Black Women Decided Alabama Senate Race. Will Democratic Party Take Notice?

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SACRAMENTO -- Decisions on political endorsements which potential candidates move forward can happen in the quiet corners.

"For the most part -- people don't know who I am -- so for the most part they have no idea how I could be talking with the possible next governor of California about policy," Saladia King said. "We just need to make sure these folks are involved and to fully engage them, and part of that is through clubs like these."

King is talking about the Black Young Democrats of Sacramento - a club with a voice she felt needed representation, distinct from groups of older black voters.

It's a club she says the county party discouraged her from chartering, taking their support for granted.

"I think that's just another signifier of how out of touch they can be," she said.

With the black female vote carrying democrat Doug Jones to an historic senatorial win in Alabama, King feels the time for all levels of the Democratic Party to be willfully out of touch with one of its most loyal constituencies should be over.

While only 17 percent of the electorate in Alabama, 98 percent of black women backed Jones.

The board of King's democratic club is mostly women and she's looking for the party to follow up its thank yous for the election of Jones by taking action.

She hopes they support more black female candidates across the country - like what happened in Atlanta with new mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Christi Ketchum wants to see that too.

"Black women are not the ones that are encouraged and supported and financed to seek those positions," Ketchum said.

Ketchum is optimistic but wary about the Democratic Party giving a true nod to the power of the black female vote.

She founded a group called the Sacramento Sister Circle, now 5,500 strong.

While not dedicated solely to politics, the group is expanding its voter guide efforts for the 2018 cycle.

And she is about action - having organizing a successful boycott of the MIX and other MAC entertainment group properties after a bouncer there manhandled a woman and used a racial slur.

The campaign won new mandated diversity training for employees.

With that experience in pressing for accountability and a new national example of black female political will, Ketchum says the Democratic Party and office holders can't just pander.

"We know people listen to us when we say something and we take that responsibility very seriously and we're going to make the difference that we need to make."