Young installed as leader of National Action group

Former state senator was picked by Sharpton

May 09, 2001|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Minutes after he was sworn in as president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Action Network last night, former state Sen. Larry Young said it's time Baltimore's black community demanded justice.

"I'm tired of blaming [Mayor Martin] O'Malley," Young told more than 500 people at New Shiloh Baptist Church in West Baltimore. "The hell with O'Malley. We shouldn't ask O'Malley for nothing. We should demand he gives us what we want in this city where we're the majority."

Young introduced the Rev. Al Sharpton, who founded the National Action Network in 1991, which is described on its Web site as a civil rights organization "geared toward economic justice, political empowerment of the disenfranchised citizens, a fair criminal justice system and a moral agenda of fairness and equity for the 21st Century."

Sharpton said he knows some people will question Baltimore's need for another civil rights organization, particularly when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has its national headquarters - and a local branch - here.

He said that when the NAACP formed in 1909, "there were Negroes then saying we don't need no movement, they're going to cause trouble. But those were the same Negroes, when the movement opened up jobs, they were the first to put their application in."

Young, who was named to the president's post by Sharpton, said economic empowerment, health care for the city's estimated 60,000 drug addicts, righting injustices against black police officers and holding elected officials accountable are among the chapter's priorities.

Among its executive members are Louis Hopson, a Baltimore police officer, Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, president of the Baltimore City Board of Elections and state Del. Nathaniel T. Oaks of Baltimore.

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