SPLC Action Fund launches two organizations to push for diversity in local government

The group came under fire from its former employees in 2019, who claimed that cofounder Morris Dees fostered a discriminatory environment against women and non-white employees at the center.

Updated: September 12, 2022 - 4:34pm

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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Action Fund announced on Monday the formation of two PACs to promote diversity in local government candidates across the South.

The New Southern Leaders federal Political Action Committee (PAC) and the New Southern Majority federal Independent Expenditure Committee (Super PAC) will "help recruit, support and drive greater diversity among political candidates running for local offices throughout the South," according to an emailed press release.

“While many suburban counties have become more progressive and diverse in the last decade, local elected leadership remains overwhelmingly white and conservative," SPLCAF President and CEO Margaret Huang said.

"And these incumbents often keep winning simply because they run unopposed. In Southern states, it is not unusual for upwards of half of local elections to be uncontested," she continued. "And that is how we end up with school boards that are not only banning books but also the teaching of Black history and culture, and the Holocaust; cities that arrest and kill Black citizens at a rate five times greater than whites; and elections deniers in charge of counting votes in elections."

New Southern Majority will spend up to $800,000 on Georgian local races this year. The press release did not offer spending targets for New Southern Leaders.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left civil rights activist organization with a history of smearing conservative public figures as extremists. In one instance, the group came under intense criticism for posting an extremism profile on Dr. Ben Carson in 2014. The SPLC was forced to remove the page and apologize.

The group also came under fire from its former employees in 2019, who claimed, ironically, that cofounder Morris Dees fostered a discriminatory environment against women and non-white employees at the center.