New ERA Coalition for the election of Senator Barrack Obama President of the United States of America is proud to contribute to the election of the first African American president…
August 2008 the New Era Coalition held a press conference at Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant in Harlem. The unprecedented political coalition enjoyed an auspicious launching to the political surprise of many in Harlem and beyond.
Prior to this period, the political facts on the ground in New York Republican County politics continued generating adverse political energy as outlined in an article published by the New York Sun, February 10, 2004 headlined ‘Harlem Republicans Criticized – By a Republican’ by Julia Levy, staff reporter for the Sun.
“A longtime Harlem Republican advocate is brandishing his politics and readying himself for a duel – not with most Democrats, but with members of his own party. The advocate, Gary James, has worked for the past 20 years on voter outreach in the Harlem community, and he claims that the four-month-old Harlem Republican Club, headed by Will Brown, has no place in the neighborhood.
The Harlem Republican Club has no constituency at the grassroots level, Mr. James said. ‘You have a district leadership that has no links within the community. So, they can’t deliver votes or build the party. They’ve been anointed to do the impossible, which is tantamount to them walking on water!
Both the Harlem Republican Club, and Mr. James’ GOP Club, which he calls Radical Republican Taskforce, ultimately they want more Harlem residents to learn about the electoral system, register Republican, and turn out at election time. But the opposing clans have different approaches to the problem.
While Mr. Brown is working within the party structure to build a long-term process for boosting political participation, Mr. James say’s, ‘The state of politics, the state of the party requires a radical approach to building the party. Political business as usual is not fitting the bill.’
Mr. James got involved in the early development stage of the Harlem Republican Club last year, but he soon resigned because he thought that the club was exclusive and didn’t have the right game plan. Soon after, Mr. James changed the name of his taskforce, which had been called the Black Republican Taskforce, and prepared for a new battle.
While Mr. James says he is ready for an ideological battle about how to best interact with the community, boost voter registration, increase voter turnout, and get more black leaders elected, his supposed competitors say they don’t even know about a conflict. ‘I haven’t heard anything about that,’ Mr. Brown said.
He said Mr. James dropped out of the Harlem Republican Club leadership because ‘he couldn’t effectively carry-out his agenda while working for us.’ Mr. Brown added that as the title of Mr. James’ organization implied, he wants to use radical techniques to win voters and elections. ‘From what I am aware of, it seemed that the approach would be to force decision-making and involvement,’ Mr. Brown said. ‘Gary’s desire is to make it happen by any means necessary as opposed to sitting down and negotiating a common ground.’
Mr. James has ambitious goals. He wants to boost the portion of Harlem residents who are registered Republican to about 35 percent from the current level of 3.9 percent. A professor of Public Policy at Baruch College, David Birdsell, said having two different clubs could provide more opportunity with involvement in the party – or it could lead to disillusionment and cynicism. The affect would depend on whether the split was ideological or personal. ‘Typically, clubs manage the political field. They provide people who are up-and-coming with roles in the party and inculcate party values,’ he said, ‘In this case, you really have to look at the values in each of the clubs.’
We didn’t respond to the article, or offer any commentary because it would be superfluous, as in our assessment it would have been time wasted.”
Will Brown was the most recent district leader appointee to replace his predecessor, Mr. Leroy Owens, and Mr. Brown operated in the mold of Owens, who served the county chairman well, as his gatekeeper, and go-to-guy. Brown publicly pledged to Owens publicly that he will follow in his (Owens) political footprints.
GOP district leader Will Brown was following up on the role of his predecessor Leroy Owens is the head-Negro-in-charge and political gatekeeper for the county chairman. Brown along with the other Harlem district leaders remained supportive of the county giving the Republican ballot to Congressman Rangel for his re-election every two years. The state and national party disapproved of how the county organization conducted political business but at the end of the day, they acquiesced. Hence, a radical political decision needed to be taken…
AT THE END OF THE DAY WE DETERMINED TO LET SLEEPING POLITICAL DOGS LYE. THE DEMISE OF THE BLACK REPUBLICAN PRESENCE IN HARLEM WE CONTINUED OUR POLITICAL INITIATIVE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NEW ERA POLITICAL COALITION
Launching the New Era Coalition of Democrats and Republicans for the election of Senator Obama to the Presidency began to politically marinate which developed a controversy. Consequently, Gary James granted an interview with Columbia University School of Journalism students, on campus and Jacob Templin a student, did the interview honors. Apparently there was information being circulated that because the bi-partisan coalition for Obama, some black Republicans quit the Harlem Republican Club, and the club had to close. We offer the interview: Please click the photo to view the video interview.
Following the two terms of President George W. Bush wherein our political efforts in conjunction with the administration was coordinated through our interlocutor Ms. Angela Sailor Aid to the President, Subsequently, we engaged the revolutionary political coalition. Our efforts to make the Republican Party competitive in local elections from 1984 to 2008 was a failure primarily because New York Republican County Committee permitted Congressman Charles Rangel dean of the Democratic Congressional delegation to run for re-election on the Republican Party ballot, since 1970. Local black Republicans in the city were cut out of local GOP politics, for nearly four (4) decades. Accordingly, Black Republicans in New York City have been systematically and by attrition, been removed from the Republican Party.
While the New York Republican County Committee chairman gave the party ballot to the incumbent Congressman Rangel for more than 3 decades and literally circumventing the GOP from being competitive in local elections, the state and national Republican Party in New York, embraced political outreach into the black community. Although bigotry and racial discrimination was obvious in state and national GOP politics New York Republican State Committee, as well as the National Republican Committee there were forward looking in terms of demographics and political mathematics. The state and national party articulated displeasure to how the county was conducting political business, they claimed that the county structure prevented any direct corrective action.
By 2009 Gary James relocated to the Virgin Islands and began researching his family ancestry on the island of St. Croix while considering the next political dispensation…
Local Virgin Island History – View part 1 and 2
Gary James & Celeste Fahie interviewed on the “big” island of St. Croix