2020 political candidates being challenged to spend 12% of their campaign contributions with Black-owned businesses

Dr. Rik Stevenson

A new nonpartisan coalition challenges candidates to spend 12% or more of their campaign contributions to win Black votes across the country and will track, monitor and display candidates’ pledges online.

by Anita S. Lane

For decades, the Black community in America has overwhelmingly given its support to candidates who have made promise to support Black causes, yet there is virtually no tangible way to measure if such support is being granted. McPAC.vote solves this problem.

This political campaign season, political candidates across the United States at the local, statewide and national level will be presented with a NEW question. And that is: “Are you willing to pledge to spend 12 percent or more of your campaign funds with Black owned businesses?”

This new initiative is called the Minority Communities for Political Accountability Coalition: McPAC.vote. Rolling out first in the Black community, followed by the Latino and Asian communities, McPAC’s mission is two-fold: to provide an opportunity for political candidates to accompany their words with tangible, empowering action, and to provide a simple one-stop destination where voters can see which candidates have pledged and how close to their pledges they have come.

Dr. Jowel LaGuerre – Photo: Michelle Snider

On the 2019 campaign trail, political candidates have boasted how they are willing to support a “discussion” on the topic of reparations for Black people. However, McPAC believes candidates can take action right now.

“Candidates don’t have to wait until they get elected into office and pass legislation in order to help empower Black lives and Black communities. Candidates can start now, simply by utilizing the services of Black owned businesses when purchasing goods and services with their campaign funds. It’s a very tangible place to start,” says Dr. Rik Stevenson, author and founding panelist for McPAC.

Political candidates at every level – beginning with the presidential candidates – are being encouraged by McPAC and its supporters to make a pledge to spend 12 percent or more of their campaign contributions with Black-owned businesses. Why 12 percent? Because the U.S. Census states that the Black population in America is approximately 12 percent.

McPAC will monitor and maintain each candidate’s pledge results on their website, McPAC.vote. The organization has an IT team dedicated to the work of monitoring and updating pledges and contributions. And the group itself is committed to transparency.

Everything is out in the open. The founding panel members of McPAC are people who believe that political candidates can and should be held accountable for what too often becomes mere rhetoric on the campaign trail. “We understand the pressure on the candidate – political demands coming from every side. So McPAC exists to help candidates show measurable impact, so that at the end of the day, they can say, ‘I pledged to support the Black community and I did,’” states Dr. Jowel LaGuerre, educator and founding panel member. A full list of the founding McPAC panelists can be found at McPAC.vote.

On the website, McPAC provides an example of how actual candidate’ pledges will look. Political candidates can sign up on their own, supporters who agree with the mission of McPAC can sign the petition by visiting McPAC.vote, and African American owned businesses who want to register their business with McPAC can do so on the site as well.

“We hope every candidate will be willing to make the pledge,” states McPAC President Carla Tillman. “And we hope that enough businesses sign on to ensure success,” she adds.

About McPAC

McPAC is a non-partisan group formed in 2019 to encourage “Action Not Promises” on the campaign trail. McPAC is encouraging political candidates to take action towards economic empowerment in the African American community.

McPAC is comprised of a panel of individuals from across the country with expertise in the areas of African American wealth-building, educational equality, prison reform, economic disparity, healthcare reform and other important issues impacting the Black community in America. McPAC offers political candidates an open and transparent platform where they can pledge to support the Black community by spending 12 percent of their campaign contributions with Black-owned businesses.

McPAC will monitor, track and display the progress of candidates’ pledges on its website. Voters can visit the website to see which candidates have pledged and how close to their pledges they have come. Individuals can visit the site to sign the petition in support of McPAC’s mission, and Black owned businesses can register on the site to participate. For details, please visit McPAC.vote.