Regarding the Jan. 29 letter, "Brown should address important local issues," which called the NAACP "just another fundraising special-interest machine":

It is of great concern when there are individuals who still do not understand the continuing role and mission of the NAACP. The legacy of this organization started in 1909, and it has remained the cornerstone for waging legal battles to win social justice for not only African Americans but indeed for all Americans.

Fortunately, Assemblyman Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, understands that the minority community still faces many challenges despite the civil-rights victories of the past.

To attack the NAACP as another "fundraising special-interest machine" is a gross mischaracterization of the organization, an insult to our members, and only highlights the writer's ignorance of the civic goals of the NAACP.

During the recent presidential election, it was the NAACP that led the successful efforts to ensure that voters could cast their ballots without the threat of unfair, conveniently timed ID requirements, which were reminiscent of the poll tax of the past.

Brown has been a member of the NAACP for more than 20 years, long before he even considered running for public office. As a nonpartisan organization, we are able to attract members from all walks of life, with varying political views. What unites our members are common goals around human rights. It is for this reason that we invited Brown to swear in our new officers, and his Jan. 21 column, "Local civil-rights heroes still working to realize the dream," was an invitation for community-minded individuals to get involved.



Olivia C. Caldwell is president of the Mainland/Pleasantville branch of the NAACP.

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