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Democrats and Republicans know that winning voters of color is the key to winning the battle for the White House in 2016.

That’s why Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced on Thursday that she’d hired LaDavia Drane, the respected and politically-connected former director of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to BuzzFeed.

Drane will serve as the Black outreach director of her campaign, acting as a liaison between Clinton and the Black community on a broad range of issues, the report says.

She previously worked for the CBC under Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, but arrives to the Clinton campaign from the office of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. She is scheduled to start by late June, the report notes.

She joins Clinton’s national political team, including political director Amanda Renteria, deputy national political director Brynne Craig, and Marlon Marshall, director of state campaigns and political engagement, writes the online news site.

BuzzFeed reports:

A Clinton campaign official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Drane “will be the primary liaison between the campaign and the African-American community across the country, drawing from her extensive experience at various levels of government to help build coalitions to further Hillary Clinton’s agenda that will help African-Americans get ahead, and stay ahead.”

Whether Clinton can turn out the diverse and young coalition of voters that Obama did particularly in 2008, but also in his reelection bid in 2012, will be a driving question of 2016 — and the black coalitions role, and who would fill it, has been a source of speculation in Democratic circles in recent weeks. The secondary question, Democrats say, will be how well Clinton responds to the issues actually important in the black community. Her speech at Columbia University impressed some who were waiting for her to speak on the injustices. In her speech decrying an “out-of-balance” justice system, Clinton called for mandatory body cameras for police officers.

Michael Skolnik, an activist and political adviser to Russell Simmons, who has been outspoken about issues related to police violence against black people said that Clinton’s campaign has been in touch with him about having an open discourse with Clinton. “For us, we want to make sure that whoever is running for president, whoever wants that job, whether it’s Secretary Clinton or another candidate is to know that they have to discuss these issues. They will have no choice,” he said. “The young people are demanding it.”

Skolnik, also vice president of programming for Interactive One, NewsOne’s parent company, is correct. Anyone seeking election to the White House must not only address the concerns of today’s young Black voters, they need to put action behind their words and promises.

What do you think? Is Clinton headed in the right direction? Sound off in comments.



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