May 162022

COAL Commentary – Legislative and Investment Imperatives

There is much discussion on the subject of judging the performance or measuring the effectiveness of our elected representatives. This, of course, is critical to determining if you support re-electing an incumbent or replacing that person with someone who may be better equipped to deliver on an agenda that is important to you.

This is even more challenging for black people, for which the assessment goes beyond delivering for you and your family only, and encompasses delivering for your community, for all black people.

COAL submits that the factors to use in assessing an incumbent’s performance must come down to results, to the actions taken on behalf of a constituency (in this case, the Black community), since, as the old saying goes, ‘talk is cheap’.

Therefore, it is legislative action, initiatives and projects pursued, investments made and the effective delivery of services, that are the real measure. And, importantly, it is not just the actions a given elected official takes, but also their response to specific demands a constituency makes of them.

In other words, our elected officials must not only tell us what they’ve done, but also what they’ve done relative to demands we’ve made of them, demands we’ve determined are in the priority interests of black people. Let’s call these demands that are important to us, Legislative and Investment Imperatives.

The following four items, two legislative and two investments, can be included in the ‘list of critical actions and results’ used in determining if the identified officials are working effectively and in the best interest of the Black community.

COAL Board of Directors
“The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us…”
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