Biden-Harris campaign hires director of Black media to better reach Black voters
The Biden-Harris campaign has hired a director of Black media, theGrio exclusively reports, touting the new addition as evidence of the 2024 reelection operation’s early commitment and investment to reach Black voters.
The campaign selected Jasmine Harris, a former staffer for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to lead its Black media operations. The move comes after the reelection campaign of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris invested millions in early ad buys targeting Black communities last year, 13 months ahead of Election Day on Nov. 5.
“Our campaign is going to win in 2024 by mobilizing the diverse Biden-Harris coalition that sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020 – and Black voters are a critical part of that winning coalition,” Quentin Fulks, principal deputy campaign manager, said in a statement to theGrio.
“While President Biden and Vice President Harris have been fighting for Black Americans every day in office, our campaign has already made the earliest, largest investment in Black media for a re-election campaign starting in August of last year and organizing on the ground in key communities,” he said.
Fulks said of Jasmine Harris: “There’s no one better equipped to continue to build on that work and communicate the stakes of this election directly to Black voters across the country.
He continued, “Jasmine is an immensely seasoned and talented operative who will hit the ground running, and we are thrilled to have her join our team.”
Jasmine Harris, who left her role as director of African-American media for Senate Majority Leader Schumer to take her new position, told theGrio she is “extremely grateful” to work on the Biden-Harris campaign team, which she described as “dedicated to ensuring our country keeps the strong and trustworthy leaders it needs in President Biden and Vice President Harris as we continue the fight for progress.”
“Black reporters and outlets must always have a seat at the table as it relates to our nation’s political leadership,” Jasmine Harris said, “especially when the stakes are as high as they are this election.”
She added, “I’m thrilled to be joining a campaign that understands that.”
While working for Schumer’s office, she advocated for Black reporters and national Black media outlets to have access on Capitol Hill. She often briefed Schumer and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on her discussions with those reporters. She also served as a liaison between the majority leader’s office and digital staffers within the caucus.
Before working on the Hill, Jasmine Harris was a digital media director for the Democratic caucus of the Michigan House of Representatives, where she spearheaded its digital communications and social media presence.
Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who served as director of African-American paid media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said the Biden-Harris campaign’s hiring of a director of Black media demonstrates the party’s commitment to Black communities.
“These types of investments in experienced staff that correspond directly to core constituencies show that the president and his team understand what it will take to keep their coalition together for 2024,” Payne told theGrio.
“It is encouraging to see the Biden campaign investing early in organizing and engaging Black voters. This type of hire is good news for those in the Democratic Party who have been eager to see the campaign take greater shape and direction,” Payne said.
The campaign is not naive to the fact that polling shows Black voters are not particularly enthusiastic about supporting a second term of the Biden-Harris administration.
Campaign officials and Democratic strategists continue to argue that any dismal polling will dissipate as Election Day draws nearer and Biden and Harris begin hitting the road to remind and inform Black voters what they have done to better their communities.
Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told theGrio that Biden has “done so much” for Black communities, including issuing billions in student debt relief, stimulus funding to re-jump the Black economy during the pandemic, criminal justice reform through executive action and historic appointments of Black judges on the federal bench.
“It’s important for us to make sure that people understand and that he gets credit for the hard work that he’s put into really giving us all a seat at the table,” said Harrison.
Gerren Keith Gaynor is a White House Correspondent and the Managing Editor of Politics at theGrio. He is based in Washington, D.C.
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