October 29th Membership Newsletter: DA Townhall, Candidate Speeches, Giving Tuesday & More

Probation, Election Information This Week!

Civil Rights Sentry for a Century ~ October 4th ~ Membership Newsletter Civil Rights Sentry for a Century Vigilant since 1919 Visit our Website ~ Probation Town Hall ~ Click to RSVP ~ Voter Educatio

October 29th Membership Newsletter: DA Townhall, Candidate Speeches, Giving Tuesday & More

Civil Rights Sentry for a Century ~ October 29, 2020 ~ Membership Newsletter Civil Rights Sentry for a Century Vigilant since 1919 Visit our Website ~ Don’t Forget to Vote! ~ There is so much riding

Candidate Photos and Statements

On November 12th, we will conduct the Branch Election, using online election software called “ElectionBuddy”. This software was our choice as well as the suggestion of the National Association. It is very secure and easy to use.

Important election note: for someone to vote most conveniently, we need their email address! If you know someone who isn’t receiving our newsletter, or if you are sharing an email address with someone else, please contact [email protected] and let’s help turn out the vote in the Branch election.

Please Note: All candidates were given an opportunity to share their personal photo and 150-word candidate statement. Participation was optional.

Candidates for President

President Francine Maxwell

As a community advocate for the past 30 years, my focus is empowering, uniting and encouraging our community. For the past six months I have had the pleasure of serving as the NAACP San Diego Branch President. During this time, we have accomplished record numbers in new membership, built stronger community partnerships and have become the NAACP that represents the voices of the people.
Today, I am running for a full term as President. My goals as we move into 2021 are to continue to build a strong youth and young adult presence, strengthen our financial resources to fund current initiatives and services and to solidify the legacy of our ancestors by mentoring the future generation of civil rights leaders.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Kenya Taylor

I am running for President to rebuild San Diego in the midst of COVID-19 and beyond. Together we’ll create a Blueprint for policy changes and interventions: business ownership, expanding generational wealth, housing, stopping the pipeline to prison, supporting refugees, asylees, seniors, veterans, youth and hire attorneys.  I’m an elected NAACP-SD At-Large Member, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Member, 2020 Interfaith Prayer Vigil Host, Past Health Chair for inaugural “Housing is a Health Issue Summit”, Housing and Education Committee Member.   Currently, I’m a Commissioner – Leon L. Williams SD County Human Relations Commission, Marriage and Family Therapist, Consultant, BWILD – Membership Chair and Paving Great Futures – Board of Directors. Past BAPAC SD – Chair, Central SD Black Chamber of Commerce – Director of Community Outreach, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Leadership Academy and Membership – Regional Membership Chair – SD Alumnae Chapter President.  Vote Kenya Taylor for President. [email protected]

Statement received 2020-11-10

Candidates for First Vice President

First Vice President Brian Bonner

I currently serve as First Vice President of NAACP San Diego Branch, Ninth District PTA Communications Director, and San Diego Unified Council of PTAs Leadership VP.I bring 21 years as a legislative analyst for the County of San Diego and 11 years as a probation officer before I retired 15 years ago. During this time I also served on the City of San Diego Equal Opportunity Commission.I also bring over 20 years’ experience of PTA advocacy at local, state and national levels. I have served as a unit, council and district president. I served on the state PTA board of directors for 3½ terms and on the legislative team for two terms. I was instrumental in the creation of the California State PTA Diversity and Inclusion Committee At National PTA, I served on the Diversity, Resolutions (the second term as chairman) and Legislative Committees

Statement received 2020-10-21


Donald Moore

No statement submitted.

Photo received 2020-11-10

Candidates for Second Vice President

Philip Liburd

No statement submitted.

Candidates for Secretary

Delfina Gonzalez

A Native Born San Diegan with over 35 years of Public Service. Responding  and activating Businesses in Support of Covid19.  Supporting Organizations and Entrepreneurs in Excelling Globally as well Locally. Advocacy Leadership for the Disinfranchised in our communities. Assisting People to Live there Dreams.
And Living my Life to the fullest. 
Blessings to You
Delfina Gonzalez 

Statement submitted 2020-11-10

Candidates for Assistant Secretary

Diane Langworthy

I joined the branch five years ago in July 2015 following the murder of nine African Americans, who were shot by a white supremacist, while at a church bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. The branch president at the time spoke on the radio inviting white people to come to a general membership meeting to “listen and learn.” As I met people, I became involved as a member of The Freedom Fund Dinner Committee and the Interfaith Prayer Vigil Committee, serving on both for five years. I have also served as assistant secretary in 2018 -2019. I value the relationships that I have made. I hope that I am listening and I am learning, and am also taking what I have learned to my white counter parts, to help them understand and help dismantle the systemic racism that exists everywhere. I look forward to serving the branch again as the assistant secretary.

Statement received 2020-11-07

Candidates for Treasurer

Hakim Alaji

My name is Hakim Alaji. I was nominated to be Treasurer because of my accounting background.  I am a lifetime resident of San Diego. I have been a student activist, tax preparer, Operations Manager, Teacher, and Assistant Administrator.  I tend to keep a low profile in San Diego, but many people are aware of projects I have worked with. Currently, I am a lead member of Feeding Our Community for Masjidul Taqwa of San Diego.  I was Assistant Director of Fanno Academy and cofounder of Community Preparatory School, schools for African American children.  For twenty years I was Operations Manager and Assistant Administrator of the Summer Food Service Program in San Diego.  I managed food deliveries, payroll, and audit preparation.   While attending San Diego City College, I assisted with the development, implementation, and recruiting for the Black Studies Program. 

We can make things better.

Statement received 2020-11-09

Candidates for Assistant Treasurer

Jennifer Porter

No statement submitted.

Candidates for At-Large Members
of the Executive Committee

Dr Robert Lee Brown

I’m an older Black man born & raised in the south, WHO experienced THE WORST hatred, because of my family’s poverty and the color of my 0.07-inch thick skin. When I was younger, because of their fear, the local police mistreated my family, but I have also helped devise the wellness program that helped SDPD drastically reduce their suicide rate. I am dedicated to advocating in the UBUNTU way, recognizing the humanity of all!

The NAACP San Diego Branch is thriving during one of the most challenging periods in our country’s history. The success it is currently experiencing is a direct result of the leadership activities, devotion, and commitment of Ms. Francine Maxwell! I have never enjoyed my association with an advocate organization as much as I am now. ALL I want to do is continue to support Ms. Maxwell’s, love, and service to our community, and promote our common positives.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Althea Dougherty

No statement submitted.

Letitia Flynn

My name is Letitia Flynn.  I am running for a position as an at-large NAACP board member.  I am a native San Diegan.  I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare from SDSU.  I am a retiree of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office where I served for twenty years.  I served as board secretary for the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils from 2000—2009.  I served as chairman of the criminal justice committee for the United African American Ministerial Action Committee from 2007—2011

Statement received 2020-11-09

Tariq Harris

My name is Tariq Harris owner of Message From The Youth LLC and Black Youth San Diego Nonprofit Organization. I am a 19 year old community leader, a youth activist, a media luminary, a business owner, and a photographer. I was born and raised in San Diego, California and I am the voice of the youth. I can benefit the NAACP organization by helping more youth get involved in this program and keeping them out of trouble and into something productive.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Wiley Lane III

My name is Wiley Lane III and I’m running for for an at-large membership on the Executive Committee. for. Since coming into the organization earlier this year I quickly joined and became active in the Economic Development Committee. We set some goals that would have made 2020 a great year. I hope we can continue to get those done before years end. Being hit with the pandemic may have slowed us down but we are not out of being involved in our community.
We are involved in the Disparity Study with the City of San Diego. As we can provide insight in areas where our community is lacking in representation with the City of San Diego.
I’m asking that you elect me to continue the work we are doing and grow to making our branch a place where we ensure our community voices are heard.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Derrick Luckett

I have been a Community Advocate for years. I have a proven record of supporting the NAACP on a National and local level. I bring to the table skills to help Build Black Generational Wealth. to help achieve Democracy and Equality for Black families:

  • Housing Urban Development Branch Manager (NID)
  • CEO of Destiny Six Financial Mortgage and Real Estate Services
  • Chairman of the Board for California Assoc. Of Real Estate Brokers
  • National Association of Real Estate Brokers – Mortgage Committee Chair

I have been the recipient of numerous Leadership awards from Senators, Assembly members, Congressional Leaders as well as Community Leadership awards.

I also have the problem solving skills to help make the San Diego Branch a more stable and prosperous branch by helping to Identify its Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.

Thank you.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Brittany McKnight

I’ve served as the Education Committee Chair since 2017, and it has been an honor to be of service to the community.  My top priority is to ensure that every student receives a quality education, particularly students of color. Under my leadership, the Education Committee has had a number of accomplishments, which includes, but is not limited to the following: hosting the branch’s first Back to School Stay in School Rally, providing Education related articles for publishing on the branch’s website or local newspapers, building relationships and collaborating with the San Diego County Office of Education and other organizations to provide services to the community, and advocating for students, parents, and staff in various capacities and spaces, including local school districts, and federal government offices. I look forward to continuing my service to the community, and to ensuring that every student receives a quality education.

Statement submitted 2020-11-09.

Sonja Robinson

As current and first chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice for the San Diego NAACP Branch, it’s an honor to help advance our justice. I grew up in the area as a military dependent and for years work to advocate environmental justice. As Chair, I plan to continue to advance the committee and increase the brand for a more sustainable, and equitable community. Serving this Branch and developing ECJ as a new standing committee to our County, we have successful “wins” during this current term, as we continue forward. From legislation, successful opposing bill increase from SDG&E at CPUC, support solar customer’s net-metering on the federal level at FERC, keynote speaker for the County’s Environmental Leadership Summit. As Chair, we are at the table on these issues. Additionally, we are the recipients of the “Unsung Hero” Award by Climate Action Campaign, 2020.  

Statement received 2020-10-26

Michael Thomas

My name is Michael Thomas. I’m running for NAACP San Diego Branch as an  At-Large Member.  I have a history in leadership, community activism, and  I am a military veteran who proudly served our country. I would like to take some of these leadership skills that I acquired and apply it to the NAACP San Diego Branch. My aim is to strengthen our African American community. 
My focus is the betterment of African Americans being politically engaged, having sustainable housing and occupations.  I’m instrumental in the passing of AB 131. A big goal is to have engagement and active participation with the younger community so they will be more involved in politics. We will make it more appealing to the younger crowds. This is a deep passion for me. I hope with this being said, I can earn your vote.
Vote Michael Thomas for NAACP – San Diego At-Large Member.

Statement received 2020-11-10

Dr Leonard Thompson III

I am currently the Communications Chair for the San Diego NAACP Branch. I have served the San Diego Community for over 37 years as an Student Advocate, Minister, Consultant, Businessman and Media Resource and Outlet. My desire to serve on the Executive Committee for a full term is to continue the outstanding work of the current Leadership and to develop and train a new generation of leaders to catapult our 101 year organization into the future as the Largest and the Oldest, the Baddest and the Boldest, the Most Loved and Most Hated the Most Feared and Revered the Most Cussed and Discussed Civil Rights Organization in America.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Tommi Whitehurst

My name is Tommi Whitehurst. I am seeking to be an at-large member. I have lived and worked in SD Co. for about 50 years. Education: B.S. (Psych), Duke, MSW, SDSU, Teaching Credential, USIU.

Experience: career in social work for SD Co., Teaching for SDUSD.

Past/current affiliations:. SD Co. Black Employees, SDEA BE Assn of AA Educ., auxiliaries @ St Stephens. Member and peace chair of SESD Rotary Club where I strive to put “service above self” and “be fair to all concerned.”

I have served on ELAC (English Learners Advisory Comm.), PTA, , school tech/ safety comm.

Statement submitted 2020-11-10

Donte Wyatt, Esq

I am running for Member-at-Large of the Executive Board to use my skills and experience to serve the community. My desire is to ensure that the NAACP continues to lead in the areas of social justice. I am an experienced leader who knows how to put the community first. I am a life member of the NAACP, and a practicing criminal defense attorney.

I have served on the Board of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association since 2018, currently treasurer. I am vice-chair of the Criminal Law Juvenile Justice Committee for the National Bar Association. From 2017-2020 I was President of the local Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. I am on the Board of the African-American Alumni Chapter (SDSU) and the African American Advisory Board for SDPD. I am a humble result oriented leader. I will bring consistent, stable “Community First” leadership to the Executive Board.

Statement received 2020-10-21

Justice for All

October 25, 2020

The last words we say as we pledge allegiance to the flag are: “with liberty and justice for all.” Belief in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance are a basic part of learning citizenship as a child. History continues to show us that the legal system does not always apply justice equally—and apparently that is especially true if your mother or father is a judge.

Today’s case in point is the ex-La Jolla Country Day Teacher, Jonathan Sammartino, who recently ONLY received probation for having sexual relations with a minor student. Mr. Sammartino’s crimes had him facing up to one year in local custody and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Interestingly enough, Sammartino had previously faced two additional  felony sex counts that could have had him facing prison time. Those counts were dismissed after he plead guilty to this count in August 2020. His mother just happens to be U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino.

According to The San Diego District Attorney’s office, Jonathan Sammartino plead guilty to violating Penal Code 261.5, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (statutory rape.) Under this section, the judge has discretion over whether to order a defendant to register as a sex offender, regardless of the age difference. The District Attorney’s office requested that the defendant be required to register per Penal Code 290.006, but the judge exercised his discretion and declined to order the defendant to register. While this section of the Penal Code allows discretion, a judge is also required to state the reasons for his or her findings on the record. In declining to impose sex offender registration in the Sammartino case, Judge Rogers cited a U.S. Supreme Court case that found registration was most suited for those considered dangerous and likely to reoffend. The judge also exercised his sentencing discretion in granting probation.

In the midst of the growth of sex crimes involving our children, how can we continue to allow this degree of sexual immorality with such inequitable sentencing? Anyone else who committed such a grievous crime against an under-aged youth would have at a minimum been required to register as a sex offender. 

Mr. Sammartino does not hold a teaching credential but rather a doctoral degree. If he did hold a credential, he would have had to surrender it and never be allowed to teach again. The defense claims that Mr. Sammartino “pledged he will not seek to teach anywhere … and that means anywhere at any level in any way, including private tutoring, including college instruction or community college.”  Who can believe this? He had already been accused of committing two acts of sexual misconduct prior to this one!

It is not a stretch to conclude that his pattern of behavior clearly demonstrates that he is likely to reoffend. Unfortunately, if he does, because his mother is a judge, he may be allowed to walk away yet again.

There is no mention of him seeking therapy for his sexual disorder and, because he is granted probation, he will never really pay for the crimes he committed against impressionable young people. What or who will stop him from doing this again in another setting where young women are gathered?

Where is the justice for all? 

Do the right thing Mr. Sammartino—register as a sex offender!  At least get some help for your addiction. Don’t ruin another young woman’s life with your dereliction. Anyone who has a conscience would!

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Watch: CEO Muhammad on #GivingTuesday



Each week I Am My Brother’s Keeper serves serve over 800 hundred families through their COVID-19 safe curbside grab and go distribution, walk-ups,  and home deliveries.  In addition, IAMBK offers certification courses in construction, basic math and reading, and resume review. IAMBK also aids with job searching skills, and basic computer skills. IAMBK also has a mentoring program, reaching out to families and youth that may have a need for positive role models. Lastly, once a week members of IAMBK walk neighborhoods and talk with the youth about the 3 p’s: personal health, personal wealth, and personal protection. This teaches youth the importance of healthy living while introducing them to the organizations, small businesses and activists in their communities already doing their part to create a safer wealthier and a more socially conscious California.

It’s Time to Lift Ev’ry Voice

October 21, 2020

In the most recent issue of District Deeds the issue of standards-based grading was brought forth. The  issues brought forth included limiting what is actually taught in the classroom, data mining on our  students, the overwhelming task that teachers will now have to face, limiting students’ desires to achieve and removing societal knowledge. While all of these issues can and most likely will occur, the NAACP believes far more devastating issues need to be addressed. 

Teachers currently have, for the most part, used data to support a student’s grade. By using the SBG form, teachers will now use their judgement along with student work to decide which students exceed,  meet, approach, or do not meet standards. There are teachers, who for whatever reason, DO NOT LIKE SOME STUDENTS! These teachers will be a detriment to the students they do not like! It’s human nature.  It happens. The students in struggling schools will be hurt worse by this because their parents do not  have the time to come to school and fight for their student. Teachers are not as intimidated by these  parents as they are of the parents who threaten to sue if things do not go their way.  

In an article discussing SBG, author Lee Ann Jung brings forth 10 things to consider before going to this model. The one that rang the loudest was this one: “Schools who’ve successfully implemented a  standards-based grading initiative start with getting everyone, parents, and teachers, on board with the  purpose of assessment. Think of this as your Northstar for the initiative.” Has any of this been vetted  through our parents, community or even the teachers’ union? This initiative is just another way for this district to use their “smoke and mirrors” marketing ploys to tell parents how much they care for all students. This is NOT going to help any of our students to do better in school. By switching gears in the  middle of the year pertaining to grades, they have just added another level of dysfunction to an already  challenging school year. We need positive leadership from the top if our students are going to perform  better in school. This includes having an actual plan that is not just educational jargon but substantiated by facts and proven ways to help students.  

Our district gladly accepted the extra FUNDING from Governor Newsome. But where is the plan for how they are using it? Why aren’t departments allowed to spend ANY money at this time unless Cindy Marten approves it? Where is the accountability for where and how the money is going? Is the district using COVID funding to clear the deficit they built up?  

Trustee Barrera will lead you to believe that he is all about helping minority students. The majority of the  students in the SDUSD are Hispanic. Interestingly, there was NO mention of Hispanic Heritage Month on either the district website or any flag flying in front of the Education Center. He also claims that there are some schools that will be allowed to return to all-day in Phase I of the COVID Plan. However, in the SDEA reopening plan, there is NO mention of this happening in Phase I. As a matter of fact, the unions states; “as we move forward to whatever the next phases of reopening may look like, it will be  more important than ever that we maintain our unity and be guided by science.” And they should be guided by science and not the rhetoric from our school board making false promises to parents and  teachers about how and what they plan on doing to reopen our schools. 

Having said all of this, it is critical for us to “Lift Ev’ry Voice” in San Diego to have the current leadership STOP making false promises to our students. Speak the truth once and for all. 

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Arts & Culture Funding

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR Organizational Support Program (OSP), Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD) AND Cares Grant Initiative (CGI)

Upcoming Workshops: Introduction to Arts and Culture Funding Opportunities hosted by Council Districts-

FY22 RFQ Workshops: OSP & CCSD– Join staff as we take a deep dive into the RFQ and guidelines. 

CARES Grant Initiative Workshop- Join staff as we take a deep dive into the application. Register by clicking on link below:

Office Hours SIGN UP– These 30 min meetings are meant to provide 1:1 support to help you apply.

Fiscal Sponsorship 101– Join if you’re a project producer or a fiscal sponsor and want to learn about applying for funding.

Access all application materials here: https://www.sandiego.gov/arts-culture/funding