Jineea Butler wants to make a change in how urban issues are addressed in New York, which is why she’s reportedly leading efforts toward creating the New American Party. Butler—who is the founder of the Hip Hop Union and a Republican congressional candidate against Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan)—has her eyes on Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J as possible contenders for governor. Rhymes hasn’t committed however, while LL has yet to respond, says the New York Daily News.
“We’re looking for somebody that can energize the vote so we can clear the 50,000 votes (needed to secure a guaranteed ballot line the next four years) and someone who resonates with millennials and young folks,” Butler said. “We’re juggling a bunch of candidates we can look at from the hip hop community. Hip hop changed the world 40, 45 years ago when it started. It just gave people an absolute freedom of speech. We want to use that same principle with a strong agenda that addresses economic disparity and prosperity-driven initiatives.”
Butler asserts that in the same way hip-hop brought communities together, it can also bring America together. She told the Daily News that “we’ve come too far in this country to go back to racism” and hopes we can “stop fighting against each other.”
While LL and Busta didn’t immediately respond to the Daily News for comment, Eric Barrier—aka Eric B. of Eric B. & Rakim—is reportedly in on the initiative. It will take some work to get the party on the ballot line, Butler adds, but she thinks its more than doable (15,000 supporting signatures would be needed by August 21).
“Part of what we want to show is that we can pull out large numbers in a short amount of time, that people can get involved in the political spectrum, and it’s worth the investment into the opportunity,” she said. “We’ve already got boots on the ground on this.”
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