NAACP makes last push for people to vote

October 26, 2008 1:51:23 PM PDT
The California chapter of the NAACP is holding its annual convention in Burlingame this weekend. The 99-year-old organization is making a final push to get out the vote before Election Day. For many people attending the convention, a sense of the history of this election is especially profound.

The NAACP is focused on more than just the Presidential choice. Among the many issues on the table, they are concerned about the economy, real estate, health care, and education. Nonetheless, it's the presidential election that is taking center stage. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the NAACP and they're hoping that coincides with another major mile stone, the inauguration of an African-American president.

A national board member pointed out that this annual state NAACP convention comes on the third anniversary of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks' death.

"She is smiling down on all of us and she's shouting about all the people who have been registered to vote across this country. I know she would want all of us to make sure that we did get the vote out," said Willis Edwards, an NAACP board member.

With only two weeks before the election, motivating members to vote and to get others to vote, is a top priority.

With Barack Obama leading in the polls, there is a feeling at the conference of being on the brink of realizing an historic dream.

Still, the state NAACP President Alice Huffman says there's more to this election than the top of the ticket, and they're reminding membership of that.

"We worry that with the East Coast voting so early, that the West Coast might decide 'Oh the top of the ticket is already decided. We'll stay home.' We don't want that. We want people to go out and vote because there are some important ballot measures that we have to decide. So we're getting out members out to tell people don't stay home, don't even turn on that TV," said Alice Huffman.

Making sure the ticket wins still concerns Senator Dianne Feinstein.

"The election of Barack Obama as president of this country, will do more for equal justice and equal rights in this country than any court decision, law, program or reform," said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) of California.

Later she explained that is what she learned as the first woman mayor of San Francisco.

"When you become the top person and people look at you, they open doors to others who might be like you. Whether it's your sex, or color or anything else," said Senator Feinstein.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) of California is on his way to speak at the conference Friday evening. The convention wraps up on Sunday.


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