NAN comes to Colleton | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 23, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: March 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm
One of the first issues the newly-formed Colleton County chapter of the National Action Network could undertake may land Walterboro in federal court.
NAN South Carolina Coordinator Elder James Johnson, visiting Walterboro on March 15 to welcome Colleton County NAN as the civil rights organization’s ninth chapter, said that the state organization, working together with the Colleton County chapter, is considering a federal voting rights legal action to challenge Walterboro’s use of at-large elections to fill its city council posts.
Johnson explained that blacks make up 59 percent of Walterboro’s population but on city council, “We have no representation for black folks. We want single-member districts here.”
Johnson said the lack of representation because of at-large voting for council spots is a problem state-wide.
“If these issues aren’t being addressed in the rural areas, nothing will ever change and continue oppressing the people.”
Johnson said he has attended a Walterboro City Council session and found very few blacks in attendance “because they feel there is no hope. Now NAN is here to give them that hope.”
Colleton County NAN President Erika Davis said that in addition to the concerns about the election process in Walterboro there are other issues the organization plans to address including workplace injustice, education and police issues.
Vice President J. D. Davis discussed several issues involving the school district that the organization will be involved with, and First Vice President Delbert DuBois said he will lead the group’s efforts to address the law enforcement issues that “affected and impacted unjustly” the county’s African-Americans.
Tyeessha Aiken, the local chapter’s chairperson for the state chapter’s initiatives in the areas of domestic violence and suicide prevention, also spoke.
NAN Colleton County Secretary Audrey Henderson said, “I feel if we work together as a community, we can get some of these issues resolved.”
President Davis said the organization, approximately one month old, currently has 25 members and is seeking more.
To get the word out, Henderson said, the local organization has established a Facebook presence at NANColleton.
Emails can be sent to NANColletonCounty@yahoo.com or Henderson’s email account, NANcolletoncountysecty@gmail.com.
Those interested can also phone 843-564-8081. The group’s mailing address is National Action Network Colleton County Chapter, P.O. Box 401, Walterboro, S.C. 29488.
Pastor Thomas Dixon, recent U.S. Senate candidate and one of the founders of the Coalition Keep United to Take Back Our Community, offered his support to the efforts of NAN Colleton County.
“We are seeking social justice for all. We are not going to stop until that happens,” Dixon said.