Donna Walker-Brown, Chair of the Inner City Republican Movement, (ICRM), recently addressed a meeting of the Cuyahoga Valley Republicans.  As Democrats ratchet up their attacks on GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump, Donna's insights are particularly relevant.

Here's some of what Donna said.

First. Don't start a conversation or stump speech by criticizing Barack Obama or questioning his motives. Regardless of his record, many inner city residents are still proud of his achievement of becoming America's first African American president. These voters react to criticism of Obama as a personal attack against all black people, and for that matter all minorities.

Second.  Understand that minority communities have largely accepted parts of the Obama agenda, including Obamacare and Common Core.  Part of the challenge is realizing that, what conservatives see as tyranny, has been packaged & sold to black voters as "affordable healthcare" and better education.

And finally, the key to winning inner city minority voters is understanding that they want the same things that suburban voters want - safe neighborhoods, good paying jobs and a sound education for their children.

With that in mind, Donna's campaign style is respectful, but straightforward.  When talking to inner city residents she knows that most of the time she's talking to Democrats.  So first she asks about their party affiliation.  Then she asks "So how's that working out for you?"  That's the starting point for a real dialogue about how liberal Democrats have misled minority voters and taken their support for granted.

Highlights of Donna's comments also included:

Republicans have made a terrible mistake by letting Democrats get away with the false narrative that they are the champions of equal rights.  The GOP should launch a massive and sustained campaign to educate black voters, so that they understand that it was the Republican Party that led the fight against slavery and empowered black voters, starting with Reconstruction after the Civil War, all the while as Southern Democrats terrorized black communities.   

Republicans have largely forfeited urban voters, simple because the GOP does not have any kind of continuous presence in minority neighborhoods.   Showing up every four years and asking for votes is not an effective strategy.  In recent years it's the GOP that has become the carpet baggers.

The "Urban Youth Vote" is very much up for grabs - if the GOP uses its head. Teenagers and college students from every demographic are often suspect of their parent's beliefs.  A lot of 16 year old kids, regardless of where they live, think that anything their parents like must be "not cool".  Donna suggested, only half-jokingly, that one way to convince a young black man to listen to a Republican message is to point out that his parents are Democrats.

Although Donald Trump was not their first choice, if he becomes the Republican nominee for president, the Inner City Republican Movement will support him.  The alternative would be just "more of the same" and devastating for urban areas in the long run.  If Trump doesn't keep his word, voters can fire him.  Donna joked that she'd rather have to impeach Donald Trump than have Hillary Clinton back in the White House.