When asked how the Republican National Committee and President Trump have expanded the party over the past four years, I like to mention Florida's newest Republican congressman, Byron Donalds.
In a story that could only happen in America, this black American man was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to a single mother of three, a conservative Republican running for congressional seat in the Sunshine State's 19th District and won.
The actions of President Trump's agenda to empower black Americans, create more economic opportunities, address health challenges, lower prescription drug prices, support school choice, historically black colleges and universities and charter schools, as well as historic reforms of enacting criminal law and chance zones resonated with Donalds, his constituents and millions of other Americans across the country.
When Rep. Donalds (pictured) arrived in Washington, he had to make choices in terms of personnel and was deliberately determined to find the best talent to represent America. To this end, Donalds hired a majority staff, consisting of men and women. The new congressman got his political start with the late Herman Cain during his 2012 presidential campaign. In many ways, this is the way you pay it forward by giving others the opportunity to serve in various positions and offices, just as he was given.
When I first read across its diverse workforce, I was proud to see the names of young Americans from different experiences and backgrounds with one focus: service. Donalds said, "Since I was elected the next congressman of Florida's 19th congressional district, I have worked tirelessly to establish a staff dedicated to serving my constituents with honor and distinction. … I agree. confident that this diverse and talented group of professionals will deliver on my promise to ensure that our government stays by, by and for the people. ”
Personally, I was proud that three black Republican young men held positions in his office as communications director, legislative correspondent and executive officer. It reminded me of my start in politics, although these three have already had impressive careers.
I remember my first political fundraiser for the then Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., who offered me an internship in Washington if I could get there. I was a young man involved in the Arizona Republican Party serving as the leader of the Arizona Teenage Republicans. The AZ GOP took a gamble on me: during my studies I did an internship at the RNC in the political department and then at the White House. I did not come from great wealth and had no political family ties in either party, but I was given an opportunity nonetheless and I am eternally grateful for it.
My story, the story of Rep. Donalds, and so many others, reflect the Republican Party's intentions to reach voters from all backgrounds and communities. This is something we haven't always succeeded in, but we've put a renewed focus and commitment to further expand the Party of Opportunity, one that works for all Americans.
In 2020, the RNC and the Trump campaign were both intentional in their efforts to engage with diverse audiences, especially minorities, and they succeeded with historic gains from minority voters across the board, sparking a wave of GOP women and racial minorities who won seats in Congress and at the state and local levels. We now have a new generation of leaders who provide fresh conservative input on how we communicate, engage, and emphasize our policies to the American people – especially those who may not know how specific policies affect their daily lives.
The RNC hired minorities to serve as regional engagement coordinators in leading our efforts in dozens of cities across the country. They partnered with the RNC and campaign staff to host training, GOTV and engagement events from our Black, Latino and Asian community centers. Some of these coordinators never thought they would work in politics at this level or thought it would be within reach, but they were inspired by the message from the Republican Party and President Trump and wanted to get involved.
The RNC invested in them, gave them a chance and led. These brave new leaders are the future of the GOP. Everyone, regardless of background, should have that first chance to succeed – and it will continue.
The Republican Party has always been the party of freedom and opportunity. This party remains true to our founding and its history of empowering minorities and women. I have witnessed the growth and expansion every year. The mainstream media may not give us credit, tell the story, or celebrate our diversity – and that's okay, because we'll quietly continue to grow, strengthen and win.
Rep. Donalds isn't the first Republican congressman with a diverse team and he won't be the last, but I'm glad I can give him credit. More people are seeing the real diversity of the GOP at the RNC, the GOP offices of the state and with numerous elected officials around the country.
I've always been proud of my party and excited about our future. With so many more new faces, ideas, and energy focused on active involvement in our political process, we will continue to push for advancing the conservative cause of freedom and opportunity in America.
. (tagsToTranslate) African American voters (t) Herman Cain (t) Byron Donalds (t) black Republicans