HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Since 2015, Candace Hollingsworth has served as the mayor of Hyattsville. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, after nearly six years in the position, she resigned in order to develop a new political party called Our Black Party.
"This is a very difficult decision for me," she said.
Hollingsworth said the party was established to improve the quality of life for black people in this country "by helping pass policies and elect candidates that are willing and committed to pass policies that improve the quality of life for black people in the United States."
According to Hollingsworth, nearly 20,000 people have pledged their commitment to the nine values of Our Black Party.
- Black people have a right to own their politics
- Black people have a right to a fair and just criminal legal system.
- Black people have a right to economic equity and equality within the United States of America.
- Black people have a right to health equity in the United States of America.
- Black people have a right to educational equity in the United States of America.
- Black people have a right to every unalienable right guaranteed in the constitution of the United States.
- Black people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- Black people are not a monolithic group and, therefore, we have a right to advocate for different things.
- Above all, Black people have a responsibility to love each other and accountability is love.
"Whether you're Black or white or anything else, you can hold those commitments, and if you do there's space for you in Our Black Party," Hollingsworth said.
According to the Hyattsville clerk, Hollingsworth’s resignation is effective at the end of this year. And according to Hyattsville’s City Charter, if the mayor’s position becomes vacant, the president of the council will serve as mayor until a new mayor is elected. Thus, starting Jan. 1, 2021, Council President Kevin Ward will take on that role. In the meantime, Hollingsworth said Our Black Party will be offering political training for its members.
"We're going to be training all of our members on the basics of politics, the basics of civics, the basics of civic engagement and advocacy, so that we can really get the most out of the next four years," she said.
Through the party, her goal is to hold all elected officials accountable, identify new potential candidates and support existing candidates that are going to commit to the "Black agenda."
"So that we don't see ourselves in the same position where we're not particularly enthusiastic about the candidates and we feel almost forced to vote because we don't like the other alternative," Hollingsworth said.
In May of 2021, Hyattsville has a regularly scheduled election, which is when Hyattsville will elect a new mayor to serve the two-year balance of Hollingsworth’s term.