BY JAMES HARPER
A public mass meeting will be held at Allen Chapel AME Church on Sept. 20, the opening night of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP’S 73rd annual convention. The convention is taking place in Daytona Beach, says the organization’s local branch president, Cynthia Slater.
The guest speaker will be the Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C. He also is vice president of Stakeholder Relations-NAACP. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a performance by the Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale. Allen Chapel is located at 580 George W. Engram Blvd., Daytona Beach.
The majority of activities for the convention will take place Sept. 20-22 at the Hilton Hotel Oceanfront Resort, 100 N. Atlantic Avenue.
Voter suppression to be discussed
Slater said emphasis during the convention will be placed on critical issues that impact the lives of people of color and the poor, including affordable health care, Medicare, Medicaid, employment and education and economic opportunities.
She said special attention also will be paid to the local, state and national elections.
Slater has been working with the state and national NAACP to combat voter suppression laws that recently were passed in Florida.
Dale Ho, assistant counsel for the national NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said testimony by Slater was essential to recent decisions by judges involving early voting hour changes and the 48-hour rule.
The judges found that minority voters disproportionately use early, in-person voting and, therefore, will be disproportionately affected by the changes in early voting procedures.
Slater’s testimony representing the NAACP also helped persuade judges earlier this year to block a 48-hour rule for third-party registrants who had to turn in new voter registration forms during that time period.
State, national speakers
Some of the speakers and presenters during the Florida NAACP’s three-day convention will include:
• Jacqueline Patterson, Director of Climate Control & Environmental Issues
• Beth Glenn, Director of Education
• Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Interim