My good friend, Ohio State Representative Tyrone Yates, is just back in Cincinnati from the 2007 NAACP convention in Detroit. Tyrone is at current President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Here is his report from the convention.
I recently attended the 98th NAACP National Convention in Detroit where I was a delegate. Detroit, contrary to opinion, is very dynamic and very safe downtown and business district. Detroit has hosted the NAACP 7 times in its 98 year history.
As a Delegate to the NAACP Convention, I found it more democratic and delegate friendly than the 2004 Democratic National Convention where I served as a delegate from Ohio. If I voted on the Democratic Platform I don’t remember it and it certainly was not a deliberate process that the delegates participated in. At the NAACP Convention, I witnessed participatory democracy in its finest form
Over three days, over eight hours, NAACP Voting Delegates from the 50 states, US territories, and the District of Columbia thoughtfully discussed and debated issues stretching from Voting Rights to International Affairs. Every delegate had the right to speak to the many Resolutions considered or to amend them from the floor. The Presiding Officers, either a brilliant preacher or a first-rate legal mind, ran the Public Legislative Sessions with unrivalled skill and unperturbed patience.
I played a minor role in the Convention by pointing out to the assembled national delegates that wording in a Resolution was incorrect in NOT stating that of the first fifteen presidents of the United States, neither John Adams, the second president, nor John Quincy Adams, John Adam’s son and the sixth president, were slaveowners.
I felt the NAACP owed it to the memories of both Presidents John and John Quincy Adams to represent their roles in history with both honor and accuracy. John Quincy Adams played a role as sizable as President Lincoln’s in ending slavery by his courageous and tenacious stand on upholding the absolute Right Of Petition (presenting petitions from Abolitionist groups and citizens) in Congress after he served in Congress.
The nation and the NAACP owe President and Congressman and Senator and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams the laurel wreath of honor. Let it be done.
I also amended a Resolution on International Affairs specifically calling for the use of medically supervised condom distribution and syringe exchange programs to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world. I was heartened that the National NAACP Convention Delegates warmly approved the amendment I proposed.
The NAACP Convention was most impressive. I urge everyone to become a Member of the NAACP.