NEW YORK — A Caribbean -American legislator in New York has won a top position in the U.S. Democratic Party’s National Committee.
Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake, the son of Jamaican immigrants, won one of the vice chair positions in the Democratic National Committee at an insiders’ meeting in Atlanta, Ga., over the weekend.
Queens, N.Y., Congresswoman Grace Meng won the other vice chair position. Tom Perez was elected chairman of the party.
Blake, a 34-year-old veteran of former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and White House, and Meng called for unity in rebuilding the party’s infrastructure and to support new candidates for local office.
“We have to leave here united,” Blake said. “We cannot walk out of here as Obama Democrats or Hillary Democrats or Bernie Democrats, we are a united Democratic Party, and that is who we are.”
In a show of unity, Perez asked the 400-plus DNC members to elect his opponent for the chairmanship, Keith Ellison, as his deputy chairman. They complied, and Ellison accepted the post.
The Bronx-based Garifuna Political Action Committee congratulated Blake on his election.
U.S. Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, was among members of the Congressional Black Caucus who also had endorsed Blake.
“As a fellow Jamaican-American, it is with great pride that I endorse Michael Blake for DNC vice chair,” Clarke said. “Michael is absolutely committed to organizing on the ground, mobilizing communities to vote and communicating how policies are directly impacted by political decisions.
“I have been a surrogate with Michael on countless occasions and have seen how hundreds of people are motivated to action because of his words,” she added. “He is exactly what we need as a party to heal and unite.”
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