U.S. Sen. Scott Brown agrees to meet with Springfield NAACP leader Talbert Swan after initially saying no

Published: Friday, January 27, 2012
By Robert Rizzuto, The Republican

U.S. Sen. Scott P. Brown, left, is seen with the Rev. Talbert Swan II, president of the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP in these file photos.

U.S. Senator will be meeting with the Springfield NAACP after all.

Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown agreed to meet with local NAACP President Rev. Talbert Swan II on Friday, hours after Swan took his refusal to accept no for an answer public.

Brown’s office in Washington D.C. reported Friday afternoon that the senator is now tentatively scheduled to meet with Swan in March while Jerry McDermott, the state director for Brown’s office, will appear at Swan’s church in February.

“The NAACP is pleased that Senator Brown has agreed to schedule time to meet with us in March and will make his staff available to us for a preliminary meeting in February,” Swan told The Republican. “We understand Senator Brown is balancing the needs and concerns of multiple constituents, however, we also believe it is important for him to hear the concerns of those we represent. The upcoming meetings will illustrate that Senator Brown’s is devoted to listening to all of his constituents. We appreciate the commitment to meet with us and look forward to Senator Brown honoring that commitment.”

The details of the meetings are still being worked out, but Swan initially asked Brown to spend time talking with its members about policy.

In December, Swan sent a letter to Brown’s office, asking the senator to come to Springfield and speak with the local NAACP members about their concerns for the future of the country. Brown’s office initially declined, citing the senator’s “full schedule.”

But following a campaign appearance in the city on Wednesday and Swan’s persistence, Brown reconsidered.

“Senator, we want you to directly hear from residents from all walks of life, from small business owners and their employees to the unemployed, on their ideas how to increase jobs and prosperity in our area along with many other concerns,” Swan wrote in his initial letter. “It is important that the constituents understand your priorities and to work together with you to craft a consensus solution for Massachusetts.”

In addition to appearing in Washington D.C. for his U.S. Senate duties, Brown is in the middle of a heated re-election campaign against three Democratic challengers, including Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor.

Swan said a meeting with Warren is currently being worked out as well.

“We have invited Elizabeth Warren. We have been in contact with her office and are awaiting a potential date,” Swan said. “We have not invited Senator Kerry. As it is an election year for the seat currently held by Senator Brown, it is important to see where the candidates for that seat stand on issues of concern to our constituents.”

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