|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 24, 1998
Sheila Douglas or Dan Willson -- (410) 486-9227
Hillary Shelton -- (202) 638-2269
Releases Report Card On Senate, House; NAACP Mobilizes Grassroots Campaign
- June 24 -- NAACP President/CEO Kweisi Mfume released
the organizations annual Legislative Report Card today on the 105th Congress at a
news conference on Capitol Hill that showed a dismal
legislative performance on important civil rights votes.
"We have followed the voting records of members of this Congress and find that both
the House and Senate have failed the American people as it relates to civil rights
issues," Mfume said. "After tabulating each individual members score on
these important votes, it is clear that the majority of the 105th Congress is guilty of
nonperformance and is in default."
The NAACP Legislative Report Card is the second step in the Associations three-step
political action/voter empowerment efforts for the 1998 election cycle. Those steps
include voter registration, voter education and voter turnout. All NAACP state conferences
and local branches will use the Report Card to further evaluate the performance of their
congressional representatives and affect change at the polls.
The report card is a compilation of key votes that affect all Americans, especially people
of color. "We intend to use this information as a sword to defeat delinquent
legislators of both parties and bolster those who care about and vote for equal protection
under the law for all Americans," Mfume said.
President Mfume went on to add that "I have called upon all NAACP units to hold
public candidate forums and distribute this report card which will serve notice that
candidates can no longer pay lip service to the concerns and issues of African-Americans
and other minorities without consequences."
The NAACP President further added that this educational exercise will produce greater
information for NAACP units and members, which will lead to increased voter participation
"The NAACP will not sit by the sidelines during this important election year,"
Mfume said. "We are going to make our presence felt in this election as never before.
As the report card circulates through our branches, it will be used in a nonpartisan
fashion to punish those with failing grades and reward our heroes. The NAACP has no
permanent friends or enemies; only permanent interests." The NAACP has 1700 units,
located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and in every congressional district
in the nation.
NAACP Chairman Julian Bond emphasized that the report card will be used to energize the
Associations grass-roots activists. "We are doing more than holding this single
press conference," Bond said, "these report cards will be widely distributed
throughout the NAACP and to our allies in the civil rights community."
For more information on the NAACPs Political Action/Voter
Empowerment Program, including individual and state delegation grades
and other important facts go to the NAACP website at http://www.naacp.org
or call the NAACP.
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