Presidential hopeful the Rev. Al Sharpton charged a large audience at a special edition of "Conversations with Al McFarlane – Public Policy Forum at Lucille’s Kitchen" last Friday afternoon. Presidential hopeful the Rev. Al Sharpton charged a large audience at a special edition of "Conversations with Al McFarlane – Public Policy Forum at Lucille’s Kitchen" last Friday afternoon. In Twin Cities with other candidates who are competing for the Democratic National Committee endorsement for election 2004, Sharpton called for unity and mobilization in order to advance the political agenda for African Americans and the Democratic Party. And his essential message was: "I intend to be the one that wins."
"We need to mobilize like we used to do. If at any time we needed to mobilize, now is the time. We all can work together and we will work together" to advance that which is right in Minnesota and in the nation, said Sharpton.
He said despite his tight schedule, he could not resist meeting with the common folk and people he intends to speak for at the highest level in this country. He reminded his captivated audience that some leaders cannot and do not speak for the people they claim to represent, as a wide wedge exists between some elected officials and the electors.
"Too many of our Black folk can’t speak for the folk they lead," he said.
His agenda, he said, is to connect with the cause of the dispossessed and those unfairly treated.
Sharpton spoke of injustice, which he said must end. He gave a hint that improbable circumstances can become a reality. “(President) Bush did not win. None of his policies have worked. His tax policy benefits the rich. But all that can change. So why ask me if I can win? He (Bush) did! But by the wrong way. I have a just cause.”
More importantly, he added: "If we do not get our people to the top (in the election) we would have at least taken more further up." He said a mere victory is not the overall objective, "we have to get our people in positions to advance our cause."
Sharpton, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President was broadcast live to the Minneapolis community and to a global audience by way of Internet web cast on Friday last. State Representative Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis and the Rev. Randolph Staten, Co-Chair, Black Church Coalition/African American Leadership Summit, welcomed him.
Sharpton was in Twin Cities with other announced candidates for the Democratic presidential ticket, to attend a meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in downtown St. Paul.
Also welcoming Sharpton was Minneapolis City Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee, Fifth Ward, who also encouraged Minnesotans to be more involved in local and national politics.
Johnson Lee subsequently agreed to support and coordinate the campaign’s voter registration initiative. Sharpton introduced Marjorie Harris, who said she will mobilize a national effort to register 1 million Black women who are eligible to vote in the next election. Sharpton and Harris dubbed the voter registration campaign the Truth Hammer Initiative and said the movement would aggressively continue working with Black church organizations here and across the country to ensure that those eligible to vote are registered to do so.
Sharpton explained the strategy by asking how many in the Lucille’s Kitchen audience were registered to vote. Nearly 100% raised hands. He then asked how many here knew one or more persons who are unregistered and don’t vote. Nearly 100% hands rose again. The strategy, he said is, "let each one lead one."
Sharpton also told his well-wishers: "what happened in 2000 (elections) can happen again, if we do not come out aggressively" and the state of conditions of African Americans will remain the same. "What is going on in Michigan, New York, and Minneapolis with police will continue to go on if we do not put peop