Greater Springfield NAACP annual banquet focuses on voter rights, need to increase minimum wage

By Suzanne McLaughlin, The Republican
on May 18, 2013

tswan ruth lovingAGAWAM – About 400 people attended the annual membership banquet of the Greater Springfield chapter of the NAACP Thursday night at Chez Josef.

The Rev. Talbert W. Swan II said that since he was elected president of the NAACP in June, 2011, the membership has increased.

“We have revitalized the brand,” he said. “We are alive and well.”

Speakers at the annual dinner focused on threats to voter rights and the need to make the minimum wage “a living wage.”

“Voters in Massachusetts are fortunate,” Swan said. He said there are efforts in other parts of the country to require photo identification to vote.

There are people without driver’s licenses who want to exercise their right to vote, Swan said.

“Nationally, the NAACP is equipping vulnerable communities with the resources to fight back against attacks on fundamental voting rights, advancing the case for gun control, fighting racial health disparities and advocating for living wages,” Swan said.

He said the Greater Springfield NAACP has been actively pursuing an agenda to address these issues.

The keynote speaker for the event was Trudy Lucas Grant, manager of stakeholder relations for the National NAACP.

In the last presidential election, voter turnout by African-Americans surpassed voter turnout in 2008, Grant said.

Grant said the NAACP works with faith communities and civic organizations to continue to get the vote out.

“I am excited to be here,” she said of Thursday’s membership dinner.

Those who attended watched filmed remarks by Gov. Deval L. Patrick and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.