Nine National Civil Rights and Media Orgs Urge Political Candidates to Engage Minority-Owned Media in Political Advertising

by mmtcbbsj on April 18, 2016

VOTEOn April 18, 2016, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), along with 8 national civil rights and minority media organizations, wrote the following letter to the 2016 presidential candidates; the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian National Committees; and the top SuperPACs representing each candidate. The letter urges the candidates, parties, and PACs to include minority-owned media as a major component of their advertising plans throughout the 2016 campaign.

MMTC President and CEO Kim Keenan stated, “Communities of color have a deep connection with minority owned media, yet time after time they are ignored during the election cycle, or treated as an afterthought during the last moments of the campaign.  Our community deserves more than last-minute advertising. Candidates from every party, PAC, and as individuals need to put their messages in our media so our people can be mobilized to vote.  Advertising in trusted, minority media sources helps voters to identify which candidates have their best interests at heart, and is a prime opportunity to meet a key voting segment ‘where they are.’ Candidates must invest their ad dollars in minority- and women-owned media.”

The text of the letter, including the full list of organizations, is below. A PDF is also available here.


The Honorable Hillary Clinton
The Honorable Ted Cruz
The Honorable John Kasich
The Honorable Bernie Sanders
Mr. Donald Trump
Democratic National Committee
     Attn: The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman
Green Party National Committee
     Attn: Jan Martell, Secretary
Libertarian National Committee
     Attn:  Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Republican National Committee
     Attn: The Honorable Reince Priebus, Chairman
Keep the Promise III
     Attn: Jon Francis, President
Make America Great Again
     Attn: Leslie Caldwell, Secretary
New Day for America
     Attn: Matt Carle, Executive Director
Priorities USA Action
     Attn: Buffy Wicks, Executive Director

April 18, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

            RE:       Political Campaign Engagement with Minority-Owned Media

We write to appeal to each of you to confirm that minority-owned media will be included as a major component of your advertising plans throughout the 2016 campaign.

Our constituents, comprising nearly 30% of the electorate, want and deserve to hear from all sides of public policy debates.

For nearly 200 years, minority-owned media has been the benchmark for credibility and the key to generating enthusiastic engagement by voters of color.  For this reason, ads in minority publications have enormous impact relative to their cost.

Credibility and engagement of voters must be earned over time from the beginning to the end of campaigns.  They cannot be produced with a twenty-year-old recycled ad template published in the final two weeks of a campaign – a pattern that we have seen appear every two years.

Placing ads throughout the campaign, in newspapers, websites, or broadcast stations that represent voters of color, demonstrates that the candidate “walks the walk” of supporting minority entrepreneurship.  This remains an issue of profound importance to voters of color and is a key issue on which all of the parties and candidates should agree.

At your disposal are a host of minority-owned media outlets:  over 400 newspapers, over 500 radio stations, over two dozen widely read minority-owned political and social justice websites, and over a dozen widely viewed cable channels.  We can provide lists of these outlets on request.

Please respond within ten days to promptly to advise us of your specific plans to use minority- owned print, broadcast, and online media throughout the remainder of this year’s campaign.  We look forward to sharing your plans with our constituency.

Sincerely,  */

Kim M. Keenan
President and CEO
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC)

Martha Montoya
National Association of Hispanic Publications

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

Mee Moua
President and Executive Director
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Denise Rolark-Barnes
National Newspaper Publishers Association

Hilary O. Shelton
Director, Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy

Sonny Skyhawk
American Indians in Film and Television

Brent Wilkes
National Executive Director
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

James Winston
President and Executive Director
National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

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