2019 Lobby Day with the NAACP


Last week, Assemblymember Gipson informed NAACP State President Huffamn, that the Conference Committee funded his request for Sickle Cell Disease Centers. If you remember, this budget item was accompanied by a companion bill, AB 1105 (Gipson) that died in committee the week before our Lobby Day and would establish sickle cell disease centers.

The Sickle Cell Disease budget item seeks to improve the quality of care for adults with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) by creating a three-year pilot program to build six new comprehensive SCD clinics.  Specifically, this request appropriates $15 million to: establish six new SCD treatment centers in the regions with the highest demonstrated need: Bay Area, Northern Central Valley, Southern Central Valley, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego; contract with qualified organizations to strengthen outreach and education efforts in impacted communities; establish IT systems, and works towards a stronger workforce of knowledgeable clinicians.

SB 188 (Mitchell) The Crown Act, has made it through the Senate Committee process and is now on the Senate Floor. This bill specifies that race, a category protected against workplace discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), includes traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists.

Thank you to all who participated in Lobby Day. The movement of these bills are a huge victory for our community, and because of your willing participation, we made a significant impact toward the passage of this legislation. 

Karlene Chavis: Mistress of Ceremonies

The NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Committee is pleased to announce that Ms Karlene Chavis will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for our Freedom Fund Dinner, in this our Centennial Year!

The Freedom Fund Dinner is an annual event that, in addition to celebrating our supporters, recognizes groups and individuals who have contributed to the cause of Civil Rights and racial justice throughout the City, County, State and Nation. This year will be an extraordinary celebration, as we look back on the 100 years since the founding of the San Diego Branch, and look forward to our bright future.

The evening is sure to be memorable and enjoyable for all.

Karlene Chavis shares her knowledge and passion for science and meteorology as Chief Meteorologist, delivering your weeknight forecasts on NEWS 8 on CBS 8 and the CW San Diego.

Karlene joined the NEWS 8 team from WSVN-TV, Miami, FL where she served as weekend morning meteorologist and was recognized as ‘Best Meteorologist’ by Miami New Times.  She previously worked at CBS Local 2 in Palm Springs, CA as the weekday morning weather anchor and fill-in entertainment anchor/reporter for Eye on the Desert. Karlene’s skills were also utilized as the weekend evening weather anchor for the sister station, KESQ-TV. Additionally, Karlene worked as the evening weather anchor for KECY-TV in Yuma, AZ.

A native of Scottsdale, AZ, Karlene received a bachelor’s degree from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University and earned a master’s degree in Geological Sciences from Mississippi State University.  Karlene also completed a fellowship in broadcast journalism training through the Meredith-Cronkite Fellowship Program at KPHO TV in Phoenix, AZ.

She interned at KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, AZ and worked as a published photojournalist and newspaper reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and web entertainment reporter for Gannett Company, Inc.

When Karlene is not on-air, she enjoyed hiking, visiting art galleries and museums, baking, traveling and spending time with her friends, family and fur babies Brody and Stevie.

Another Unjust Verdict

June 9th, 2019

On June 4th, a nearly all-white jury acquitted to Sheriff’s deputies of assault during their arrest of two Latino men.  This acquittal came despite clear video evidence that the men were handcuffed and in no position to offer resistance or danger to the officers.

We deplore this verdict as much as we deplore the actions of the deputies that brought them to trial. Despite crime being at historic lows, we continue to give the police wider and wider latitude in their use of force, and we continue to erode the few protections we have against police misconduct.  It is not a secret (or an accident) that the burden of this behavior falls primarily on people of color.

It’s time for our society to reckon, legislatively, judicially, prosecutorially, administratively and morally with our criminal “justice” system.  The system is designed to persecute the poor and people of color, and we need a system that is fair for all.

Therefore, we of the NAACP San Diego Branch call for the following reforms:

  • Legislative reform to make it clear that violent acts perpetrated by police will be subject to sanction.
  • Judicial reform to re-apply the protections of our Constitution against unreasonable search and seizure, against punishment without conviction, and for equal protection under the law.  Unjust precedents that allow for police violence must be overturned, unjust practices that allow for pro-police juries and verdicts must be discontinued.
  • Prosecutorial reform so that we pay as much attention to the documented crimes of law enforcement as we do to the alleged crimes of the poor.  We may be gratified that for once our District Attorney chose to prosecute a case against law enforcement officers. We wonder, however, if this is merely the exception to prove the rule that Law Enforcement is, in her eyes, above the law.
  • Administrative and policy reform inside the Law Enforcement agencies themselves.  The Police need to recognize that lawless behavior on their part subjects them in the end to more danger, not less.  They need to recognize that tactics of terror and violence will beget violence and not cooperation. They need better recruitment, better training, and a commitment to integrity and accountability.
  • And finally, we call for moral reform.  We as a society need to wake up and look at what we have allowed ourselves to become.  We must once again be shocked at shocking behavior, and not allow ourselves to be desensitized to injustice, just because it wears a badge.

The NAACP San Diego Branch stands ready to assist any agencies who would like to better understand how to protect the rights of the residents of San Diego, regardless of their color. These problems can be solved, if only we as a society recover our will to solve them.

It is time to return to the rule of law in our society.

Clovis Honoré, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

The Year of the Housing Lawsuit

San Diego governmental agencies are no strangers to housing discrimination lawsuits this year.  Two separate lawsuits have been filed alleging that our government is perpetuating the concentration of poverty, largely in areas that, due to the region’s long history of segregation, are populated by people of color, including African-Americans.

The first discrimination lawsuit was filed in State court by the San Diego Tenants Union against the San Diego Housing Commission.  It alleges the Housing Commission’s policies regarding Section 8 vouchers concentrate poverty in areas where people of color live.  (The NAACP San Diego Branch has been seeking permission to join this lawsuit for two months; our National organization is promising us an answer “soon.”)

The most recent lawsuit was filed by local residents in Federal court.  It also addresses the San Diego Housing Commission’s handling of Section 8 vouchers, but throws in a grab bag of other claims, including one about the Live Well Center being slated for Southeast San Diego.

Do you have thoughts about housing in San Diego?  Want to get involved in ensuring fair access to housing for all?  Join our Housing Committee; email [email protected].