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INTERVIEW: Warren campaign surrogate Chris Love of Black Womxn For

By Don Dike Anukam

Chris Love is a prominent, black, female, Arizona-based attorney, public activist, and member of Black Womxn For. She came to Reno last weekend to campaign for Elizabeth Warren, attending a mixer with the Black Caucus of the Nevada Democrats at 1864 Tavern and speaking to local activists and supporters at both the Washoe County Library and the Reno Warren campaign office.

I had a chance to speak with her about her visit and major issues she wanted to discuss with northern Nevadans in support of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren for president.

Chris Love talks to Reno voters.
Image: Don Dike-Anukam

This Is Reno: Why come to Reno?

Chris Love: There are black women here in Reno, Nevada who are interested in learning about what Black Womxn For is about. And specifically, we wanted to come and talk to the folks here in Reno to let them know that they’re supported, and to talk to them about our campaign and Elizabeth Warren. And we’re willing to go wherever, wherever black women are, where they want to hear from us.

This Is Reno: What does Black Womxn For do?

CL: Black Womxn For specifically was created to organize black women around the presidential primary. We see, a lot of times, that black women are at the forefront of any organizing movement, or any political movement in the country. And we’re lauded for doing things like swooping in and saving people, like in Alabama with Doug Jones.

But a lot of times we’re not centered in the political work that’s happening around the presidency. And so, this was an opportunity to actually talk to black women specifically about what they wanted in a presidential nominee, take that information, synthesize it, and then actually endorse a candidate to support in the primary, and hopefully in the general election.

This Is Reno: Why Elizabeth Warren?

CL: It is still a very vast field right now and you see one leave and then we pick up two more. Right? I’ve always liked Elizabeth Warren and actually, I became aware of her for her work doing consumer protection for me during the Obama administration. I think that I connected with that work because at the same time we were having some issues with predatory lending in the state of Arizona. She was speaking about those things and how they disproportionately impact communities of color. So, I’ve liked her for a very long time.

Because of that, we’re looking at the field as it currently stands and when, you know, from the beginning, I was always committed to supporting a candidate that’s progressive. Now we have a number of folks in the field who, I guess, the Democratic candidates kind of span the breadth of the party. We have some folks that are very progressive, we have some folks that are probably middle-of-the-road, and then we have [those who] skew more conservative. So, Elizabeth Warren was one of just a few of the candidates that I felt was progressive enough and her values aligned with mine own.

This Is Reno: Why should I care?

CL: Well, I think that when Democrats really focus on turning out, black and indigenous and people of color focus on turning out, young people, or they focus on turning out LGBTQ+, they win! I think that there has been this conventional wisdom within the party that candidates need to be more moderate, so that we can pull people from the right, so we can pull independents, so we can pull a few anti-Trump Republicans. Right? I believe that that’s bullshit. I’m sorry, can I say that?

Don Dike-Anukam talks politics with Chris Love.
Don Dike-Anukam talks politics with Chris Love.

I don’t believe that that’s ever been a winning strategy for Democrats. Take a look at Obama’s strategy. He pulled a large coalition of folks that include the groups that I just mentioned, getting them excited by talking about the issues that they cared about, and really motivating those people to show up on election day. And that’s what put him over the edge. I think that statistically white people will always vote for Republicans, right? So majority of white voters will vote Republican, period.

The margin that we may need is not for those few white folks [who] don’t want to vote for Republicans. Where we need to be is on the other side, talking to people that we don’t generally talk to until, like, maybe a month or two before the election. We need to be encouraging our young folks to vote. There’s so many of them. We need to be getting out in black communities, and Latinx communities, and indigenous communities, and turning those folks out because there are so many of us. And those are the folks that gave Obama his bump. He was successful in building that coalition and driving them to the polls, and that is a winning strategy.

You never hear Republicans saying, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get those independents and those more conservative Democrats to vote for us.’ That’s not their focus. What their focus is, is finding more Republicans on the other end.”

This Is Reno: On electability….

CL: Well, I mean, I’m working really hard to make sure that I win. I think that I want to try to draw on what you said about electability. You know, I believe that electability is just kind of a farce really. What it is, racism and sexism—you know the safe choice is always a man. The safe choice is always white, right? And any anyone that deviates from that, we have this whole discussion about electability. Joe Biden, in my humble opinion, is not electable, and it’s because of the things that he SAYS….”

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