Bay-area political activist Steve Phillips poured his personal experience winning a school board seat in San Francisco, plus his political action committee work for the Obama campaigns into a demographic treatise that offers some interesting lessons for any 21st century politico.  He previewed his visit to Denver this week with a short chat on “First Take with Lando and Chavis.”

“To get from Martin Luther King in 1968 to Barack Obama in 2008, you had to have Jesse (Jackson’s presidential campaign) in ’84 and ’88 to show the path – that the coalition of old minorities coming together, people of color and progressive whites, is a majority and can actually elect a president and win elections.”

Phillips writes that increasing ethnic diversity makes for political power, not just 30 years from now, but today. “The composition of Colorado has changed in the last 20-plus years, and so if you spend the time, energy and effort to get people out to vote, and people who have not historically been seen as likely voters, then you can actually win elections with a different coalition.”

Phillips notes a decades long partisan trend, Republicans away from minorities, and Democrats’ nonchalance toward minority voters.  Yet recently, “Republicans have shown more knowledge and insight around the changes in the country and what the implications should be for winning elections… that is, up until Trump came in and upset their setup.” 

Phillips visits Denver Thursday, May 5, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, 2401 Welton St., Denver.  This visit is organized by Free Speech TV (  RSVP to

interview with Steve Phillips

Copyright 2019 KUVO . To see more, visit KUVO .

Become a Member

Join the growing family of people who believe that music is essential to our community. Your donation supports the work we do, the programs you count on, and the events you enjoy.

Download the App

Download KUVO's FREE app today! The KUVO Public Radio App allows you to take KUVO's music and news with you anywhere, anytime!