- - Tuesday, October 12, 2021

There are several ways conservatives can win the inner-city vote. The first and most important step is basic. Republicans need to show up. Democrats have done an excellent job of showing up in the inner cities. Many Republicans with a defeated mentality believe the myth that certain predominantly minority districts can never flip. This is simply untrue. These areas will never flip when we have weak leadership and no ambition to help others living under failed Democrat policies for decades. 

For example, in my district in New Jersey, there are just as many unaffiliated voters as there are Democrat voters. The numbers clearly show that Republicans aren’t putting in the effort to flip the votes hence the large gap. But why aren’t the unaffiliated voters Democrats? They know all about their policies, they are the only party that runs candidates and engage, and many don’t feel represented by them. They don’t vote Republican either because there hasn’t been an effective and engaging Republican presented for them to vote for.

Every time my team does an event or goes door to door in my hometown of Paterson, NJ, people are surprised by two things. First, they are talking to a 6-foot, 2-inch Black guy with dreads living in the 4th ward who happens to also be a conservative. Second, they see me all over the district and social media promoting America First policies with a very positive response from many people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Decades of Democrat policies have turned my hometown into a warzone. People are dying almost every single day, and it’s’ not enough to just talk the talk. To win in the inner city, you need to walk the walk without fear, and not many are willing to do that. I am. My family moved to Paterson when I was three years old, I’ve lived here my entire life, and I still do. I have seen the absolute worst of Democrat policies and seen how my neighborhood has descended into chaos over the years. There has never been a riper time for change than right now.

We need to educate people as to what it means to be a conservative because, ironically, I have met so many people who live in the inner cities that have conservative values such as strong belief in family, fiscal responsibility, personal self-defense and self-reliance, lower taxes, equality of opportunity over equality of outcome, and much more. The GOP cannot be afraid to get involved in the inner cities because the truth is, although the inhabitants tend to vote blue, it’s not because they hate Republicans or conservatives. They just don’t know much about the platform outside of what the media and liberal politicians portray. I have flipped many people’s opinions with a simple conversation. Many of which would rather choose to remain unaffiliated, understandably so. After all, many unaffiliated voters in the inner cities haven’t had Republicans on their doorstep. However, when it comes to policy, they agree 80-100%. 

It will take some time before they decide to become Republicans, but that will never happen until the GOP gets involved. Every single state has large inner cities. Almost all of them tend to be Democrat-controlled. The GOP cannot expect to flip states by focusing on the small towns and fishing for small wins on the outskirts. We need to be bold and work just as hard as the Democrats in the Inner cities to win. 

We need to show them that we can do so much better. We need to point out that for decades, liberal policies and liberal leaders have been using us to enrich themselves and their friends while leaving the rest of us with nothing more than despair.  People are not just hungry for a change, they are desperate. Narratives like Defund the Police play well at elite cocktail parties, but the people in my neighborhood know that it’s’ killing our family, friends, and neighbors.

The solutions I have to win votes in my district are what the people want and deserve.  We need to spread the message about our plans for school reform, government reform, and defending our community. We need to let everyone know there is a better path and that life does not have to be this way. We need to let the people know somebody actually cares and that somebody will actually fight for them.

And that’s what I am doing every day.

• William “Billy” Prempeh is running for the 9th congressional district of the state of New Jersey. He is a United States Air Force veteran.

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