A message from the Columbus NAACP Branch President

Nana Watson

This past year has been one filled with unprecedented challenges for many of us. Despite it all, I am pleased to say that your NAACP has been remained vigilant in ensuring that our community was accurately counted in the 2020 census and that every vote was being counted in the last election.  Additionally, we partnered with Columbus Public Health to ensure that we will doing our part to share the importance of wearing a face mask and maintaining a safe social distance.

Given the current concerns with rising COVID-19 rates and restrictions with in person gatherings, we will be sending out ballots to our membership via U.S. mail.  All ballots must be postmarked by December 12, 2020.

I am seeking re-election as YOUR President and I humbly ask for your vote as well as to elect my executive leadership team, who I affectedly call the Unity Team.

Since being elected the President of the Columbus Branch of the NAACP in 2016, I have demonstrated a proven and trusted leadership in the Columbus Region.

As president, it has been an honor and pleasure to serve in this capacity and to be a fearless leader in championing issues that impact the lives of Black residents and businesses in our community.

Under my leadership, and with the support of a dynamic executive leadership team, we have been able to grow our members to more than 400 members, including 30 Lifetime Members.

We have also cultivated organizations who are committed to eliminate racism and inequities in the Black community to better position us to provide financial support to various organization that align with our National mandated seven game changers: Economic Sustainability, Education, Criminal Justice, Expanding Youth and Young Adult Engagement, Health, Voting Rights.

As a result of these relationships and our unwavering commitment to the Columbus region, the NAACP has earned recognition for being trusted advocate in the community and invited to participate in decisions ranging from economic development to law enforcement with organizations such as the Franklin County Commissioners, the City of Columbus, Columbus City Council, the Mayor’s Office, the Police Department, the Columbus Board of Education and Administration.  

These partnerships are vital to ensuring that our community receives fair and equitable treatment in the work place, housing and education. In addition, we have worked to ensure that Black owned businesses have greater access to economic resources helping them to grow and thrive. 

Under my current administration, my executive leadership team has accomplished the following:

 Economic Sustainability – Lawrence Auls

As a result of our advocacy for change we have successfully assisted the county in reaching a of goal of 12%  participation on the construction of the new Franklin County Correction Center which was exceeded.
Outcomes of Advocacy

Small Emerging Businesses: 

Contracted: $17,195,514,45 ;Paid: $12,635,907.41 


Total Workers- 156; Total Hours Worked; 

Wages: $2,494,120.62; Wages With Benefits: $3,981,292.06; 

Apprentices: 46 Journeymen: 121 Foremen: 11 

· Served as advisor on material for distribution to Black community by Franklin County Jobs and Family services.

· Input on Franklin County Building Futures and Drivers Futures Program to ensure young Backs have opportunity to participate in non-traditional employment opportunities.

· Participated in the County’s Equality Alliance Committee to assist in the design of a Community Development Finance Institutes.

· Continued to challenge entities in the areas of employment and purchase of good and services from black businesses .

· Developed a partnership with Columbus Zoo to encourage black participation in employment, goods and services and construction projects.

· The Columbus Zoo have implemented some of our suggestions to ensure the Zoo mirrors the Black community

· Continue to monitor LEDE program for Columbus City Schools and consider them as having “best practices” in tracking legislation as it relates to Black participation in contracts.

Shop Talk

Ms. Charity-Martin King, Chair, Community Coordination-, arranged for the judges of Adult and Juvenile Court to a  have conversation with several women in the community to discuss, how Black women need to begin to think about public office, and rewards of being a judge.  Individuals had opportunity to purchase goods from a Black female entrepreneur 

Communications – Chair Níel Jurist

· Challenged the Columbus Dispatch to change the manner in which news is reported to and on the Black community.  

· Recommended more Black reporters be employed, and complete implicit basis training be, provide internship opportunities for young people, provide opportunity for Black leaders and others to have opportunity to submit articles on issues on issues affecting the community.  All recommendations were completed.

· Met with local media outlets to encourage them to receive implicit bias training. They agreed to the training.

· Worked with the Young Adult Chair to develop a social media campaign, “Take Over Tuesday,” via Instagram to highlight the census, voter suppression, COVID-19 and gun violence.

· Thanks to the success of the “Take Over Tuesday,” campaign we received positive media exposure from local broadcast and national print news publications including the Washington Post and Reuters.

· For our GOTV efforts, we partnered with Judge Laurel Beatty,(Tenth District Court of Appeals) to emphasis the importance of voting, in particular when it comes to judges and prosecutors.

· Increased our fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to build a greater awareness about our mission, vision, seven game changers and to attract more diverse members, in particular our younger members to our local chapter.

· Rebranded our marketing collateral to be in compliance with national brand guidelines.

Criminal Justice – Chair Larry Price

· Conducted a Gun Violence Summit with the Juvenile Judges in an attempt to understand the juvenile system, County Prosecutor and CPD were in attendance and all have agreed to continue the conversation. 

· Demanded the City of Columbus based on a mandate from National NAACP that a Civilian review Board with subpoena power be established, The City heard our cry.  NAACP is represented on the Citizens Review Board Working Group

· Columbus NAACP demands citizen review board for police | NBC4 WCMH-TV (nbc4i.com)

· NAACP president asks police to step back to preserve peace – News – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH

· Advocated for policy change as it relates to Community Benefits Agreement.

· Continuing our work to advocate for Finance Department of City of Columbus to provide projection of construction projects 3 years out to ensure Blacks have opportunity to prepare for project. 

· Advocated for city legislation to include on projects minority participation.  

· Advocated for policy change in the manner in which city of Columbus disburses funds to non-profit entities.  Provided suggestions for change.

· Encouraged local banks to waive the fee on non-customers for the cashing of stimulus checks.

· Assisted FCJFS in ensuring all day care centers receive a five-star rating. 

Youth – Rodney Blount, Chair

· Youth works Committee has grown to more than thirty (30) young people as members.

· Established first High School chapter, forty (40) students are members.

· Establishing a scholarship for black students who reside in Franklin county and outlying areas.

Young Adult – Stanley Gates, Chair

Community Coordination, Chair, Charity Martin-King

· Re-organized the OSU College chapter

Rollin’ to The Polls

· In partnership with NPHC more than 70 students, first time voters were transported to the BOE.  Capital Transportation provided the transportation via in-kind contribution. 

· Arranged for a conversation with four judges to speak with students prior to heading to the BOE, discussed the importance of voting and how they became judges. 

· https://www.nbc4i.com/news/your-local-election-hq/naacp-black-voices-change-lives-campaign-ramps-up-leading-up-to-election 

Haircuts at Ohio Barber College 

· We registered more than twenty(20) people to vote, more than thirty (30) censuses were completed, 173 haircuts were given, 302 interactions.  The activity was developed by the young men and women who attend Ohio State Barber College.  We supported young entrepreneurs.

· Worked with the Communications Chair to develop the “Take Over Tuesday” 

· Young adults were the voice for our GOTV promotions.

· Commercials aired on Urban Radio One for approximately two months encouraging individuals to complete the census and register to vote.

 Health – Chair, Annie Ross-Womack

· Attended approximately 540 meetings regarding COVID-19   and other health related issues representing NAACP

· Ten Implications of COVID on Black Community was imparted  to the community, both log and short-term implications were provided.

· More than 5,500 post on our Facebook page were shared   

     relating to COVID-19 and NAACP Health Initiatives.

· Conducted 2 Virtual Town Hall meetings to address NAACP  Implications of COVID-19.

· Served as advisor to Franklin County Department of Health on  verbiage for printed material on COVID-19 for Black Community.

· Worked with COTA to address the face covering issues related to bus  drivers and passengers, as well as public postings.

· Worked with State, County and Columbus Health Departments to do weekly information sessions

· Participated in Statewide Health Conference to discuss the NAACP 10 Implications


· Columbus NAACP Call to Action – Update – OhioMBE

· Columbus Branch of the NAACP strongly believes that the Secretary of State is suppressing the Black vote – OhioMBE

· Conducted 2 virtual candidates’ night for judicial candidates, county commissioners, congressional candidates and issues

· Partnered with CMHA to conduct voter education in the housing developments, first time this has occurred.

· Worked with COTA to place voter signage on buses

As you can see, we have had an incredibly busy, but productive year. As you can see I have an incredible team, the Unity Team as I refer to them. 
Retaining me as YOUR president and my slate will continue to guarantee that our branch has a proven, dedicated, trusted leadership that our community expects and deserves. 

Unity Team Slate of Candidates:

Nana Watson, President
Rev. Joel King, 1st VP
Rev. John Coats – 2nd VP
Mr. Stanley Gates, 3rd VP
Mr. Vince McNutt, Treasurer
Ms. Louella Jeter – Assistant Treasurer
Ms. Brenda Davis – Secretary

Your thoughts...