Among those attending the NAACP Reception were Assemblyman Steve Bradford, NAACP California State President Alice Hoffman, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilwoman Jan Perry, Wells Fargo Sr. Vice President Jonathan Weedman, Georgette Dixon of NAACP and Wells Fargo, NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Jealous, Mayor Alvin Brown of Jacksonville, FL U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, NAACP National Board Member Willis Edwards, and State Assemblyman Isadore Hall.
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
More than 300 Angelenos came out to greet the NAACP officers and members at the VIP Reception hosted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the Getty House in Hancock Park on July 23. The gala affair celebrated the NAACP 102nd Annual Convention being held in Los Angeles for the first time in 20 years.
A broad spectrum of people were in attendance including NAACP national officers, elected officials, business executives and community leaders. Among the guests were NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Jealous, NAACP National Board Member Willis Edwards, NAACP California State President Alice Hoffman, NAACP L.A.President Leon Jenkins, U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass,State Assemblymen Steve Bradford and Isadore Hall, L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks, L.A. councilwoman Jan Berry, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, Actress Loretta Devine, and Actor Obba Babatunde.
After greetings by Mayor Villaraigosa, President Jealous issued a charge to the crowd to increase involvement in national and local issues affecting African Americans. He also outlined several initiatives the historic organization will be launching in the coming months. Jenkins shared remarks as well along with Willis Edwards, NAACP National Board member, and John Sotoodeh, Regional President of Wells Fargo.
As sponsor of the reception, Wells Fargo supported the Mayor’s Office in utilizing the services of several African American businesses and organizations to make the reception an evening to remember. For instance, W.P. Miller, a Westchester-based firm, catered the event, award-winning photographer Valerie Goodloe and Nick Collins snapped photos, the Sevilles entertained the audience, and the Los Angeles Association of Black Personnel, which represents City employees of African American heritage, served as fiscal agent.
The NAACP convention, which continues through July 28, has attracted thousands of people to the Los Angeles Convention Center to discuss policies and programs to guide the organization during the coming year. Also, the guests have significantly boosted the local economy via tours, shopping, and visits to area attractions.