#CelebrateBlackHistory – Donna Brazile, DNC Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation

What inspired me to get involved in politics
I first got involved in politics at the age of nine when I worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in my neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing set was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited.

Why I am a Democrat
In her 1976 keynote address to the Democratic National Committee, Texas Rep. Barbara Jordan said words I will never forget:

“We believe that the people are the source of all governmental power; that the authority of the people is to be extended, not restricted. This can be accomplished only by providing each citizen with every opportunity to participate in the management of the government.

“We believe that the government which represents the authority of all the people, not just one interest group, but all the people, has an obligation to actively seek to remove those obstacles which would block individual achievement — obstacles emanating from race, sex, economic condition.”

That explains why I am a Democrat.

Why protecting the right to vote is important to me
As Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation of the DNC, I want to ensure that every eligible citizen can register, every registered voter can vote, and every vote is accurately counted. As President Lyndon Johnson said, voting is the lifeblood of our democracy. I believe in the marketplace of ideas. I also believe that every citizen should have equal access – through their voice and their vote – to the democratic process. If laws are to affect each of us, then all of us ought to have an input into who represents us to make those laws and what those laws say.

What Black History Month means to me
Black History Month is not simply about the achievements of one demographic group. It’s American History. What started out as a week is now celebrated for an entire month. For over 87 years, noted historian Carter G. Wordson wanted us to focus not just on Black History, but American history, as well. Because it is history we have created together. Black History Month reminds me to re-discover our common history and shared values and to celebrate and honor those who have contributed to our great nation.

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