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Posts Tagged ‘politics

Rising Star Terri Sewell Named As Woman to Watch in Politics

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By Bridgette Outten,

Terri Sewell, who is running to be the first black woman to represent Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives, was recently named as one of the “Next 10 Women to Watch in Politics.”

Voters will decide today if Sewell will be on the Democratic ticket for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Artur Davis.

But, “no matter what happens,” Politics Daily declared, “Sewell has already built a record of success that would have most high achievers calling it a day.

“The Harvard-trained lawyer was the first black valedictorian at her high school in historic Selma, Ala.  From there, Sewell went on to Princeton, where she was named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, then Harvard Law School and Oxford University in England. She worked as a corporate lawyer in both New York and Alabama, where she also worked pro-bono cases for school districts looking to raise money.”

Sewell’s opponent, Shelia Smoot, is also a black woman, so history will be made either way, the Flint Journal reported.


Written by Symphony

July 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Race in 7th Congressional District could eventually send first black woman from Alabama to Capitol Hill

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By Thomas Spencer, Birmingham News

Arguably one of the most consequential races on Tuesday’s ballot is the Democratic run-off between lawyer Terri Sewell and Shelia Smoot, the Jefferson County commissioner who is giving up her seat for a shot at representing Alabama’s 7th District in the U.S. Congress.

Though Republicans Don Chamberlain and Chris Salter also face off Tuesday for a shot at the seat, the winner of the Democratic contest will more than likely win November’s general election and become Alabama’s first black congresswoman. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic: 84 percent of the voters in the district, which covers sections of Birmingham, Bessemer and Tuscaloosa along with most of the counties of Alabama’s Black Belt, selected the Democratic ballot in the June primary.

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Written by Symphony

July 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Essex County lawmaker Sheila Oliver positioned to become next Assembly Speaker

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Source: Newark Star-Ledger

sheila-oliverNewark native Sheila Oliver grew up among a family of labor leaders and civil rights activists — including a grandmother who organized a union at the Jersey City cigarette factory where she had worked in the 1930s.

On her block lived Rep. Donald Payne (D-10th Dist.), then an Essex County freeholder and president of the neighborhood watch group, and he became one of her earliest mentors.

So when the offer was dangled in front of Oliver to compete for the Assembly speaker’s post, the three-term Democratic legislator said she jumped at it, hungry for the chance to ascend the political ladder.

“My years in the Legislature have taught me if you want to be a catalyst for change, you have to be in the driver seat,” said Oliver, 57, an East Orange resident and assistant Essex County administrator. “I said if an opportunity existed I would be interested, no question.”

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Written by Symphony

October 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

He dared to dream long before Obama

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by J. Scott Orr, Star-Ledger

donald_payne_medIt was a chilly November day in Newark and Donald Payne was reflecting on dreams, both his and those of black America.

“Nothing is as powerful as a dream whose time has come,” Payne said of a political victory that had taken longer than many expected, but nonetheless signaled a breakthrough for African-Americans and their representation in Washington.

“Sometimes a political leader is marching a little in front or a little behind the people, but once in a while the marcher and the drumbeat are in exactly the same cadence, and then, finally, good things happen,” he said.

Coming as it did, on Nov. 9, 1988, Payne’s statement had nothing to with President-elect Barack Obama and his history-making ascent to the White House. Still, 20 years later, the Newark Democrat’s thoughts are as valid and reasoned as they were on that day in 1988, the day after Payne was elected to Congress as New Jersey’s first African-American House member. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Symphony

November 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

Tears Flow, Tens of Thousands Cheer as Barack Obama Officially Becomes First Black Nominee

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by Michael H. Cottman, Black America Web

On the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Barack Obama stood before nearly 85,000 cheering supporters, accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States and stepped into history as the first African-American to lead a major political party on a quest for the White House.

His words, his vision for the nation and his profound passion for change, brought tears to some in the multi-cultural throng of Democrats who are solidly behind Obama on his unprecedented journey.

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More history made in Cowpens as African-American takes office

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by Craig Peters,

COWPENS – A town with a long line of history on Friday had room for a little more.

Roy Logan was sworn in as the first African-American member of the Cowpens Town Council on Friday afternoon, a day which Mayor Michael Hamrick called “momentous.”

Logan won a run-off election against incumbent Brenda Adair on May 20. He said the opportunity to serve the citizens as an elected official didn’t seem realistic years ago, but said he’s seen “so much progress in the last 20 years.”

“I didn’t think I’d live long enough to see this day, much less be part of it,” he said. “I hope and believe I can bring the community closer together.”

The 67-year-old retiree got involved on community committees and enjoyed the work. He said others encouraged him to run for the council.

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Written by Symphony

July 13, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Maryland elects 1st black woman to Congress

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by Stephen Manning
Associated Press

Democratic lawyer and nonprofit executive Donna Edwards won a special election Tuesday to become Maryland’s first black woman elected to Congress.

Edwards beat Republican Peter James in the race to serve the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn’s term in Maryland’s 4th District. Wynn left office May 31 to take a lobbying job after losing to Edwards in February’s Democratic primary by 22 percentage points.

Edwards, 49, will hold the seat for the rest of the year. James also won his party’s primary in February, meaning he and Edwards will face each other again in November’s general election.

Once she is sworn in, Democrats will have 236 seats in the House to Republicans’ 199.

The victory also gives Edwards a chance to establish some seniority if she is elected to a full term. A half-year spent in the House could give her a slight edge over other incoming freshmen, such as better committee assignments.

Edwards most recently led the nonprofit Arca Foundation. Her win in February was her second try at the seat after losing to Wynn in 2006 by a slim margin.

With about 25 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Edwards had 93 percent of the vote, or 2,853 votes, to James’ 6 percent, or 189. Voter turnout appeared to be low.

Buoyed by support from powerful interest groups and unions, she capitalized on voter distaste for Wynn’s positions and votes on issues like the war in Iraq and the housing crisis.

James, 52, of Germantown, focused much of his campaign on trying to alert voters to what he says are fundamental flaws in the nation’s banking system. He describes himself as a Republican in the vein of Ron Paul, the libertarian-minded Republican presidential candidate.

Maryland’s first black elected congressman was Parren Mitchell, who served from 1971 to 1987 in the 7th District, according to Jennifer Hafner, the deputy director of research at the Maryland State Archives.

Written by Symphony

June 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm