State GOP participates in Denver MLK festival

89469358The Colorado state Republican party participated in the  Denver Martin Luther King Jr. Marade (march/parade) Monday morning for the first time, according to a news release from the American Conservatives of Color, based in Colorado Springs.

Leaders from the Colorado GOP spoke to the assembly, walked in the Marade and had a booth at the festival.

In a news release, American Conservatives of Color Founder Derrick Wilburn said the state GOP’s participation–for the first time since the annual event began 29 years ago–was largely the result of “pressure that has been relentlessly applied to it” by the group.

On a recent radio interview, Wilburn said, “The GOP has not been showing up in ethnic-minority communities for most of my lifetime. Then they sit and wonder, ‘Why aren’t we connecting with those voters?’ People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – the problem black communities have with the GOP is we feel as if they don’t care.

“The MLK celebration is an awesome opportunity to see and be seen by voters, and its an opportunity that state officials in Colorado have squandered for three decades.”

The American Conservatives of Color marched with as many as two dozen elected Republican candidates and officials. U.S. House Representatives, candidates for U.S. Senate, state legislators, city and county officials all pledged to attend.

The ACC assembled at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street at 9 a.m. for a honk-’n-wave rally before joining the Marade at 10:30 a.m. The Marade route was a 5K walk down Colfax Avenue, ending at the state capitol.