When I was a staffer for Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, I organized and ran her campaign to get on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. It's politics at its basic, bare-knuckle essence. It's not for the faint of heart.
CCK wasn't faint of heart. Hailing from the Shrine of the Black Madonna's school of politics - read Malcolm X - she ran against 17 men for an open seat for the Michigan state house. Before that, she was a former teacher.

And won. Stayed there for 17 years.
She beat a three-term incumbent for her House seat. I came on board January 3, 1997. "James, I want to get on the House Appropriations Committee."

"You know only 2 Black women in the history of Congress have ever served on that Committee, right?"

CCK looked at me like . . .
She sat on Financial Services and House Administration.

AND PUT IN THE WORK. Met with Rep. Lou Stokes - the first Black member on the Committee - for recommendations. Became the de-facto chair of the House Administration Committee.
Every time Speaker Pelosi needed her at a press conference, to speak on the floor late at night, to meet with constituents, co-sponsor or sponsor a bill? She was there.

House Administration is a Committee that doesn't do much legislatively.

Aside from monitor elections.
Well, don't you know Rep. Loretta Sanchez's election was contested.

Who managed the floor time and the legislation regarding this issue for the Democratic Party?

Freshman Rep. Kilpatrick.

Sanchez was ruled to have won by less than 1000 votes.
She also supported credit unions during the break-up of Glass-Steagall. Raised money for other Democratic members of Congress. Earned the respect of her colleagues. Long story short? She was nominated during her freshman year for an open seat on Appropriations.
Another member of Congress was nominated as well. This member made a big deal about it. Kilpatrick wanted the seat.

"James, I want that seat."

"Congresswoman, take your name out of contention."

As soon as I said that, she said Amen.
We both looked at the big picture. The Speaker was in a tough situation, and while she loved both Members, didn't want to drive a wedge in one of her most important caucuses. When CCK withdrew her name, you could hear the Speaker say "THANK GOD" all the way across the Capitol.
The other member got the seat. As life has it, regrettably another Member on the Committee died.

The Speaker called within hours.

"That spot is yours. Don't worry, the vote will be unanimous."
Although I recommended CCK withdraw her name, she made that difficult decision to do so. Why? She saw the big picture.

"James, leave the politics to the politicians. Your disappointment was legit. As excellent a staffer as you are, we know things you simply don't."
I'm disappointed - crushed - a Black woman wasn't named to succeed Sen. Harris. For all intents and purposes? Half of the Black representation for Black people shrank 50%. Zero Black women are represented in the Senate.

Despite Black women carrying the Democratic Party.
As dismayed as I am about this fact, I believe there's forces in play we don't know. There is no way in hell MVP Harris lets this slide. NO WAY.

I've been around politics too damn long.

There are no accidents in politics.
I will continue to be angry and upset.

I do think another Black woman, some way, some how, will be appointed in the Senate for the 117th Congress.

I don't have an answer. Our anger and disappointment are both valid.
I also hope we are able to get past the unofficial quota system for Black people appointed to seats. Why isn't there more than one Black person on the Supreme Court? Only the states of IL, MA and CA have elected Black Senators. Why?
In my six decades on earth, only FIVE Black Senators have been elected - Edward Brooke, Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama, Tim Scott and Kamala Harris.


I am angry and disappointed a Black woman wasn't selected for the US Senate seat in California.

I hope something's going on most of us just don't know about.

That is all.
You can follow @JamesMWilliam18.
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