RNC Hires Former Real Estate Agent as Director of 'African American' Communications

Crystal Wright

4/25/2013 12:01:00 AM - Crystal Wright

I can’t decide if the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) minority outreach effort is more like watching a sitcom or a soap opera dubbed “The Young and the Foolish.” In another twist to the organization’s Growth & Opportunity Project, to attract more voters of color to the GOP, the RNC hired former realtor Amani L. Council to the newly appointed position of Director of African American Communications.

No, you didn’t misread anything. I wrote realtor. (I won’t get started on why Republicans have followed Democrats into the hyphen world of calling blacks AAs. Blacks are no more African than whites are Caucasian, German or French Americans.)

As an RNC staffer remarked: “Makes perfect sense. If she can sell real estate in the DC she should be able to sell the GOP to the black media or sell you a house.”

An Internet search revealed Council is an agent working for RE/MAX Specialists in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. You just can’t make this stuff up. According to the Branch Avenue in Bloom March/April 2012 newsletter, sponsored by the Maryland Small Business Development Center, Council is described as a “successful realtor for the past six years,” working for RE/MAX Specialists.

Council said: “I haven’t done real marketing since I’ve been in the business. My clients are my billboards. I truly do believe customer service is my best tool and I make it a point to treat each client with the same level of attention and care I would expect in any business deal I encounter. Anyone can sell HOMES but not everyone delivers great service!”

It looks like the RNC and its conservative message may be the biggest billboard Amani Council has ever had to “sell” to one of the most dubious group of buyers ever, blacks. In the RNC press release touting this dynamic new hire, the RNC notes Council will be working with Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams, son of political commentator Juan Williams, to “build relationships with African American media as we work to earn the trust of more African American voters.”

The RNC praised Council’s “wealth of experience on the Hill and in public relations” but makes no mention of the six years she worked in real estate. Why?

Council's resume indicates since 2008 she has worked at Bass Public Affairs, as Director of New Media and Business Development. Council’s Hill experience includes working as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) from 2001-2002 and as a Legislative Correspondent/Systems Administrator for Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) 1998-2001. From 2006-2007, her resume states she was Director of Government Affairs for the Family Research Council.

Several Republicans emailed me, asking if I knew Council because they “never heard of her.” Neither have I but as a conservative recently said of me I’m “just a black blogger anyway.”

When you do an Internet search of Amani Council’s name, lots of information pops up about her real estate career but little else. The article on Council published in the Branch Avenue in Bloom newsletter mentioned Council became a realtor “as a result of wanting a career change.” Is Council now working at the RNC to dabble in minority outreach? The better question is whether the RNC is serious about building a meaningful relationship with blacks or just marketing a billboard of tomfoolery to black voters?