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The NAACP California State Conference began it’s 20th annual convention today reviewing the past year’s activities and planning for the next, with delegates gathering at the Manhattan Beach Marriot Hotel.
“This is an opportunity for our branch presidents, convention delegates, leaders and constituents to share information about the best practices in carrying out the mission and goals of the NAACP,” said CSC President Alice Huffman.
Those goals include ensuring equal footing in politics, education and economics for all people and eliminating racial prejudice according to the organization’s website.
“We will also be focusing on our Youth Session where the best and the brightest of our young black minds will gather to discuss the issues of the day. Most importantly we will be discussing ‘hot button’ topics that have caused distress to the African American community across this country...”
Unequal justice for youth including the Jena 6, AIDS and the inner city health crisis, ballot initiatives and the information super highway are among those topics, she said.
“We expect to leave the conference with a plan of action that will result in safer neighborhoods and the lessening of black crime, produce creative opportunities for entrepreneurship and full participation in the American Dream...”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass and Assemblyman Merv Dymally are among the guest speakers at the four-day event. Dinner is tonight, bringing together NAACP branch presidents for a discussion on organizing and energizing chapters with a keynote by Charles White, chief of field operations for the national NAACP. Health crisis talks begin Friday.
Rounding out the program are the extensive youth chapter conferences focusing on crime prevention and equal opportunity employment. Attorney General Jerry Brown will keynote the Saturday luncheon, followed by Willie Brown former assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco who will deliver a keynote address at dinner.
“The issues we discuss have a profound effect upon our community from the youngest to the oldest of our citizens,” Huffman said.
“This convention brings the NAACP family together along with friends of the NAACP to tackle these issues and create a continuous plan of action.”