Presidential election’s impact on Hartford’s communities of color


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s been a lot of discussion about the election’s impact on communities of color. Unclear results leave even more questions.

Many in the Black community are spending Wednesday on edge.

“I’m nervous. I’m very, very nervous. I didn’t even want to watch it last night, and I’m still checking in here and there,” Lavonda Sellers, Hamden.

RELATED: CT commuters weigh in on national election results so far

A waiting game in battleground states and communities across America: to tally up votes and pick the next leader. For local community leaders like Pastor AJ Johnson in Hartford, the election is about much more than who sits in the oval office.

“How the suburbs feel about the rest of the cities around them. This is a big election about how the moral heart of our country is going to go,” Rev. AJ Johnson, Community Organizer, Center for Leadership and Justice.

Johnson was encouraged to see so many young people voting across the capital city.

“Every polling location I visited in the North End of Hartford had lines. I mean, lines like you’re standing in line at TSA at 6 in the morning trying to catch a flight type lines.”

But he’s concerned about those who weren’t standing in lines.

“Just driving by asking did they vote. Some didn’t even know how and where to vote. That’s something we need to clean up.”

Lavonda Sellers did some of that “cleaning up” with her own 24-year-old daughter.

“She didn’t vote the last time and I yelled at her, so I made sure she voted yesterday,” she says. “When she got home from work, actually, I was off yesterday as well, so we went together.”

But as the community waits for official results, which could take days or weeks, community and faith leaders are busy pushing policy they believe will move the community forward regardless of who wins.

“It’s not like racism ends with Joe Biden,” Rev. AJ Johnson says,

Rev. Johnson says the election results help point out clear differences between suburbs and urban centers. A coalition of nearly 40 pastors in Hartford is planning to do something about it.

In the coming week, the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance will call on the governor and the legislature to declare racism a public health emergency.

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