2024 Election /

Black Community Organizers In Detroit Say They're Ignored By Both Democrats and Republicans

'We’ve never seen these people. You know what I mean?'

Black Community Organizers In Detroit Say They're Ignored By Both Democrats and Republicans

With only 172 days until the 2024 election, recent polling indicates that black Americans could play a significant role in determining who returns to the White House.

A recent New York Times/Siena poll shows that former President Donald Trump’s support has grown by nearly 500 percent over the past four years.

A historic 23 percent of black voters say they back Trump’s bid for the presidency, more than double the support for any Republican candidate in modern history.

In stark contrast, President Joe Biden’s support among black voters has plummetdd from 87 percent in 2020 to just 63 percent this year, a trend driven by a failure to address kitchen table issues like inflation.

Black Americans have been widely credited for handing Biden a win in 2020, which makes this demographic a key constituency this year.

Despite the importance of this key bloc, black community organizers in the key battleground state of Michigan say that neither major political party is attempting to make inroads in their region.

Zeek Williams, leader of the community-based organization New Era Detroit, says that his community is largely being overlooked by political candidates.

“We are one of the leading organizers on the ground in the city of Detroit. Literally the closest that you’re gonna get to Black people in this city,” he told NBC News. “But we haven’t heard anything from a Democrat or Republican.”

New Era connects local residents in some of the city’s worst neighborhoods with resources, including people assisting with public safety, housing, and education. The group provides armed patrols of crime hotspots, hosts neighborhood cleanup operations, and secures grants and public funds to disburse to residents in need, NBC reported.

Biden is expected to be in Detroit this weekend, delivering the keynote address at the Detroit NAACP chapter’s marquee fundraising event.

Williams said that typical campaigning by politicians who fly in, pander to residents, then leave without establishing a connection to the local community, is a turnoff to potential voters.

“When people come to our communities and pander for votes, and we know we have never seen this person before ever, and they finally come to our communities and say, ‘Hey, you know, I’m trying to get your vote,’ that’s done. We know it’s fake. We know it’s not real. Therefore, it turns us off with the process,” Williams said on a day that his team was canvassing in West Detroit.

“The things that politicians are supposed to be able to do for us in our communities are real things,” he continued. But connection between the political system and the community “has not felt real to us.”

Williams explained that neither Trump nor Biden has earned his vote yet.

“How can you ask us as a whole, like, how can these people earn your vote? We’ve never seen these people. You know what I mean? They’re not real people. When they come to Michigan and they come to these places — but it’s not in our places,” he said.

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