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Keystone Town Hall Event Discusses Changing Political Attitudes Among Blacks, Hispanics

May 8, 2024

(The Delaware Valley Journal) – Roslyn Ross Williams is coming to Malvern, Pa. on Thursday with a question for Black and Hispanic voters in the Delaware Valley: What has the Democratic Party done for you lately?

“A lot of Black Americans are facing up to the fact we’re not getting anything from supporting Democrats,” Williams told DVJournal. “Now you’re seeing this [Biden] administration dump money and pour money into immigrants, and some of these resources that are given to immigrants are needed right here in our own country.”

Williams is southeast regional coordinator for the free-market group Americans for Prosperity. She’ll be joined by Jennie Dallas, strategic director with The LIBRE Initiative for a Keystone Town Hall event Thursday night at the Desmond Hotel.

“Issues like inflation, fentanyl deaths, and the ongoing invasion of our nation are causing more of us to question the narratives we have been told to believe. This is a great time for Americans to come together to better understand how different American communities are beginning to look at these issues and the politicians who cause them,” said Gary Heasley, Keystone Town Hall leader.

While both Blacks and Hispanics have traditionally voted Democrat, a Gallup poll released in February showed the Democratic Party’s lead over Republicans among Black voters shrank by 20 points over the last three years. Democrats’ margin over Republicans among Hispanics age 18 to 28 dropped nearly as much.

“I had one gentleman who I spoke to while we were calling individuals, seeing if they’re planning on voting for the U.S. Senate election,” Williams said. “And this gentleman asked me, ‘I don’t want to be offensive to you, but is it true that Black people are switching parties?’ Because he watches TV and he’s heard a lot of different rumors, that Black people are switching away [from the Democrats] that they voted for or years, and he wanted to know if it was true.”

“I thought his question was very interesting,” Williams said. “And I was able to let him know that it is true based off the individuals that I am engaged in, on a daily basis and from various events I’ve attended.”

Dallas said the economy is the main concern of the Latino people she talks with.

“The economy is pretty much hitting all Americans right now but it’s hitting the Latinos much harder because Latinos have less savings. Their median income is lower, actually, by $20,000.”

Asked why she thinks Blacks are switching parties, Williams said, the economy “has a lot to do with it.”

“Definitely with the way this inflation is going,” she said. The “dynamic for many people, especially in my community, it’s not just working for al of us.”

“It’s so rough right now,” said Williams. “I go out to the market (and ) spend $100. I’m going to come out of there with four or five things. It’s crazy right now. There are a lot of individuals, particularly in Philadelphia who are struggling…It’s gotten tremendously worse. Before you could kind of make ends meet. But now it’s extra hard.”

Dallas said, “When we’re talking about inflation, it’s hitting the Latinos pretty hard and I’m hearing…they just can’t take it anymore. They need a break. They can’t afford food, groceries, things they would normally buy. They’re having to cut back and gas has been an issue for quite some time.”

Family values are also an issue for many Blacks. Some of the social programs pushed by Democrats have resulted in unfortunate consequences for Black families, Williams said.

“You cannot get welfare unless you had no man in the house,” Williams explained. “You couldn’t have a man in your house to get public assistance. That’s not my story, but that is the story of many Black Americans. And many people are realizing that just being a single woman and not having your husband, your children’s father, in the home to help you raise the children because now the children raise themselves. Because in single-parent homes, the parent has to work all the time…I think some of the violence and stuff we’re seeing now is the result of that.”

“Many Black Americans have been awakened to the fact that we’ve been hoodwinked, and we’ve been bamboozled by the system,” said Williams.

Dallas said Latinos are also concerned about family values.

“The conversations are always about God, our family, and our freedom,” said Dallas. “That’s what the LIBRE Initiative is. The policies that we are most interested in is our freedoms. I don’t believe that most Latinos are feeling like the Democratic policies are what they actually believe in.”

On immigration, her organization believes the border should be secured, but also the entire process needs to be reformed.

The LIBRE Initiate is not “an extended arm of the Republican Party,” she said. They also back Democrats if they agree with their policy goals. They talk to Latinos about policies, she said.

“We’re trying to empower the people,” Dallas said. “We’re educating Latinos and empowering them to live the American Dream.”

They’re also interested in quality healthcare and better schools for children, for parents to be able to “send their children to any school that they want,” she said.

“We’re advocating for freedom,” said Dallas. “And we want lower taxes. Prosperity is our main focus.”

The Keystone Town Hall will be Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Desmond Hotel, Third Floor Amphitheater, One Liberty Boulevard, Malvern. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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