The Power of the Black Female Vote

Political Connection
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SACRAMENTO -- Almost 24 hours after losing a traditionally Republican U.S. Senate seat, accused sexual abuser Roy Moore has yet to concede.

That hasn't stopped Democratic winner Doug Jones from celebrating, and black female voters right here in California are cheering what their counterparts in Alabama did to usher in a new political era.

"My sister called me screaming last night on the phone....'we won...we won!'" said Kula Koenig with Black Women Organized for Political Action.

Black women make up 17 percent of the voter pool that could have elected Moore, but an unprecedented 98 percent of them backed Jones -- cinching his ascension to the U.S. Senate.

"I was definitely excited. I'm not even gonna lie, I did like a 'yes, we got it," said Koenig.

But with that excitement comes expectation.

"When we speak up about things, it's not elevated to a national conversation unless frankly you have white women or it pertains to white people speaking about it," Koenig said.

What does Koenig want to hear from the Democratic Party -- state and national?

"It's not just you supporting other people who are running for office, but we're supporting you to be able to run from office as well. That's kind of where the rubber will really meet the road, honestly, and I mean fundraising right? Those resources as well," she said.

"These are conversations that happen behind closed doors," emphasized Sadalia King.

King charted the Black Young Democrats Group of Sacramento earlier this year -- something she says the county party actually discouraged for her age group.

"We fought them and we got charted," she said, saying her group was told they wanted to focus on the existing clubs. There is a club of older African-Americans in town,  but King was convinced it wasn't matching the needs of voters like her.

Just being expected to be satisfied with that was unacceptable so they pressed on.

With Alabama providing a a striking example of black female voting power lighting up the national stage, Koenig and King both say the Democratic Party can't continue to put black women at the end of the line.

"Roy Moore would have won if we didn't show up, so we're not going to show up if you don't start treating us right," said Koenig.

"If those changes don't happen.  I don't see any reason why we just can't strike out on our own," said King.

That may mean pulling their allegiance from the Democratic Party and becoming Independents.

Right now about 8 percent of African-Americans are Independents.

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