A Black lawyer who helped then-candidate Joe Biden attract Black voters during the 2020 election is leaving the White House Monday.
Trey Baker trades his senior White House advisory position for public engagement for partnership in the law firm Barnes & Thornburg.
The Tougaloo College 2006 graduate began working for President Biden in September 2019 as National Director for African-American Engagement, according to his LinkedIn profile. Upon Biden’s inauguration, he was elevated to Senior Advisor for Public Engagement.
Bloomberg further reported:
Black voters are a crucial segment of Biden’s base. The president has frequently credited those voters with resuscitating his presidential primary campaign and catapulting him to the White House. African-Americans voted in higher numbers in the 2020 election than they did in 2016, with Biden carrying 92 percent of the vote, according to an analysis by Pew Research Center.
The 2020 presidential election cycle occurred alongside the most tumultuous period of racial unrest in the US since the 1960s civil rights movement, following the killing of George Floyd by a then-Minneapolis police officer.
“He had to handle some hot potatoes,” civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton said in a telephone interview. “Trey was the real connection between civil-rights leadership, the White House and the campaign.”
Sharpton credited Baker with keeping lines of communication open between the White House and the community, particularly during moments of heightened tension like the trials of Derek Chauvin, the police officer convicted of killing Floyd, and of the men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood in February of 2020.
“Many of us, our policies were a lot more progressive than” Biden’s were, Sharpton said, adding that Baker would help steer groups toward achievable goals
On the campaign, Baker helped develop programs to increase outreach to Black men and small business owners. Part of former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy included an attempt to weaken Black voter turnout for Biden.
The latest departure from the administration raises the question of whether staffers are leaving because Biden is not running in 2024 or they believe he can’t win again.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.