The Democratic National Committee has launched a new team that will focus on attracting Black and brown voters in an effort to maintain political power ahead of the 2022 midterms.
DNC officials say the Coalitions & Community Engagement department will focus on partnering with organizers in targeted communities to reach voters of color as well as identifying and developing future leaders and diverse political candidates for the Democratic ticket.
The launch, first reported by CNN, comes as Democrats and civil rights leaders are in an uphill battle to protect voting rights they say are being stripped by GOP-led bills at the state level. Texas House Democrats have been in Washington, DC, since last week lobbying for federal legislation that would counter the voter restrictions introduced by Republicans in their state.
Brencia Berry, who was appointed director of Coalitions & Community Engagement, said the 2020 election turnout and President Joe Biden's victory showed that voters of color play a key role in electing Democrats. Her team will focus on early strategies for getting those voters, as well as young people, to turn out again for the midterms.
Berry said the coalition will also work closely with the DNC's voter protection department to combat voter suppression efforts across the country.
"We recognize that voters of colors are not a monolith," Berry said. "And to do real outreach we have to ensure we are talking to people in a way that makes them feel heard and seen."
The DNC is also working to diversify its own staff and provide more support for Black and brown employees. The committee created a director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion position that will be held by Tamara Chrisler.
"These hires, and our deepened focus on coalitions work, will ensure the DNC leaves nothing on the table as we fight to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in the months and years ahead," DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said. "Each and every one of these new staff are among the strongest talents in our party and will bring deep experience and unique perspective to the work we do. I could not be more excited to welcome them to the DNC family and look forward to working with them in the years to come."
DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale said the expansion demonstrates the DNC's effort to "meet the moment."
"The fight for 2022 will live or die on our ability to message and organize voters key to rebuilding the Biden coalition, especially voters of color and younger voters," Cornale said. "Our team keeps getting stronger, and come 2022, our deep experience and early investments will help to ensure our party builds on our successes."