In the mid-term legislative elections on November 8, it not only happened that the Democratic Party avoided the feared red wave Republican (he managed to retain his majority in the Senate and ended up losing control of the House of Representatives, but only by a very narrow margin). Surreptitiously, a step forward was taken in another scenario that has only been consolidated in recent years in USA. It is about local power, about the mayors: on November 8 there were also municipal elections in many cities. Of the 20 most populous in the country, 11 will have mayors blackthe second largest minority in the country (13.6% of the census), after Latinos (18.9%).
The best thermometer of this black power local appears as soon as the classification begins. For the first time in the country’s history, its four most populous cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston) they will have black mayors. The rest of the councilors of this minority will govern the cities of Dallas (ninth in population), Charlotte, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and the capital of the country, Washington (from the 15th to the 20th most populous, respectively).
In that list of 20 cities are cities with a large black population, although in no case more than 50% of the census. Washington is where the black community occupies a higher percentage of the census (45.8% of its inhabitants), followed by Charlotte (35.5%). From there, there are five cities below 30%: Chicago (29.2%), Indianapolis (29%), Dallas (24.3%), New York (23.8%), and Houston (22.8%). ). Of the rest, less than 10% of their censuses correspond to the black population, which reveals that, in order to obtain said mayoralties, these regidores have had the support of broad sectors of the population identified with other races, which indicates the unifying factor and attractive proposals progressive policies.
The key is clear: the majority of the population of the big cities vote for the Democratic Party. Of the list of the 20 most populous in the United States, only two (Jacksonville, in Florida, and Fort Worth, in Texas, the 12th and 13th most populous in the United States, both in the south of the country) have a Republican mayor.
Los Angeles makes history twice
One of the councilors who is taking office for the first time (there are other mayors who have repeated it, such as Muriel Bowser, in Washington, who won the local elections in November and begins her third consecutive term) is the one who will be the new mayor of The Angels, Karen Bass. “Every time we have a new mayor it’s exciting, but to have another mayor, a black woman, who is going to run one of the major cities in our country? That’s really important,” he said. Frank ScottDemocratic mayor of Little Rock (Arkansas) and president of the AAMA (Association of African-American Mayors, for its acronym in English), in statements collected by the Washington outlet Political.
They want to highlight the triumph in Los Angeles of Karen Bass so much that the vice president and Californian Kamala Harris has announced that it will be she before whom Bass will swear his position December 12th. Bass, incidentally, defeated a rival from his own party, the Democratic Party, billionaire Rick Caruso, who throughout his political career had been both an independent and a Republican. Bass beat Caruso by almost ten points. The majority of the population of Los Angeles not only preferred by far a Democratic mayor (since, in the end, both candidates for mayor turned out to be from that party) but between the two they chose the candidate of the black minority (This community represents only 8.8% of the Los Angeles census, compared to 48.1% of Latinos).
Successes for black mayors show progress in racial acceptance across the country and the adoption of progressive policies
“Bass is a very appreciated who has been leading the national scene for quite some time. He will be a great asset to the African American Mayors Association, bringing his legislative expertise to help us understand public policy,” said Frank Scott, who added that the hits of black mayors demonstrate not only the progress of the racial acceptance across the country, but also the adoption of progressive policies advocated by these candidates.
Voting black is voting progressive
The rise of black mayors in major cities not only has to do with the acceptance of that minority in positions of responsibility and with the celebration of racial diversity, as Frank Scott, the president of the AAMA, points out, at this time, the presence of a black mayor reveals, in the general shot, the impulse that the vote progressive and, therefore, democrat, in the urban world; in the short term, the linking of those black councilors with progressive policies for the middle class and more disadvantaged social sectors.
All this would explain why cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle or Denver, where the black minority does not even reach 10% of the census, have elected black mayors. “The majority of white voters trust that black politicians will better manage the problems in these cities, problems that, in addition, black communities often suffer on the front lines,” he explained to Public political scientist at the University of Iowa steffen schmidt.
“In many cases, like New Yorkthe previous white mayor did not solve many of the problems that the city suffered, especially crime, and other non-black candidates did not emerge,” adds Schmidt.
“The Democratic Party tends to support black candidates for the sake of inclusiveness,” says political scientist Steffen Schmidt
Regarding the vote related to cultural diversity, the political scientist from the University of Iowa points out: “On the one hand, the Democratic Party tends to support black candidates for the sake of inclusivity. On the other hand, in some cases the mayor is a woman, so voters are likely to be attracted to voting for a woman and black, which is a double advantage.”
In terms of demographic diversity, in fact, of those top 20 American cities, there are only six white mayors (Four Democrats and two Republicans; the most important of them is Jim Kenney, Democratic alderman of Philadelphia, the sixth city in the country in population). Of the rest of the 14 mayors, eleven are black, there is one latin (Kate Gallego, from Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the United States), a native American (Todd Gloria, mayor of San Diego, who is also gay) and a asian american (Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio). All this despite the fact that, according to the US census, 59% of Americans are non-Latino white.
Morrow’s turning point in 1955
The racism Systemic discrimination and racial discrimination in the United States suffered its first decisive setback in the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which declared unconstitutional the racial segregation widely implanted after the Civil War (1861-1865). A year after the ruling, in 1955, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower appointed E. Frederic Morrow as an adviser for special projects. Was the first time that a Negro held a position in the administration of the White House, in the cabinet of a president. Following this appointment, the first black mayor of a major city came in the 1960s, the decade of the civil rights movement, when Carl B. Stokes was elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, in November 1967 (Cleveland today has nearly 368,000 inhabitants and its current mayor, Justin M. Bibb is also black and affiliated with the Democratic Party).
They were the first steps in the already unstoppable political rise of the black minority in the United States, which has reached its culmination with the arrival of the 21st century: first with George W. Bush, another Republican, appointing Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State (Foreign Secretary) and Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense (Defense Secretary). They were, by far, two of the ministers most relevant of his administration, heavily invested abroad, especially with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Six of the 25 people who make up Joe Biden’s administration cabinet are black
Subsequently, the historic presidency of Barack Obama (2008-2016) and now Joe Biden He has consolidated this trajectory: six of the 25 people who make up his cabinet in his administration are black, among them the vice president of the country and the secretaries responsible for Defense, Housing and Urban Development or the Environment, to which is also added the spokesperson for the White House Karine Jean-Pierre, the first person from that minority to hold that position in the history of the United States.
The AAMA, the umbrella group for black mayors, was not created until May 1, 2014. The association was launched in Washington, not only because it is the nation’s capital, but because it is the only major city whose elected mayor has always been black since Walter Washington in 1975, when the capital held its first local elections (until then, the so-called mayors of Washington were commissioners appointed from the White House and not voted for by the people of Washington).
All this data reveals that, of course, the Republican Party is not tied to those electoral or demographic claims and this is working for it. demolition Man especially in the urban world, generally much more progressive than rural America.
“The incidence of a majority of Democratic Party voters,” Schmidt continues, “is due to the fact that the candidates of this party [y todos los alcaldes negros en las primeras 20 ciudades pertenecen a ese partido] bet not only on a policy that is clearly antiracist but also typically Democratic measures such as welfare benefits, health coverage, food assistance and other benefits that are of course very important to black voters as well.”
The black power urban has become, in the end, at least in the big cities of the United States, the vote crossin the winning program.