Jasmyne Cannick

Political strategist and journalist, Jasmyne Cannick is starting off 2019 by announcing her candidacy for delegate in the 53rd Assembly District to the California Democratic Party. The 53rd Assembly District includes the communities of Adams-Normandie, Arts District, Boyle Heights, Downtown Los Angeles, East Hollywood, Hancock Park, Huntington Park, Koreatown, Larchmont Village, Little Tokyo, Pico-Union, Rampart Village, Skid Row, Vernon and Westlake.

“I am running for delegate in a district in California that is less than 6 percent Black and the reason why is simple,” said Jasmyne Cannick. “Black people do not only live in one or two Assembly Districts. Thanks to gentrification and the high cost of living, we live all over California and we should be represented in every district.”

Darren Parker, Chair ofthe California Democratic Party’s African American Caucus has endorsed Cannick.

“Jasmyne is a leader and a voice of change who is a walking example of what it means to be your brother’s keeper,” said Parker in a statement. “I proudly and humbly endorse her commitment and her unwavering integrity, as she embraces her role in demonstrating that to truly make a change in our community requires fixing our families, building the pathway to success and destroying the pipeline to prison that is a plague in our community.”

Cannick, who has spent the last 10 years working for elected officials and political campaigns, says she was inspired to take the plunge into her party’s politics after the overdose death of Gemmel Moore in Democratic donor Ed Buck’s home.

Moore’s death was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner, but after his personal journal was published and other young men stepped forward recounting similar stories about Ed Buck, a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s opened a homicide investigation.

“I believe that California’s Democratic Party is in the middle of a morals and values crisis,” said Jasmyne Cannick. “Our Party no longer reflects the interests of the people it serves and many of its members are disillusioned.

She continued, “That’s not the kind of political party I want to belong to. One that sees the lives of Black people as being expendable. As Black Democrats, that is not the type of return we expect on our years of investing in the Democratic Party with our votes. If Gemmel Moore had been a white male or female — I seriously doubt the Party leadership would have been able to sweep it under the rug the way they so carelessly and deliberately did.”

In an op-ed announcing her run for office, Cannick pointed to her own lack of involvement in party politics.

“For too long, as a Black woman living in Southern California, I’ve had one foot in the Democratic Party and one foot out. I never really had the feeling that my state’s party cared about women like me or the issues important us — but was always more than willing to take advantage of our votes.”

Cannick says that she hopes her run will inspire other Black women to get involved and run for political office at every level.

The California Democratic Party is the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C. With 43.5% of the state’s registered voters, the Democratic Party has the highest number of registrants of any political party in California. 77 percent of African American likely voters vote for Democratic candidates and issues statewide.

In California, every two years Democrats elect members to represent the Assembly District they are registered in. These people are called AD Delegates. AD Delegates are elected by voters in their Assembly District and vote on behalf of the community they represent at California Democratic Party Regional Meetings, the California Democratic Party Convention, and those who are also elected to serve as an Executive Board member are responsible for voting and representing their community at the semi-annual E-Board meetings. AD Delegates are directly responsible for helping to shape the Party’s platform and be the voice of voters in their community at the Party level.

On her platform, Cannick says that, “As a delegate, I will continue to be a consistent advocate for candidates, issues, and initiatives that speak to the needs of communities of color–representation, restorative justice, criminal justice reform, income equality, living wage jobs, affordable housing, healthcare for all.”

The election for 53rd Assembly Delegates will take place on Sat., Jan. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Estrada Courts in Boyle Heights (3232 Estrada St.). For more information on Jasmyne Cannick’s candidacy, please visit voteforjasmyne.com.