Alabama State Rep. Laura Hall / Madison County Legislative Office

'We Can't Let This Man Win': Alabama State Rep. Says Black Voters Had Enough of Roy Moore

Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, who represents District 53 in Madison County, said that the Democratic Party should focus more on Black women.


“If you focus on African American women you will bring along the men,” Daniels told NBC News on Wednesday. “The key factor is African American women are influencers in our communities and in our households. And as men, we listen to our wives and we listen to our daughters.”

In the Alabama Senate special election on Tuesday,statewide, 98 percent of Black women voted for Democratic candidate Doug Jones, as did 93 percent of Black men. As a whole, 96 percent of Black voters supported Jones, ushering him to a victory againstscandal-ridden Republican candidate Roy Moore.

In February, Daniels, 34, made history as the first Black person, and youngest person, to be named Alabama House Minority leader. He names a Black woman asone of his mentors Alabama State Rep. Laura Hall, a Democrat.

Hall represents District 19 in Madison County, one of four major urban counties, home to Huntsville as well as a large NASA facility. On Tuesday, Jones received57 percent of the votein the usually GOP-leaning county. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won Madison by nearly 54 percent.

Hall talked with DiversityInc on Wednesday about the grassroots movements in Madison County that were key in mobilizing residents to vote for Jones.

She said the movement was first invigorated by last month’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey, when Black voters helped Democrats win in special elections.

“I said, we ought to do that in Alabama and certainly there were other people thinking the same way,” Hall said. “That election night probably just increased the motivation for what had already started.”

In Madison County, Hall said the Democratic Party had seen an increase in attendance at meetings and activities since last November, correlating with the 2016 presidential election.

When Trump announced he would nominate then Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to the post of U.S. Attorney General, the focus of Democratic organizers then turned to the special senate race.

“Phone calls and canvassing had been going on I’d say probably since the first of the year in Madison County,” Hall said. “That process was started locally without any group or organization coming in.”

When it was determined Jones would face off with Moore for the senate seat, Hall said the process that was already in place “just kind of snowballed.”

For Black voters, the racist rhetoric and allegations surrounding Moore “was major,” Hall said.

The watchdog journalism such as The Washington Post’s reporton Moore allegedly having sexual contact with underage girls,the Los Angeles Times reporting his outlandishstatements on slaveryat a rally, and CNN revealing audio of a radio interview when he said getting rid of Constitutional amendments after the 10th would“eliminate problems” made Blacks aware that the stakes were high in this election.

“Doug Jones was in Huntsville quite a few times,” Hall said. “We had two events where he was directly in our community. And members of the community had an opportunity to hear his message.”

The hashtag #WeVote was used in Madison County to encourage people to get to the polls. Rallies, canvassing and phone calls were all utilized extensively in the month prior to the election, with an even greater push in the last two weeks, Hall said.

A graduate of Ohio State University who retired after a 33-year career in education, Hall talked about her experience when going to vote on Tuesday.

“I had people meeting me at the polls yesterday morning at 8:30 a.m.,” she said.

“My grandson got there before I did. When I arrived I was number 43 out of 91 people that were standing in line at that particular time. People were just saying, ‘We can’t let this man win.’ Roy Moore was a major factor.”

Hall also jokingly said that a major factor in getting Jones into office was to avoid chastising calls from friends who live across the country.

“I had enough of those calls,” she said. “So today, I welcomed their congratulatory phone calls.”

Hall said that Black people in Alabama as a whole showed up to the polls to make a difference.

“I’m never going to take anything away from Black women because I am a Black woman,” she explained. “But when you look at the results, when you look at the Black male vote. It’s not a bad turnout.”

Now that Jones has been elected, Hall said Jones must keep the work done on his behalf in perspective.

“Number one, never forget how he got to where he is today,” she said.

Hall added, “And I think those of us who helped to get him elected, we help him to remember, but also realize that he has to represent all of Alabama.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…