Compton NAACP President Paulette Simpson Gipson continues to make black history. Gipson is being sworn in to another term as president Feb. 16 at the Compton Airport at 10 a.m.
A decade ago Gipson made history as the first woman elected to lead the Compton NAACP and has done an excellent job while in office. The reality is when you hear the NAACP name mentioned locally it’s often because of Gipson, who continues to be a consistent civil rights leader in our community.
Her leadership in the NAACP is especially critical at a time when the LA NAACP has been dormant and useless to our community for the past two years. This wasn’t always the case.
Once former NAACP LA President Minnie Hadley Hempstead stepped down from her presidency two years ago and current President Carl Henley assumed the helm, the NAACP LA branch began an immediate steep decline.
Henley hasn’t been active or visible in the civil rights struggle in South L.A. He hasn’t raised any funds for the branch and canceled the annual fundraiser and holiday party.
Henley isn’t qualified to be president and has torn and divided the L.A. branch, which is in so much turmoil that the national NAACP headquarters is sending board members to monitor and carry out the upcoming NAACP LA branch elections, which have been postponed for months, effectively paralyzing the L.A. branch.
As a paid member of the NAACP LA branch, I don’t believe in talking behind branch members’ backs and I don’t bite my tongue for anybody. So let me be the first to say publicly Henley should just resign if he really wants to help the NAACP and our community. He’s the laughing stock of the NAACP.
Branch members continue to call Henley the invisible man, and many branch members hope to soon call him the disappearing man. Gipson and her Compton NAACP branch remain on the frontlines and if it wasn’t for her chapter, no one would even hear anything about the NAACP locally. More on the chaos of the L.A. NAACP later.
A battle royal is about to begin in earnest with the news that state Sen. Holly Mitchell has announced that she is running for a seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to replace termed-out Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2020.
Mitchell joins a growing field of candidates that already includes L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, former L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry, author and activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson and political newcomer Sharis Rhodes. This upcoming race promises to be one of the most watched races in our community in decades. More on each prospective candidate later.
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