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'Whole lot to lose' under Trump presidency, congresswoman tells black voters at Iowa event

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Texas congresswoman encouraged African Americans in Iowa to choose their own destiny by casting their votes for Hillary Clinton.

African Americans have too much to lose if Donald Trump is elected president, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said at a media event organized by Hillary for Iowa at the African-American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids Sunday.

“Decades of progress” could be lost under a Trump presidency, Lee said in response to the GOP’s nominee asking black voters what they have to lose by abandoning the Democratic Party to vote for him.

Democratic presidents from Lyndon Johnson on “have recognized our success and failure,” Lee said, “have moved the ball forward for African Americans, for all Americans.”

Clinton will be a “bridge to opportunity,” Lee said, and, unlike Trump, a leader who “lives every minute not dividing, but uniting.”

“She knows what our struggles have been,” Lee said.

Clinton, she said, recognizes that government programs are not a crutch for African Americans, but empowerment of the black community, Lee said.

The news conference was called to counter a visit by former Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson to Cedar Falls and to encourage early voting in the African American community. The African American Museum will be a satellite voting site from 2 to 8 p.m. Oct. 19.

Stacey Walker, a Cedar Rapids Democrat running for the Linn County Board, described the election as a choice “between someone who has a proven track record for fighting for people, all citizens, and someone who has a track record of denigrating many people here in America.”

The campaign also noted Sunday’s “event comes on the heels of a Waterloo mosque being vandalized with ‘TRUMP’ spray painted outside its wall. Law enforcement has not indicated any connection to the Trump campaign.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Iowa chapter issued a statement that Trump has promoted anti-Muslim policies his statements have led to a rise in hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions and American Muslims.

For all of The Gazette's Election 2016 coverage, please visit our election coverage center.

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