Monday, December 7, 2009

Letter from Melvin Whitley

Note: This is a letter I just received from Melvin Whitley regarding the elction for the Chair of the Durham Committtee on the Affairs on Black People.

I am Reverend Melvin Whitley, Candidate for Chairman of the Durham Committee for the Affairs of Black People. I ask that you cast your vote for me at The Durham Committee meeting on December 10th.

A vote for Melvin Whitley is a vote that will move The Durham Committee forward into a new day—to operate in a new way. Let’s put the past behind us.

I am ready to serve and lead The Durham Committee forward to be the organization that addresses the needs of the people it represents. I am ready to welcome everyone that love Durham and is willing to use their skills to empower the African American community. The African American community has a wealth of untapped Black talent. I am ready to ask our brightest to serve on a committee of interest. I am ready to lead an organization that seeks solutions and avoids alienation. I am ready to lead an organization that encourages community participation and utilizes the skills and interests of it members.

“I am here, and I am ready to serve.”If I am elected Chairman of The Durham Committee, it will not continue its “business as usual”:
ü I will work with the membership to set attainable goals for the organization and evaluate our progress every six months. You will tell us how well we’re doing.
ü I will work with the membership to implement standard operating procedures that are consistent with the constitution and bylaws of organization.
o I will ensure that agendas are available for review prior to Committee meetings.
o I will ensure that minutes of meeting are available to our membership.
o I will ensure that treasury reports are presented at Committee meetings.
ü I will work with the membership to create a public presence of The Durham Committee that is open and responsive to issues affecting our community.
ü I will work with the membership to utilize communication tools like websites and social marketing sites to engage the public.

Under my administration as Chairman the organization will set out to accomplish three goals.
It is important that the Committee generate annual revenue to supports a base budget for planning and operations. I support membership dues.
Consistent with utilizing communication tools we must build a database that extends our communication reach in communities we serve with efficiency and effectiveness.
The Durham Committee will reinvest in its future by training the people we serve. We will invest in the future of our organization by sponsoring training programs that implement our mission and service. For example sponsoring training sessions in community organizing, fundraising, and campaign training.
“I am here, and I am ready to serve.” I have worked in 42 political campaigns over 44 years, winning 36 of them. I know how to win. When my Country called for me in the 60’s to serve in Vietnam “I said here I am”.

When the people of Virginia in the 70”s asked me for help in building coalition to successfully reduced utility increases and eliminated of taxes on food and prescription drugs, “I said here I am” and we won.

When Governor Hunt decided in the 80”s to close Dorothea Dix Hospital the employee began to organize. This decision would have put 1,300 state employees out of work. They asked me to serve as chairperson for the Save Dix Committee, “I said here I am” and we won.

When people in the 90”s asked me to implement Neighborhood Safety Initiatives in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, “I said here I am”.

In just one year I organized a state- wide campaign for the passage of the Safe Storage of Hand Guns Bill, which was made law in 1993. “We won”

When people in East Durham wanted organize a coalition to help politicians understand that the appearance of our neighborhoods impact crime, “I said here I am” and we won.

When Joe Bower, Chair of the NAACP, wanted me to build a coalition to work on reducing plea-bargains in violent gun –related crimes, “I said here I am” and we won.

When Joe Bower, Chair of the NAACP, ask me to help get an in-parent drug treatment faculty “I said here I am” and we won. It took years and now we have it.

When East Durham wanted the City to closed down all of the Strip Clubs in East Durham, “I said here I am” and we won.

When asked to help pass an enactment of a Housing Impact Policy that would restrict developers from building more subsidized rental housing in poor neighborhoods, “I said here I am” and we won.
When asked to help pass enactment of a housing impact policy that would restrict developers from building more subsidized rental housing in poor neighborhoods, “I said here I am” and we won.

When my neighborhood had a boarded up school, but needed a Recreation Center they asked me to engage local Government to develop The Holton School. Upon its completion the 17.9 million dollar school project was renamed Holton Career and Resource Center. “I said here I am” and we won.

The Question is will you vote to maintain the status quo and keep the Durham Committee the same, or will you vote for a new way to operate.

At no time did I ask what’s in it for me. This work has nothing to do with my employment. I’m un-owned, and un-bossed. No one asked me what I did when I was young. They did not ask me who my white Democratic friends are. They asked me for help, and “I said here I am”.

ü Vote Yes for Rev. Melvin Whitley on Thursday night, December 10th, 2009, at 7:00 PM, White Rock Baptist Church

* Eligible voters must of African American decent, must live in Durham County, and be present to vote.

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