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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 24, 1998
5:45 PM
CONTACT:  NAACP
Sheila Douglas or Dan Willson -- (410) 486-9227
Hillary Shelton -- (202) 638-2269
Mfume Releases Report Card On Senate, House; NAACP Mobilizes Grassroots Campaign
 
WASHINGTON - June 24 --  NAACP President/CEO Kweisi Mfume released the organization’s 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 member’s 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 Association’s 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 in 1998.

"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 Association’s 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 NAACP’s 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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