Friday, January 30, 2009

Michael Steele elected Chairman of the RNC

Just a short while ago, Michael Steele was elected and will now serve as the first African American Chair of the RNC. While I have often disagreed with his positions, I do applaud Chairman Steele's recent outreach attempts. He has made numerous speaking appearances in forums dealing with urban issues and has participated for the last two years in the NAACP's Annual Leadership 500 summit. Each time Mr. Steele was willing to dialogue in forums and panels; answering some tough questions from really tough crowds. And while I found myself disagreeing as often as not, I commend him for joining the dialogue and sharing his thoughts and ideas about how we can collectively move forward.

I hope that Chairman Steele will work to make the RNC more inclusive and more attentive to the issues of blight, poverty, educational equity, disparities in criminal justice and healthcare, workers rights, fundamental fairness issues with regard to the LGBT and immigrant communities, and the elimination of the remaining vestiges of discrimination. I also hope that we will see him again THIS year at the Leadership 500 summit, so that he can continue this dialogue with the NAACP and other community organizations about needed reforms in the political structure and the society as well. 

Coupled with the recent election of President Obama, this moment provides us all with a key opportunity to refocus the civic discussion away from partisanship and political dogma onto issues of substance and a more thoughtful consideration of the "greater good". 

On behalf of the Wichita Branch NAACP, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to you Chairman Steele.... Now let's see what we can accomplish... Together.

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