New and familiar faces at the NAACP

Maria Scruggs

ST. PETERSBURG — The Enoch Davis Center played host to the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP 2016 elections. Election results were no secret given that the slate of officers presented to the general membership at the group’s October meeting ran unopposed.

The nominations included some officers from the previous administration as well as newcomers. Maria L. Scruggs will serve as the branch president, Nick Wright as the first vice president, Lydia Brown as secretary, Kent Channer as treasurer and Candy Wright as assistant treasurer.

The slate of officers also included those who will serve as members at large to the executive committee, including Delphine Brown, Di’east Easler- Bey, April Hornsleth, Poul Hornsleth, Cassandra Jackson, Mary Johnson, Dr. Frank Scruggs, Etta Tucker and Bernard Wright.

Maria Scruggs

Maria Scruggs

Unlike previous NAACP elections, this election has proven to be one of the most calming and uncontentious one in the group’s history. For months there were rumblings of coups and utterings of dissatisfaction along with threats of unseating me, but when asked if I was going to launch an active reelection campaign, I simply responded “absolutely not.” I simply ran on the branch’s accomplishments, which were impressive, given our challenge of rebounding from a year-long suspension.

A small sampling of those accomplishments:

• Drafting a 21-page position paper on the Pinellas County School Board’s Step Up for Success Plan

• Serving as an advocate for several Pinellas county families whose children had experienced a series of challenges within the Pinellas County School District.

• Fighting successfully for the rights of a disabled veteran to live where she chose to live.

• Was able to plan and execute several traditional NAACP programs such as the Emancipation Proclamation Service and several candidate forums during a very active and often volatile campaign season.

While we believe we have begun to create a focus on the social and economic injustices for people of color in St. Petersburg, we recognize the work has just begun. We are excited about a new year of commitment toward the mission of the NAACP!

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