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NAACP branch president promised to "open the books"
Subj:     NAACP branch president promised to "open the books"
Date:     2/19/2005 8:03:54 AM Central Standard Time
From:     Socialist2001 (Doug Mann)
To: (Minneapolis Issue, an e-democracy discussion listserv)

[Excerpts from]

Candidates for Mpls NAACP presidency promise reform, new vision
By: Isaac Peterson, III
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 11/11/2004

We [Minnesota-Spokesman Recorder] have asked the candidates [for Minneapolis NAACP branch president] to explain how they would address the four recommendations we put forth, which are as follows:

...2) Conduct Branch business in an open, democratic fashion. The elitist, authoritarian style of recent leadership has relied on police to eject dissident members and resorted to armed guards for maintaining order at meetings. Secrecy, a defining characteristic of police states, has come to characterize Branch operations. The media, along with dissident members, are now routinely barred from closed-door meetings that should be public.

...3) Open the [financial] books. A persistent refusal to disclose the Branchís financial operations to the membership, much less to the public and the press, inevitably suggests that there is something to hide..."

Open the [financial] books

Duane Reed: "The Minneapolis NAACP branch has not had a certified audit of its financials since 1998.

"This should have been the first order of business prior to the last officers assuming positions. The membership has consistently brought motions to the floor and actions voted on to conduct this audit, to no avail. The current officers failed to make this a priority, and thus caused turmoil and finger-pointing to occur the past two years.

"If I am elected, I will assure the membership that all books will be open and accessible according to the bylaws. Any issues or concerns can be addressed in a constructive manner during our membership meeting."

Conduct Branch business in an open, democratic fashion

Reed: "I have been a member of the NAACP for about 35 years in several states and never have seen the public and press denied access to the general membership meetings. I consider all NAACP meetings public with the exception of executive sessions that have legal and/or personnel matters to discuss.

All people are entitled to give their opinions and should be given and taken in a constructive manner. We canít afford to personalize issues at the expense of getting the mission of the Branch accomplished.

"Never should mutually respectful folks need outside authorities to maintain order in our Branch meetings. If any meeting escalates to the point of becoming out of control, itís the presidentís responsibility to suspend the meeting in lieu of soliciting outside forces.

"I will encourage all officers and chairpersons to have detailed written reports and adequate copies available for the membership prior to any monthly membership meetings. This will allow the focus to be on the report and the action recorded by the minutes."

For the full text, go to

-Doug Mann, King Field