September 28, 2023

“How Low Will the NAACP Go?”



HOUSTON–On November 15, NAACP Houston Branch made history with a 371-voter turnout; one of the highest recorded voter-support in recent history of the chapter. The incumbent slate of candidates led by President James Douglas beat newcomers eyeing for their positions by a 2:1 margin according to ballot counts.  The ballots cast for President, 235 went for Douglas and Ford took home 101. However, election observers raise the concern of this voter turnout as a modification of the membership list was confirmed the morning of the election.

Prior to election day, the new slate, Lloyd C. Ford, Eddison Titus, and Ciara Suesberry, claimed corruption amongst the existing leadership. The evidence reflects from the complicity among the power brokers of Black Houston, and the receipts of a recording of State Senator Borris Miles. The 63-minute conversation reviews Miles agreeing to the existence of corruption at the NAACP Houston has been in effect for over 30 years. Concerned of the election process, the slate requested National Intervention on October 28thfor the November 15th branch election.

“We would like Nationals to verify all memberships on voting day against National member logs as maintained by Nationals, not Houston Branch member logs,” Attorney and 1st Vice President-elect Titus wrote. “We would like absolutely no current branch employees, past branch employees, past executive committee members, or past board members have any involvement whatsoever in the management of the upcoming elections or to preside over that evening’s meeting to announce election results.”

The election supervisory committee consisted of Roger Harris, Alane Lillie, Desmond Watley-Calloway, Astoria Stubbs, Linda Nwoke and Porchia Harris. The appointed watchers were Chris Darkins and Jahmes Bonner. On November 14th, NAACP Interim Vice President, Field Operations Carmen Watkins informed branch members confirming the intervention.

“National Office representatives will facilitate the election process in conjunction with members of the Houston Branch Supervisory Committee,” Watkins wrote. “In order to vote in the branch election, an individual must be a member in good standing of the NAACP Houston, TX, Branch thirty (30) days prior to the day of the election. A form of identification will be required.”

The above statement is within the NAACP bylaws. Sent by Nationals, Quincy Bates and Alfred Ruck were over the elections. On the day of the election, the watchers overheard members on the supervisory committee mention some voters’ names weren’t on the list. One woman even announced she’d only been a member for a week and was still allowed to cast her vote. Raising some eyebrows, Watcher Darkins approached this matter to Lillie to clarify the process of acknowledging confirmed members after seeing Ruck sleeping during the elections.


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