Occupation: Majority Conference Leader, NJ General Assembly
Twitter Handle: @aswsumter
Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly on November 8, 2011 to represent the 35th Legislative district. The 35th Legislative district includes Elmwood Park and Garfield of Bergen County and Haledon, North Haledon, Paterson and Prospect Park of Passaic County. She is the Assembly Majority Conference Leader, Vice-Chair of the Labor committee and is a member of the Health & Senior Services and Law & Public Safety committees and second VP of the NJ Legislative Black Caucus.
Occupation: New York City Public Advocate
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
About Letitia James
Letitia James is the Public Advocate for the City of New York, the second highest ranking elected office in the City. As Public Advocate, she serves as a direct link between New Yorkers and their government, acts as a watchdog over City agencies, and investigates complaints about City services.
Between work, school, family obligations, personal relationships, church and keeping up with friends it's hard to find space for anything else.
Every time you turn on the television there is another story about a corrupt elected official, some outlandish statement by a presidential candidate or, worse yet, another senseless death due to gun violence.
I'm often asked, what are the barriers to women of color running for elected office? I usually cite a number of predictable and persistent barriers such as inability to raise money, serving as heads of households they are unable to afford to run.
Women of color are usually serving as caregivers to elderly loved ones, and of course sexism is real, and racist stereotypes too. All of these barriers are legitimate. However, I know, the greatest barrier comes from a lack of confidence and ownership, the nagging fear of one's own power, and of course, the fear of losing. Lately James Baldwin's profound and prophetic words have been a repeat refrain in my head "Your crown has been bought and paid for, all you have to do is wear it."Read more
#Chisholm and the Road to the White House
Brunch Twitter Chat
I was only 8 when Shirley Chisholm announced her presidential bid in 1972, but I remember with crystal clarity the excitement in my mother’s face—no her entire body—when she told me that a black woman was running for the nation’s highest office. I had gone to the kitchen to get a snack, and there was my mother, reading the newspaper, barely able to contain herself. The conversation went something like this:Read more
On January 25, 1972, Shirley Chisholm announced her bid for president at Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn. She told a crowd of supporters, “I stand before you today, to repudiate the ridiculous notion that the American people will not vote for qualified candidates, simply because he is not white or because she is not a male. I do not believe that in 1972, the great majority of Americans will continue to harbor such narrow and petty prejudice.” Thirty-six years later, the United States elected its first Black president. This week, we moved one step closer to electing a woman to the nation’s top office.Read more