Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
More than two dozen black women, including elected officials and political organizers, sent a clear message in a new open letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez: Stop taking our support for granted.
“Black women have consistently shown up for Democrats as a loyal voting bloc, demonstrating time and again that we are crucial to the protection of progressive policies such as economic security, affordable healthcare and criminal justice reform,” the women wrote in the letter, which was published by NBC News on Thursday.
The letter goes on to say that although black women have long been a key part of the Democratic Party’s electoral strategy, the national party has repaid them by putting few black women in leadership roles and lending little of its infrastructure to support black women running for office across the country.
“The data reveals that Black women voters are the very foundation to a winning coalition, yet most Black voters feel like the Democrats take them for granted,” the letter reads. “Since taking office, you have met with and listened to key constituencies. But you have yet to host a Black women leaders convening.”
The letter comes as Perez, who became DNC chair in February, travels around the country, meeting with local party leaders as part of a rebuilding effort after Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss in November.
- The House’s Russia investigators subpoenaed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of the widening probe into Russian tampering in the 2016 election.
- A former state co-chair for the veterans’ wing of Trump’s campaign, Gerald DeLemus, was sentenced to more than seven years prison on Wednesday for his role in the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon in 2014. He’s the first person to receive prison time for his role in the standoff, BuzzFeed News reports.
- Trump will announce his decision on the U.S. staying or leaving the Paris climate agreement today at 3 p.m., joined by Vice President Mike Pence in the Rose Garden. He’s reportedly going to pull out, joining Syria and Nicaragua, the only other countries that didn’t sign on.