Natchez NAACP deserves praise
Published 7:10 am Friday, June 10, 2022
The Natchez branch of the NAACP deserves praise for its work and lobbying efforts to ensure no Natchez citizen is left without proper housing as well as work and educational opportunities.
What’s more, the branch wants to make sure another pair of school buildings, Robert Lewis and Frazier, are not left empty to attract vandals to neighborhoods.
The NAACP has for a long time been at work to make sure every Natchez citizen has equal opportunities. Their effort was shown in December and again recently, when the President of the branch, Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, addressed elected leaders about their well-thought action plan and how they can support it. Poverty in Natchez and the gap between social groups didn’t happen overnight and it takes time to address it. However, the NAACP has displayed an outstanding effort to see that officials do not kick the issues down the road any longer.
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They started with at least three different presentations each to the school board, Board of Alderman and Board of Supervisors about the A.L.I.C.E. report and how it applies to people in Adams County. A.L.I.C.E. refers to a specific group of people who are “Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed,” according to unitedforalice.org. These are people who Mathis says fall through the cracks in federal programs by making too much to be eligible for help from federal programs but not enough to fulfill important needs such as proper housing and healthcare.
Mathis wants local leaders to step up to the plate and include within their budgets at least a $50,000 sum to help fill in the gap and expand upon the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas’ Special Needs Assistance Program, also called SNAP, which they are already participating in.
The NAACP hasn’t stopped with local leaders, but has also taken their lobbying efforts to Jackson and Washington, D.C., Mathis said.
We are hopeful that our local, state and federal leaders will listen.
For too long, we’ve seen and heard the issues of dilapidated houses, unemployment and lack of properly trained locals to fill jobs. It’s time we all take a page out of the NAACP’s book and say enough is enough, get loud enough to be heard and call on those we elected to take action.