The Montclair NAACP is scheduled to have an election Friday, but Dr. Renee Baskerville, who was nominated to run as president against longtime incumbent Albert Pelham, has asked the attorney for the National NAACP to “hold the elections in abeyance pending the appropriate full and fair review of what transpired.”
The National NAACP had already intervened in the Montclair chapter’s election — as a result of the chapter’s first contested election in 12 years.
“Due to ongoing concerns regarding your branch election process, the national office will intervene in the upcoming Montclair branch election and institute corrective action,” said Quincy Bates, NAACP director of governance and engagement, in a notification to the Montclair chapter on December 14.
NAACP members were notified that elections for Officers and the Executive Committee would be held, virtually as scheduled on January 15th, 2021, and would be conducted by officials of the National Office of the NAACP. All active members as of December 15, 2020 will be eligible to vote.
The National Office also stepped in to verify all petitions for nomination, consent forms, and eligibility of candidates.
Two groups of candidates emerged for the election. Current president Albert Pelham, who has served as president of the Montclair NAACP for 12 years, is running for re-election. Pelham is joined by Roger Terry, for First Vice President; Kevin Pierre for second vice president; Rosita Dotson, third vice president; and Cary Chevat, for secretary.
Bates, in a letter on Wednesday, January 13, writes:
“I want to update you on the upcoming Election. The election will proceed as planned on Friday, January 15th. We have extended the time voting time to begin on Friday at 9:00 AM to Sunday, January 17th at 9:00 PM. Both candidates for President were offered the opportunity to view the Membership Roster. President Pelham stated he didn’t want to view the roster and on January 11th, Dr. Baskerville along with 5 observers reviewed the list. Resolving the complaint that it wasn’t provided to them previously. To ensure we had the most up-to-date member information, the eligibility date was moved to thirty (30) prior to the new election date. All members as of December 15th will receive a ballot via email on Friday. In an email received from Dr. Baskerville, she asked to be removed from the ballot. Her request was granted.”
Baskerville is no longer on the ballot, but these other candidates, who were nominated to run, remain:
1st Vice President: Phaedra Ruddock; 2nd Vice President: James Harris; 3rd Vice President: Judith Mills; Secretary: June Raegner; and Treasurer: Lois Donegan.
The following individuals are running for the Executive Committee; given that there are 15 spots, these individuals are running uncontested: Diane Anglin, William Scott, Deidre Malloy, Patrick Dunn, Kathryn Curry, Alihya Mann, Matilda Williams and Apryl Sneed.
On Thursday, Dr. Renee Baskerville sent Baristanet a copy of a letter,
dated January 10th and addressed to the attorney for the National NAACP, regarding what she describes as “a series of events giving rise to the suggestion of dubious interference in the 2020 elections of the Montclair Branch of the NAACP, by members of the current administration seeking to prevent persons nominated by the Nominations Committee, in full compliance with known laws, rules, regulations, and practices, from running against them in the election.”