A woman with a message

Renee Amoore's official task tomorrow night when she addresses the delegates at the Republican National Convention is to talk about prosperity.

The Montgomery County businesswoman plans to spend her five minutes in the prime-time limelight telling the country about John McCain's plans to help businesses prosper, and how those plans will also benefit families and communities.

But she has another message for her party, one that she's been preaching for years;

More diversity.

Amoore is one of only four African Americans who will address the convention. In the year that Democrats nominated a black man for president, that's embarrassing.

"A lot of people are proud and excited that I'm speaking," Amoore says, "but other people are saying, 'You still don't have enough diversity'."

Amoore has worked to address that shortfall, helping develop outreach programs, acting as a recruiter, and forever reminding the party leadership that they too have to be involved. Diversity can't just be the work of the few African Americans already in the party.

"We have to let people know we're not all white men," Amoore says.

And those efforts have to be more than talk.

"We have to put our money where our mouth is," Amoore says. "That means recruiting in the streets, knocking on doors in places where Republicans never go. ... Don't just knock on doors on the Main Line or in suburban areas.

"Go everywhere. That's what I'm telling the leadership, Go everywhere."

 Some party leaders are paying attention. For example, Amoore says the state party has decided to pay for an outreach person in Philadelphia, a first. Amoore herself has served in the party leadership, on the state and national level. And, of course, she's often given high-profile speaking assignments.

Her current designated time is 8:09 Eastern, right before vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Of course, as with all things at this convention, that is subject to change. If that happens, organizers should find another time for Amoore. The party needs to hear what she has to say.