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Supporting New NAACP Leaders

Past president has words of encouragement

By E.D. Mondaine

As past President of Portland NAACP Branch 1120, I extend my congratulations to new NAACP Board volunteers for their recent appointments.

The NAACP is known for its fearless leadership in advocating and building platforms that advance the civil and human rights of Black people. I am confident that during your administration, Portland Branch 1120 will continue this important legacy.

I believe fresh perspectives and valuable insight are crucial as we navigate turbulent waters in these most unprecedented times. My commitment to justice is what has guided my work, and I hope this will be the compass for the work you'll do in black and brown communities.

I am proud to leave you with an organization that is thriving. After over four decades of not having a home, The NAACP Branch 1120 now inhabits a new home in Lloyd Center Mall, located in Portland's historic Black community. In only three years, revenues for the organization have increased by 2,900%. Membership has flourished from under 300 to over 1,000.

As co-petitioner of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (an idea originated by our past NAACP President JoAnn Hardesty), the NAACP is now on the frontlines of climate change. This measure passed in November 2018 with 65% support from Portland voters, creating up to $61 million in brand new annual funding for clean energy homes and jobs in Portland targeted for black and brown communities.

Early in 2019, Portland NAACP led a coalition opposing a regressive unreinforced masonry ordinance designed to displace tenants, demolish buildings, and devalue property in favor of developers. This ordinance targeted facilities in historically Black neighborhoods, promoting further gentrification and continuing a long history of systemic and structural betrayals of our black community. In October 2019, the NAACP was proud to have led a coalition that played an essential role in supporting the Portland City Council to overturn the toxic and unjust policy unanimously.

These are just a few examples chronicling the NAACP Branch 1120 accomplishments in only three short years. I encourage the incumbent leadership to be bold in its advocacy for black and brown people's rights. I also want to remind us all, civil rights are human rights, and there is yet much work necessary to build a coalition that fights for justice concerning all people.

Once again, I applaud and congratulate the incumbent NAACP Board and extend my support whenever needed.

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