In January we strongly urged the Senate to vote against William Barr’s confirmation. His record disqualifies him from leading the Department at this critical time in history. He was a general in the War on Drugs, which devastated communities of color. At every opportunity, he has made it clear that he cannot be trusted to enforce our nation’s laws. We warned the Senate that he was selected not to protect the people, but rather to protect Trump. We warned that he was incapable of providing independent leadership of the Justice Department. He is simply unfit to serve. Sadly, for our country, he has proven us correct over and over again.
We have always known the importance of the courts. Whether we are the plaintiffs bringing the case forward or the legal counsel arguing the case, the NAACP is in the fight and in the courts. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case NAACP v Trump, our lawsuit against the Trump administration for its decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If DACA is rescinded, it would put hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants—many of whom are Black—at risk of deportation.
- In North Carolina we are leading the fight to challenge the state’s voter ID requirements that were set to go into effect in 2020. Just as we are ringing in the new year, a North Carolina judge just blocked the ID law citing the state’s “sorid history of racial discrimination and voter suppression.”
- In Connecticut, we are challenging the statewide practice of counting incarcerated people as residents of the legislative districts where they are held, rather than in their home districts. Inflating the population of the more rural communities where prisons are located. Our lawsuit is the first in the nation that challenges this practice.
- In Georgia, we won a lawsuit challenging the state’s decision not to process 53,000 voter registration applications, the majority of them African Americans.
- In Tennessee our state conference was the lead plaintiff in a case that challenged a Tennessee law that wanted to make it more difficult to register people to vote.
- In Florida, we are plaintiff in a case contesting state lawmakers’ attempt to circumvent the will of the voters by weakening Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to certain categories of formerly incarcerated persons.
- In Indiana, we won an injunction against the State’s use of the “Cross-Check System” to purge voters from the rolls without first seeking to contact the purged voter via mail notification as required.
In July, delegates to the national convention voted unanimously to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump. We wholeheartedly support the call by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. We have appreciated the House’s careful efforts to conduct its impeachment inquiry into the wrongdoing and corruption of Donald Trump. With every hearing and every witness, it has become more clear that the President abused his power by sacrificing the national interests of our country to further his own personal and political interests. Because the integrity of the 2020 election is at risk, we cannot afford to wait any longer to protect our democracy.
Continuing on the success of the 2018 program, the NAACP led a new approach to voter engagement with a focus on 2019 elections taking place in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia. Research shows that an extra push from someone you know, or from someone you can relate to, can be all the motivation needed to get infrequent voters to the polls. We engaged over 400,000 volunteers, frequent, and in-frequent black voters. Through a direct mail program, we sent 260,000 pieces of mail across the targeted states to a group of black voters who were both our GOTV targets and potential advocates as relational organizers. We sent 180,000 thousand frequent black voters peer-to-peer text messages on the Hustle platform across the four states powered by over 150 volunteers. We celebrated critical successes in Virginia, Kentucky, and in Lousiana where, in a highly contested gubernatorial race, early voting turnout was key in the general election.
We must guard against the assualt on our civil rights from all corners – from the halls of congress to corporate boardrooms. The NAACP is leading the charge to urge Comcast to cease its attack on Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866—a bedrock civil rights statute that has been in place for more than 150 years. We have been joined in this fight by the Congrssional Black Caucus, Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, entertainment industry leaders, and many others.
Similarly, we continue to challenge Facebook on their policies which aid in the spread of misinformation. despite the damage our democracy has suffered since 2016, Facebook remains unwilling to take meaningful and necessary action to remove political propaganda from its platform. While we recognize the value that Facebook provides in connecting people with one another, as well as its prominent usage within the Black community, we have called into serious question a platform that profits from the suppression of Black votes and Black voices.
The NAACP released a landmark report outlining President Trump’s alarming pattern of nominating persons to the federal bench who have atrocious records of enabling or defending voter suppression. Our report, the first of its kind, shows that Trump’s judicial appointment record is no accident. Undermining voting rights is now a qualification for nomination by President Trump to the federal bench. This is another strong sign that this administration is bent on restricting access to the voting booth for communities of color.
Honoring our Strength and Resilience:
NAACP led a delegation of nearly 300 African Americans, ranging in age from 4 to 90, on a transformative journey from Jamestown, VA to Jamestown, Ghana to reconnect with their African roots and commemorate the Year of the Return to mark 400 years of resilience. “In the Twi language of Ghana, ‘Sankofa’ translates to ‘go back and get it.’ We are standing in our ‘Sankofa’ moment,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We are proud to return to Ghana to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and reaffirm that our existence is one of strength, power, resilience and liberation. Read full blog.
NAACP conducted training sessions on organizing skills for young people in California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Under the leadership of Tiffany Dena Loftin, the Youth and College team has equipped thousands of student activists with new tools and resources to lead campaigns around ending gun violence, addressing student debt, and strengthening democracy. While these are prominent national issues, the public debate often overlooks the Black perspective. Youth and College teamed up with Baller Alert for State of the Union: For the Counterculture. Young black people between the ages of 18 and 35 who discussed issues that mattered to them – everything from having #2020Vision to what organizers can do to take action and fight for the issues that matter to them.
Krystal Garner of BET’s “The Grand Hustle” and actress Ernestine Morrison hosted the listening session for the podcast Her Idea—NAACP’s podcast promoting entrepreneurship by Black women.
NAACP Annual Convention:
Thousands gathered in Detroit for the 110th National Convention in July. With the theme, “When We Fight, We Win,” the convention brought together elected officials, members, organizers, faith-leaders, entertainers, and young leaders for workshops and discussions about the issues impacting our community.
We could not have done this without your support. With so much on the line next year—the 2020 Census, the presidential election, and critical state and local races across the country we will continue to need you to stand with us. Help fuel the fight.