The Young, Black, and Elected Panel showcased several young elected officials at different levels of government. Participants included Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett, Region VI Administrator Ted James, Longbeach Mayor Rex Richardson, Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee, and Lt. Gov. Austin Davis. The panel, moderated by actress and comedian Amanda Seale, focused on how to be an effective elected leader while being both young and black. Topics discussed during the panel ranged from voting rights and constituent engagement to legacy preparation and issues faced at each level of government.
East Orange Councilwoman Brittany Claybrooks was in the audience for the Young Black and Elected panel and asked a pertinent question about holding Black elected officials accountable. As a Detroit native Claybrooks is no stranger to unfit politicians and policies that harm the Black community. Claybrooks believes that electing Black officials who continuously push Black policy is the only way to ensure the communities’ advancement.
” I grew up in Detriot and I live in East Orange which is over 80 percent Black. So I don’t know how to be nowhere and be nothing else but a Black woman living in a Black space, nor do I want to be. I don’t aspire to live this lavish life and even if I did I would always feel a responsibility to my folks. One of the things I was always upset about is that when I would cross over into other towns I saw the difference, clearly, but you had people that are all Black running our city and nothing was happening and they were at the forefront of everything. They vote, they run in elections, they come to our churches, they do all this stuff, and then you’re in the room and you think well what are you really doing? It was very important to me when I was given the opportunity to run to stay true to the things I knew affected people’s lives and for Black folks not many of us have the resources to do that without government. It’s not enough for you to just be in the seat, it’s what are you doing with the seat.”
For a full Livestream of the Young, Black, and Elected Panel head to the TANTV Instagram.