NAACP rails against Williams defeat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

NAACP rails against Williams defeat

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December 7, 2005

Albany-- The local NAACP president says yesterday's defeat of Arthur Williams was catastrophic. William Wright says it's insane for Ward to be represented by Morris Gurr, because he's white.

Tonight, the group wants to organize lobbying networks to issue report cards on incumbents and candidates so voters will know who to vote for in the future.

NAACP leaders say that Tuesday's election of a white commissioner for the predominantly black Ward Three turned back years of black political progress. They say that history has proven white leaders don't understand and empathize with the problems facing black constituents, and therefore can never represent them well.

Local NAACP chief William Wright said "Yesterday's event was so catastrophic that we at the NAACP have to respond."

Wright announced plans to make sure political upsets, like the election of Morris Gurr over 22-year incumbent Arthur Williams, don't happen again. "People of color will easily gravitate and consider someone and turn back all that has work for them without looking at any allegiance," said Wright.

Wright says the Albany-Dougherty NAACP chapter is organizing a lobbyist network that will issue report cards on incumbents and candidates. "One of the things the report is going to look at is if you're an incumbent, what have you done for those issues sensitive to black constituents you represent."

And the report cards would show the track record of other candidates and what they've done for the black community. "If that person has not been in the community, he or she has no right to inherit the benefits that Martin Luther King, Junior and many others have put their life on the line for," said Wright.

The NAACP chapter hopes the lobbyist network and new political action groups will help raise money to support black campaigns. "If he or she has earned the right to run, then we are going to make sure we have the finances so they don't have to go out and beg anyone for money," said the NAACP leader.

The push by the NAACP comes after Arthur Williams lost his commission seat to Morris Gurr. The reason? More whites voted than blacks.

Wen asked if he thought the black community let him down, Williams said, "I feel like the black community let themselves down because I was there, my candidacy was there. I struggled through it all to represent and be honorable."

Arthur Kay Williams says he hopes his defeat re-energize the black community, so that on the next election day they will come to the polls in masses with what he calls their best interest in mind.

Local NAACP leaders hope to organize five political action groups that will start working on the candidate report cards and fundraising by the 2006 primaries.

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