Democrats Seek $1 Million to Boost Black Registration

From Times Wire Services

The Democratic Party said Wednesday that it hopes to raise $1 million for a special fund to be used to increase black voter registration and encourage candidacies among blacks.

Anyone can contribute to the Bethune-Du Bois Fund, but C. Delores Tucker, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus, said potential black contributors will be sought out.

“Blacks have long given Democrats their votes and ballots, and now we want to give the party our bucks so we can be equal partners,” Tucker said.

‘Very Important Step’


Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. called it a “very important step for the party” in its drive to widen support from blacks.

The fund is named for black pathfinders Mary McLeod Bethune, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “kitchen cabinet” who founded the National Council of Negro Women, and W. E. B. Du Bois, a writer who co-founded the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.

Tucker said the Democratic Party has long been seen as the party most responsive to blacks.

“There are only two parties in this country: a Republican Party and a Democratic Party. You have to work within the framework we have in this country. We understand what party has responded most to us,” she said.


Honor for 7 Lawmakers

The fund’s premier event will be a dinner April 30 honoring seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus who chair House committees: Reps. Ronald V. Dellums (D-Berkeley), Julian C. Dixon (D-Los Angeles), Augustus F. Hawkins (D-Los Angeles), William H. Gray III (D-Pa.), Mickey Leland (D-Tex.), Parren J. Mitchell (D-Md.), and Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Tucker said contributions will be used to register some of the 6 million blacks of voting age who are not registered, and to help elect blacks to office. Blacks comprise 6.2% of elected officials nationwide.