Monday, April 29, 2013

NAACP Voices Opposition to City Proposals to Change Charter

Longview News Journal - Click here for full story.
From Staff Reports

Gregg County election workers began installing voting booths across the county Friday, readying for the opening of early voting Monday for the May 11 general election.

Voters will let their voices be heard on an array of municipal issues from bond elections, charter changes and legalizing alcohol sales to selecting mayors and school board trustees.

Longview voters will decide on two propositions to change the city charter — one to increase residency requirements from six months to one year for a candidate to file for office.

The other proposition proposes to charge a $100 filing fee to run for office or 25 signatures on a petition. While the NAACP has voiced opposition to both proposals, a majority of City Council members and the mayor have said they believe serious candidates will be able to muster the money or the signatures. Council members Richard Manley and Kasha Williams voted against calling the charter elections.

The issue most likely to pull the largest number of voters to the polls is a proposition to legalize the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption citywide.

Longview’s Proposition 1 would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption in all areas of Longview.

Central, South and East Longview allow the sale of alcoholic beverages, while the rest of the city is dry.

Members of Longview United for Growth, the group that gathered signatures to call the election, call their proposal going “damp” since it would not allow the sale of liquor citywide.

While there has been no organized opposition to the proposition, a similar effort in 2007 was narrowly rejected by Longview voters. The 2007 election pulled 15 percent voter turnout — compared to 5 percent voter turnout in the 2012 election.

See also Article: Longview Voters, April 25th

Friday, April 26, 2013

Education Summit

Education Summit
Saturday, May 4th
9am - 4pm
Temple College Pavilion
2600 South 1st Street
Temple, TX 76504

TOPICS:
Education
Immigration
Health
Veterans

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Texas State Conference of NAACP Units Quarterly Meeting

Meeting Information

Texas State Conference of NAACP Units Quarterly Meeting
Saturday June 8, 2013, 10:00 AM
The Historical South Union Missionary Church
807 S Dorrance St. (South End Area)
Palestine, Texas 75801
Dwayne Moffitt Jr, Pastor
(903) 723-7294

Lunch will be available for $10.00 per person
Hotel Information
Due to June 8, 2013 being graduation weekend for the Palestine Area the hotel space is very limited. I have blocked off 13 King size room @ $87.99 plus tax per night and 4 Handicapped accessible rooms @ $87.99 plus tax per night. I will know the second week in May if there will be and Double room available. At that time you will be able to make changes to your reservations. Each room comes with a pullout couch, mini refrigerator, and microwave. Continental breakfast is included. Please contact the hotel directly in order to secure a room at the discount rate. All reservations must be secured with a credit/debit card during the initial reservation setup. May 17, 2013 is the cut-off date for the rates.

Comfort Suites
301 Willow Creek Pkwy
Palestine, Texas 75801
(903) 723-0284
GM.TXB78@choicehotels.com

Discount Code: NAACP Quarterly Session
Janice Hall- Branch Treasurer
(903) 922-1047
For additional information contact:
Kenneth Davidson (903) 394-8063 Branch President
Edwina Miller (903) 391-1381 Branch Executive Committee

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bill on Racial Testimony Reviewed in Austin

Posted in Longview News Journal - Click here for full story.

AUSTIN (AP) — Rallying around the case of a black man sentenced to death on racially charged testimony, opponents of capital punishment asked state lawmakers Tuesday to create a new avenue of appeal for death row inmates in Texas.

But despite national attention to the case, including support from a surviving victim, a lawyer who worked for the prosecution and a former governor, several members of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee called the proposal unnecessary.

Under House Bill 2458, convicted murderers could challenge their sentences by proving that race played a significant role in the decision to seek or impose the death penalty. While statistical evidence of a district attorney’s record on seeking the death penalty could be offered, other evidence particular to the case would be required. To qualify for a hearing, defendants would have to accept an alternate sentence of life without parole. Kentucky and North Carolina have enacted similar laws.

Of the 304 inmates on death row in Texas last year, according to the most recent count by the Death Penalty Information Center, 122 were black, 89 were white and 89 were Latino.

“We know,” said Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, “that blacks and Hispanics are overrepresented in Texas on death row.”

At the hearing Tuesday, Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican from the Woodlands, expressed a lack of familiarity with the case. He called the use of race as a factor “shocking.”

Yannis Banks, a spokesman for the state chapter of the NAACP, offered statistics dating from the 19th century to the present day.

“Race continues to play an undeniable role in Texas’ use of the death penalty,” he testified.

Volunteer of the Year: Melba Smith

Longview News Journal 
Article by Angela Ward

Longview NAACP Super Hero for 2013
Melba Smith, Secretary 
Longview honored its own brand of superheroes Tuesday at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon hosted by the Longview Nonprofit Coalition.

Superheroes were the theme for this year’s event at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

“With movies like ‘The Avengers’ and others based on comic books being big hits at the theaters, superheroes just seemed like a good way to focus on what volunteers do for our community,” said Carol Ibarra, coalition president.

Several of the volunteers being honored played into the theme, wearing capes, masks or unbuttoning one shirt to reveal another — usually with the name of the agency they volunteer for underneath.

The average volunteer gives 50 hours per year to the agency he or she volunteers for, providing more than $700,000 worth of services to the community, Ibarra said.

Longview Councilwoman Kasha Williams said volunteers play a vital role in the community.

“Government cannot solve all of the nations problems,” Williams said. “We also need the help of dedicated, involved volunteers.”

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt also said he knows how important volunteers are to people who need help, and said he supported the theme.

“Volunteers truly are the superheroes of our community,” Stoudt said.

The Longview Nonprofit Coalition was formed in 1995 and provides more than 50 nonprofit agencies with opportunities to network and share information.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NAACP Protests Confederate Flag in Palestine


PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) -

CLICK HERE to view video and an article by KLTV.

CLICK HERE to view published article in the Palestine Herald Press.


A new park in Palestine has created a lot of controversy and on Saturday, opposition protested its grand opening.

On Saturday morning, the Sons of Confederate Veterans hosted a parade and ceremony to officially open the "Confederate Veterans Memorial Plaza".

It is a park that only honors confederate veterans from the Civil War.

However, members of the NAACP said the Confederate flag that flies over the park is offensive.

"It's a flag that many of our ancestors fought under. It's a special flag to us because it was extremely special to them," said Doug Smith, Adjutant/Treasurer of the John H. Reagan Camp.

However, the flag that now flies high over park is offensive to others in the Palestine community. So much so, that the president of Palestine's NAACP organized a rally. People came from all over Texas to show their support.

"I don't think you have to be a part of the NAACP to find offense to that flag," said Branden Johnson, President of the Longview NAACP.

Kenneth Davidson is President of Palestine's NAACP and said the flag symbolizes, "hatred, depression, oppression, slavery, and it's nothing but division."

Click here to read view KLTV video.  /  Click here to read Palestine Herald.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Meeting 2013

JOIN US FOR MONTHLY MEETING:

Thursday, April 18, 2013, 6:30 pm
314 E. Cotton Street, 75602,
Downtown Meeting Place (DTMP), which is just one block east of Green St. and directly across from Johnny's Custom Hatters.

PROGRAM:
Voter Election Information with Elected Officials and Key Ballot Items.
The Longview City Council placed two city-wide elections on the May ballot.
1) To allow “beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption,” and
2) To require a $100 filing fee or 25 signatures to apply to run for office and an increased residency requirement.

Speakers:
Kimberly Fish, with information about the beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption.
The alcohol proposition was called after the signatures of more than 5,300 Longview voters on petitions were verified by City Secretary Shelly Ballinger. An identical proposition was defeated in 2007; however, Kimberly Fish, a spokeswoman for Longview United for Growth, the organization behind the initiative, said the dynamics of the city have changed since then, and several key opponents of the 2007 measure are no longer in the city.

Read more at Longview News Journal article- click here.

RECEPTION:
Members are invited to a reception in honor of
Tanreka Smith who became Ms. UNCF in February.
She is from Longview and is the President Elect of the Wiley NAACP.
SAVE THE DATE FOR JULY 2013 MEETING:
Donavon R. Sammons, Edward Jones Financial Advisor
View Bio of Donavon Sammons
View outline of presentation
Donavon Sammons
Financial Advisor
Edward Jones Investments
3530 Forest Lane Suite 140
Dallas,TX 75234-7978
(214)-350-0838

www.edwardjones.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Palestine Anti-Confederate Memorial Rally

The Palestine Unit of the NAACP has activated the State Conference to hold a peaceful Rally and March to protest the Sons of Confederate Veterans Monument/Memorial unveiling.

Saturday, April 13th, 2013
9 am on Spring St. at the Palestine Information Center, Palestine, TX.This monument directly links Palestine back to our painful past. The site for this unveiling of the monument/memorial is on a plot where blacks were once hung from a tree. To this day that tree remains standing. Join us as we travel to Palestine to promote love and peace.

A group from Longview will leave together at 7:30 am. Saturday, April 13, 2013, in order to be there by 9:00 am. Call President of the Longview Unit with any questions.

To better understand why we join this cause...READ THE CONFEDERATE DECLARATION.

Click here to Read / View the news report about this event.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Financial Freedom Month

The NAACP Economic Department is hosting a multi-media contest to encourage units and state conferences who participate to create a short multi-media presentation to display how you celebrated Financial Freedom Month. We are awarding $500 to the unit who wins 1st prize winner; $300 to the 2nd prize winner and $200 to the 3rd prize winner.

We welcome all NAACP Units to participate in NAACP Financial Freedom Month and we are asking you to host one of the following events/programs:

Palestine Anti-Confederate Memorial Rally


The Palestine Unit of the NAACP has activated the State Conference to hold a peaceful Rally and March to protest the Sons of Confederate Veterans Monument/Memorial unveiling. 


Saturday, April 13th, 2013
9 am on Spring St. at the Palestine Information Center, Palestine, TX.

This monument directly links Palestine back to our painful past. The site for this unveiling of the monument/memorial is on a plot where blacks were once hung from a tree. To this day that tree remains standing. Join us as we travel to Palestine to promote love and peace. 


A group from Longview will leave together at 7:30 am. Saturday, April 13, 2013, in order to be there by 9:00 am. Call President of the Longview Unit with any questions.