Allies, Issues, and Actions: Sheriff Benny Napoleon

          The Detroit Branch NAACP held another great Allies, Issues, and Action meeting on Tuesday, October 29th. One week before election Day we thought it to be essential to hear from the two Detroit Mayoral candidates. Although both were invited only Sheriff Benny Napoleon responded and showed up. Sheriff Napoleon was moving, motivating, energetic as he graced  us with his esteemed presence.
          Sheriff Napoleon opened the discussion talking about his history as a Detroiter. “I love the City of Detroit and its people. I was born and raised in Detroit, where I have lived, worked, and raised my daughter.”  Napoleon said. He discussed the many years he has worked as a Police officer fighting crime with emphasis on the many years spent working day and night to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for all Detroiters. Sheriff Napoleon explained, “I have always been there for you! protecting and supporting our most prized possessions, our children and our seniors.” Sheriff Napoleon went on to discuss the importance of this years Mayoral election. Emphatically speaking, Benny Napoleon got every one’s attention when he said; “This election will come down to the voters making the decision on who should lead Detroit into the future and who will be involved in the Detroit Turnaround! This is the most important election in 70 years and will probably change Detroit for the next 30 years.” You cant afford to sit this one out! it will affect all of us!”

Detroit Branch NAACP Welcomes New National NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine Miller

The Detroit Branch NAACP wishes to congratulate and welcome Lorraine Miller as the new interim President and CEO of the NAACP. Miller will begin her tenure effective November 1, 2013. Miller is a member

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of the NAACP National Board of Directors, a former president of the Washington D.C. Branch and was the 35th Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.

Please click the link below to read the entire statement.

Press Release — Detroit Branch NAACP Welcomes Lorraine Miller as National NAACP Interim President and CEO

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments to Support Affirmative Action

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, Atty. Melvin Butch Hollowell, and Atty. Mark Rosebaum along with other members of the Cantrell Legal Team argue to support Affirmative Action Policies in Michigan in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, a challenge to Michigan’s Proposal 2. Mark Rosenbaum, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, argued the case before the court.

Proposal 2 is a 2006 ballot measure that led to a state constitutional ban on race-conscious college admissions policies, effectively creating two separate and unequal systems for determining the admissions criteria used at state universities.

“This case is ultimately about whether minority students will be allowed to compete on the same playing field as other students. Right now, there are two separate playing fields with two separate rulebooks,” said Rosenbaum. “Minority students and those who support a diverse student body should not have to overturn a constitutional amendment to have their voices heard in the admissions process when everyone else can simply lobby the university.”

Under Proposal 2, donors, athletic officials, church groups, alumni, and others can lobby universities to have their constituents’ affiliations or experiences – such as legacy or athletic achievement – considered in admissions decisions, but students cannot ask that race be considered.

This article was originally posted by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. For the full article please visit


Allies, Issues & Action: City Clerk, Janice Winfrey

          Detroit NAACP Allies, Issues, and Action Meeting held on Tuesday, October 8th was exciting and informative. Our guest speaker was Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. As we prepared to here from the City Clerk, we were also graced with the presence of Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, Attorney for the Detroit NAACP. Attorney Hollowell opened the discussion giving an update on the Affirmative Action Case, which will be heard in the United State Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Our Attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell also spoke about the Detroit Branch NAACP Lawsuit against the State of Michigan concerning P.A. 436, the Emergency Manager Law.  “This lawsuit is not just about Detroit. Its about every Municipality in Michigan with an Emergency Manager.” Butch went into a very detailed discussion to educate our Allies on the three separate lawsuits on the Emergency Manager issue in Michigan. “Flint’s Lawsuit deals with Pension Funds. AFSCME’s lawsuit deals with Collective Bargaining Rights, and the Detroit NAACP Lawsuit deals strictly with Voting Rights. Our argument is the Emergency Manager law creates a superior and inferior class of voters.
          Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey was joined by the Will Wesley. Mr. Wesley took over for Daniel Baxter as the Deputy Clerk and Director of Elections in Detroit. Speaking first,  the Clerk defined what the roll of the Clerk was in the election process. In terms of voter turnout Clerk Winfrey explained “Voter turnout is my priority!” City Clerk Winfrey also tried to dispel some of the misunderstandings about the 2013 Primary Elections.  “We met with the Wayne County Clerk, and the State Board of Elections to discuss the primary election months ahead of time!” the Clerk explained. “We used hash marks to keep a tally of the votes, but it was not a binding document.” The Clerk was deliberate in helping our Allies understand the challenges she has had to face every election cycle. From the infamous two page Ballot, to Detroit voting city council by district for the first time in almost 100 years, every election cycle has brought new challenges and new ways of doing things! Winfrey explained that she is an administrator at heart and will stop at nothing to insure the integrity of our elections. “I will go to jail to insure that elections in Detroit are administered with the utmost integrity!”
          Mr. Wesley addressed the Allies with information on his work history. He is a military man who has worked in elections throughout the country for 11 years. From the State of New York to Washington State, and Florida, Will Wesley brings allot of experience to the job, but can he feel the big shoes of former director of Elections Daniel Baxter?  Deputy Clerk Wesley opened his remarks by saying, I was thoroughly impressed with the level of professionalism of our employees at the Department of Elections.” Will Wesley, the Director of Elections/ Deputy Clerk also left us with some very important dates for the upcoming elections;
  1. October 21st – Satellite Voting Begins at the East and West campuses of Wayne County Community College District
  2. October 28th – Public Hearing on the Consolidation of Elections – (Moving all odd year election; Mayor and City Council, to even years elections to coincide with Presidential and/or Gubernatorial elections.)
  3. Vote -In – Person ballots end on November 4th
  4. Election Day is November 5th!

Allies, Issues and Action Meeting with Guest Speaker: Cathy Garrett

          Tuesday, October 1st Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was enlightening and extremely informative. Our Guest Speaker was Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. Our topic of discussion was the 2013 Mayoral election.
          The County Clerk opened the discussion with a detailed explanation of the origin and purpose of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.  Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also spoke in detail about the importance of poll workers using hash marks as they count votes on each ballot. She asked the question; “How are you able to keep an accurate count with no discrepancies if you don’t use a system that identifies every vote. Furthermore how do you check to verify that each vote has been counted if your just writing down the total number without identifying each vote within that total with a written indication that each vote has been counted?”
          Speaking with conviction the Clerk also highlighted many other possible irregularities within the 2013 mayoral primary election. All of which were indicated in her 23 page report distributed at the Detroit NAACP Allies, Issues and Action Meeting on October 1st. The Packet for information purposes, contained:
– Legislation on the Appointment of County Board of Canvassers
(*Note section 168.823)
– Election Inspector Training Coordinator Accreditation Workshop Manual
      (*Note: pg. 72 for example on how votes are tallied on election night)
– State Manual for Board of County Canvassers
(*Note Pg. 26 for instructions on examining write-in tallies)
 – Job Aid issued by the City of Detroit for Election Inspectors to Tally Write-in Votes
 – Letter from the Director of the Detroit Department of Elections to poll Workers
 – Example from State of Michigan Precinct by Precinct Mayoral Re-tabulation (Recount)        Report
 – Summery of request concerning Turnaround Detroit PAC
          Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also highlighted some of the same irregularities mentioned by former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow.  “On write-in Ballots there were more than 90 different spellings and/or ways the write-in candidate’s name appeared in the write-in section on the ballot. Some write-in names were even typed in and not written at all!” The Clerk went on to say, “One box that supposedly had ballots inside; when opened, it was empty. Seals were broken before ballots were counted.”  Gracefully speaking, the county clerk explained how important it is to get this one right!  “Regardless of who you support, as a Clerk it is our duty to uphold Democracy and insure the integrity of elections.

Detroit Branch NAACP and Detroit NAACP Youth Council ACT-SO Master Classes

Are you a high school student or connected to a high school student who is a budding chemist, scientist, engineer or doctor? If you are or know of one then we encourage you to sign up and register for the Detroit Branch NAACP and Detroit NAACP Youth Council ACT-SO Master Class. ACT-SO is the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics of the Mind competition for high school students. There are five categories high school students can compete in: Science, Entrepreneurship, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Humanities. As we prepare for the 2014 ACT-SO season we are offering enrichment Master Classes to help get our future ACT-SO Olympians ready for our 2014 local competitions. ACT-SO contestants are competing for a chance to win Bronze, Silver or Gold Medals. Gold Medal winners qualify for the National NAACP ACT-SO Competition that will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2014. The first Master Class will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 10:00 A.M. — 12:00 P.M. at the Detroit Branch NAACP Office. The focus will be on the Science Category. The Master Class will give you an opportunity to meet experts in the Science field, ask questions to help you prepare for the competition, and receive tips and pointers on presentation.

Sign up today by either emailing or calling 313-664-2406. act-soflyermasterclass1