as we see more and more people placing their names on the ballot and having success, we are seeing an unprecedented interest in Black people, particularly Black women, who are answering the call to public service in order to place our issues on the table and set the framework for a brighter future for everyone.
Black women are on the verge of taking over the political landscape, and to all my talented sisters who have the skills, talent and forward-thinking intellect to progressively shape our future, I only have one thing to say… this time it may be them (running for office), but next time it SHOULD be you!
Through the eyes of an ink barrel, may peace be unto you!
You can follow Chris B. Bennett on Twitter @The_inkbarrel