Green Party presidential hopeful Cynthia McKinney has reportedly selected hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente as her running mate. The Zentronix blog broke the story, and Ms. Clemente’s Web site confirms it.
Rosa Clemente was born and raised in the South Bronx, birthplace of hip-hop music and culture. She has degrees from the University of Albany and Cornell University. Her academic work has been dedicated to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States, with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party and the Black Liberation Army. While a student at SUNY Albany, she was President of the Albany State University Black Alliance and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Student Association. At Cornell she was a founding member of La Voz Boriken, a social/political organization dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico.
Ms. Clemente’s Web site features a testimonial from Chuck D of Public Enemy, perhaps the most politically influential rapper in U.S. history. He says of Clemente: “She is one of this generations’ most important political voices and community organizers.”
Neither her Web site nor her Wikipedia page makes Ms. Clemente’s age apparent. Is she constitutionally eligible to serve as president? It’s not clear. (UPDATE: Ballot Access News reports that Ms. Clemente is in fact 35 years old).
Cynthia McKinney reportedly has enough pledged delegates to win the Green Party’s presidential nomination on the first ballot. In the past, Green presidential nominees Ralph Nader and David Cobb were allowed to run with their chosen running mates (Winona LaDuke and Pat LaMarche, respectively).