Sen.

Jeff Flake Washington Office United States Senate B85 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Thursday, July 13th, 2013

Senator Flake: We are writing you to request, at your earliest convenience, a face to face meeting with you after what can best be described as a week of regretful and deeply troubling happenings. Recent remarks, attributed to your son, that you both have offered apologies for, had a great and negative impact on many people, Black Arizonans in particular. We acknowledge your apology and the fact that you regret his choice of words. But Senator, we hope you can understand that it is not the words that concern us so much as it is the kinds of ideologies and values that give life to such words that gives us pause. Many in our community have looked past criticisms of you in relation to your positions on race. When issues of historical familial ties to slavery were raised, many looked past it. When rumors of your “tolerance” of Apartheid in South Africa were raised, many looked past that, too. In fact, some in our community went to great lengths to halt what they felt were “low” political blows regarding your commitment to racial equality. This latest incident, Senator Flake, is something quite different and this time we will and must face it, head-on, and hopefully together with you. We strongly encourage you to reach out to us, in a timely way, and to make the necessary room in your schedule to meet with leaders of Arizona’s Black Community. Many in our community cannot understand why Black leaders weren’t contacted by you or your office after this incident became public. If we are a valued constituency, as you have said in the past, we certainly weren’t treated like it. Learning of your apology/explanation second-hand from media reports left us, and justly so, wondering if our community matters to you at all. We deserve the opportunity, now more than ever, to express our concerns about this and other issues and to dialogue candidly with you in-person about solutions and how to move forward, together. We hope this letter and invitation initiates the first of many overdue meetings with Black leaders. We hope you will respond swiftly and accommodate our very reasonable request. Trusting that the concerns of your Black constituents are a priority and that you endeavor to work for the good of ALL Arizonans, we await your response.

In Progress,

Rev. Jarrett B. Maupin, II Rev. Oscar Tillman, President, Maricopa County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Hon. Calvin C. Goode, Former Phoenix Vice-Mayor and City Councilman Dr. Ann Hart, Arizona Civil Rights and Education Advocate Rev. Dr. Luther Holland, Chairman, Ministers for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice

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