Cynthia McKinney To Advise "Business and Building" Political Action Initiative

I am pleased to announce that former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has accepted our invitation and request to serve as Adviser to the Business and Building Community's Political Action Initiative. She brings a wealth of experience as a six-term Member of Congress; years of activism and advocacy; high level negotiation and power brokering experience; and most importantly - a heart of love for our people, and dedication to righteous principles and the oppressed.

I have known Cynthia for six years and have had the privilege of working with her professionally for five years. She is the smartest, detail-oriented, spirited, and long-suffering political leader I have ever met, with a track record and dedication to grooming the next generation of leaders that is touching and impressive. She is absolutely the perfect choice to aid us in our planning and execution of an Initiative in this critical area - one of four around which the "Building and Business" will organize.

Interestingly, when I extended the invitation to Ms. McKinney, she replied, "Political Action is Community Development." And as has been our custom for years, we had a quick rapid fire e-mail exchange on her insight. On first sight, she saw what I have subtly been conveying - all of the Initiative areas of our "Business and Building" Community compliment, kiss and embrace, and dovetail one with another. Our objective is to point the way to a broader and more united form of activism connecting our international, electoral, local, and economic interests.

If it were up to her and I, the Political Action Initiative would revolve around the nexus point of electoral reform, the prison industrial complex, and economic development in inner cities and distressed rural areas. We've discussed same-day voter registration, felony disenfranchisement, and job training programs for ex-offenders and youth. More than any other person I know, from a political perspective Cynthia understands the correlation and causation between high Black teenage unemployment, criminal justice issues, membership in 'gang' activity, and commercial interests that benefit from a 'captive' pool of individuals who can't or don't vote. She knows the language of the streets, legislation and the board room.

Having said that, it is not for Cynthia and I to determine the Political Action Initiative. It is for our community to do so. Cynthia's role is to offer feedback, advice, and guidance to whatever we select as our Initiative. My role is to convene the gathering and offer a process that allows all of the Attendees of our October event and existing Members of our Community to propose, debate and select the Initiative.

Our leadership team lead by Initiative Director, Mr. Raghib Muhammad, has developed a quick two-page Initiative sheet that every Attendee for "Business and Building" II receives as soon as they register to attend our gathering. They work on it and can submit it prior to October 26th to ensure it becomes an item for our agenda, lawful dialogue, and debate on October 28th, when we determine if and what we will move forward on, and how, in this vital area.

No outcome is mandatory or guaranteed.

If our Community does not give this Area a priority and select an Initiative, then there is nothing for Cynthia McKinney to advise on. And that would be our loss.

Let's take advantage of the wisdom, experience, and network that Cynthia is willing to share with us all.

She and I, and many of us, realize that it is time for a new cadre to step forward to advance the cause of our people and righteous principles, in new, creative and provocative ways.

However, she and I will not be pulling on others with a top-down leadership model. The energy, enthusiasm, and commitment must permeate our Community and produce bottom-up activism, with all of us serving in a spirit of humility, gratitude for one another, and love for the whole.

Political Action is one of two remaining areas, of the four in total, where no Initiative has been selected. Community Development is the other.

For the area of Business and Investment we have selected a Black-Owned Bank and Investment Club Initiative. And in the area of International Affairs, we have selected a United States Of Africa-Diaspora Advocacy Group.

From October 26-28 we will be moving forward on action steps in these two areas.

To register for "Business and Building" II, please visit:

It is my confidence that many of us are ready to move beyond talking and typing and into united action. Cynthia Mckinney is ready to lock arms with those who are ready to get busy.

For that, I and we could not thank her enough.

Cedric Muhammad

Monday, September 17, 2007