In what is regarded as an unusual step for a grassroots organization like Black Lives Matter, leaders of the growing movement that has been the force behind six months of street protests have decided to launch a political action committee.
The group hopes to take their movement to the next level of political influence by rolling out specific programs to counter systemic racism and police abuse. They also intend on endorsing candidates in the upcoming general elections that they believe will support their struggle to change the present conditions for Black citizens in the US. They are looking to support a slate of candidates for mayor, county sheriff and district attorney races.
“We want to be able to not just speak in ‘get out the vote’ language,” said Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. “Black Lives Matter is launching our PAC so we can talk directly to voters about who we think that they should be voting for and what we think they should be voting on.”
Cullors said that her group will not stop demanding change, but the new PAC will allow BLM to have even more influence, but from the inside. Cullors added that Stacey Abrams defeat for the governorship of Georgia in 2018 is an example of why movement work must go hand in hand with electoral politics. She added that the goal of the BLMPAC is to support candidates that endorse the goals of BLM and will continue to do so once in office.
“We see this as something that we are going to be pushing for [during] other elections. We have this national election now but we [will] have midterm elections,” she said. “It’s a long time in the making and this is the right time to launch it.”