2 who helped oust leader of Baltimore Co. NAACP are elected to top posts

December 19, 1992|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Staff Writer

Two activists who helped oust the longtime president of Baltimore County's troubled NAACP branch have been elected to the organization's top posts.

In an election that produced the largest turnout in the chapter's 14-year history, Patricia C. Ferguson was chosen president Thursday night in a secret ballot at Milford Mill High School. Herbert H. Lindsey was named vice president.

They pledged to get more members of the black community involved in the branch and to reach out particularly to younger residents. They also promised to stick to the organization's rules and guidelines.

Mrs. Ferguson, who describes herself as a "thirtysomething" Baltimore elementary school teacher, will replace interim President Patrycia Pickett, who took over after James R. Pennington was suspended as president in July.

Mr. Lindsey, a member of the branch's executive board, is a sociology professor at Catonsville Community College.

With more than 100 members having cast ballots, Mrs. Ferguson said she was "very surprised and pleased with voter turnout." Mr. Lindsey agreed, noting that it was the branch's first election supervised by the national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The organization is based in Baltimore.

Mrs. Ferguson received 76 votes, easily defeating her competition, W. James Favorite, who got 33 votes, and Ms. Pickett, who got six.

Mr. Lindsey defeated the organization's acting vice president, Benjamin Bond, by an 83-30 margin.

Tracey F. Dabo was elected secretary, and Robert E. Vassar Sr. was named treasurer. Members also selected a 24-person executive board.

Mrs. Ferguson said she was inspired by the number of women and younger people who were elected.

She said she expects the branch's membership to triple as a result of the new administration. Mr. Lindsey estimated the membership at 400.

Earlier this year, Mr. Lindsey said that Mr. Pennington "couldn't call a meeting in this community and get 10 people to attend."

Although Mrs. Ferguson declined to discuss specific plans for the branch, she said she is working with the executive board to form committees that she said will address members' concerns countywide.

"And we're going to do everything by the book," she said. "It'll be very different for this branch."

Mrs. Ferguson and Mr. Lindsey both had accused Mr. Pennington ofmaking up his own rules and ignoring those of the organization.

In July, the national NAACP office ruled that Mr. Pennington had committed 13 infractions of NAACP rules, including a failure to hold monthly meetings, failure to provide the branch with monthly financial statements and failure to share fund-raising proceeds with the national office.

Though still a member of the NAACP, Mr. Pennington is barred from running for office in any unit of the association for two years.

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