We all know someone in our neighborhood that talks a good talk but seldom delivers. It’s that guy who says he is the one to solve all your problems if you’ll just trust him. So, you enthusiastically welcome him into your home or your circle of friends and you wait for the miracles to happen. But it turns out the guy can’t even work with the African American leadership in his own home state of Vermont. And you end up stuck, waiting four more years looking for another miracle worker.
Then there’s the person whose work record shows she can get things done. For 40 years the issues that concern the African American community concern her, too. Some people like to label her as being part of the “elite” or “big party government” to make her seem less caring. But her resume shows a long list of accomplishments for children, women and families. She’s not going to promise you the world because she knows she can only deliver through hard work and making sure every community is part of her agenda.
I endorse Hillary Clinton because I have worked with her for 30 years and looked her in the eye when she talks about her commitment to black Americans. I know she is the right candidate for the job. Yet, I also understand how years of political gridlock and growing racial discord has many flocking to Bernie Sanders, the miracle worker.
While I applaud anyone involved in the political process, my 50 years in the political arena allows me to understand why it is critical Hillary Clinton win this nomination. If she is not the Democratic candidate in November, this country could have a new Republican president who will have no qualms about shutting out minority communities. If you think we’ve taken a step back racially in the last decade, wait until you have someone like President Trump or President Rubio or President Cruz.
After all the partisan debates are over and we have the two nominees the American people are going to want a leader who can lead everyone – not just the far left or the far right. Why do you think a growing number of voters register as Independents?
Voters want a leader who can stand up for what she believes and bring people together. Hillary won’t ignore the problems in our classrooms, living rooms and on our street corners.
Before I was elected as Denver’s first African American mayor in 1991, my opponents pointed to my previous elected experience as a negative: that I was part of the system so how can I be part of the solution? Well, guess what? My previous experience showed me how to work with the Republicans and build coalitions to get things done. My previous experience taught me to push for change without empty promises.
The presidential election have three parts: winning the primary, the general election and demonstrating the ability to govern. As we work through this primary process let’s look at the differences between the two Democratic candidates.
- Forty seven of 48 members of the Congressional Black Caucus have endorsed Hillary; only one for Bernie Sanders. Other black mayors also support Hillary, including Shirley Franklin of Atlanta, Doug Palmer of Trenton, N.J., and Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C.
- Sanders fail to acknowledge he voted for the 1994 Crime Bill, which has helped incarcerate a disproportion of minorities. Hillary acknowledges the mistakes of that bill and she vows to restore balance and fairness.
- Before it was “Obamacare” it was Hillary who fought for universal health care. Sanders want to throw out what Obama accomplished.
- Hillary has consistently called for stricter gun control laws, while Sanders voted against the “Brady Bill,” that requires expanded background checks before gun sales.
- She didn’t always agree with President Obama but Hillary not only served him well as U.S. Secretary of State but she has shown him the earned respect during this campaign. Sanders have called Obama a disappointment.
- Hillary has shown a leader’s temperament and judgment on many national security issues, including backing the killing of Osama Bin Laden, while Sanders has lacked leadership on Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Hillary will protect the legacy of the country’s first black president while building her own as the country’s first female president. We need to leave the miracles to God and elect a proven leader.
Editor’s note: Wellington Webb served as Denver’s first African American mayor from 1991-2003. He is the only mayor to be elected president to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Black Mayors and the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.