Simple Convention Theme: Your Power, Your Decision, Vote!

One of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States will call Houston home for the next six days. The NAACP — the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — kicks off its annual convention downtown.

About 8 thousand people from across the country are expected to pack the Brown Convention Center downtown, as they gather to talk about issues critical to people of color. The theme of this year's convention is "Your Power, Your Decision...Vote!" Leon Russell is vice chairman of the board of directors. The last time the NAACP Convention came to Houston was in 1941. Voter suppression was a major topic. Russell says this year:

"Our main priority is in fact, the priority of the founders of this association. That the franchise would extend to every person, that no one would be denied, that no one would be discouraged, and that everyone would have the oppportunity to vote."

In addition to job, health and economic fairs over the next week, some of the nation's most prominent leaders will be featured, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Russell says it was hoped that President Obama would accept their invitation to address the convention.

"We fully anticipated that he would be here. We are delighted that (Vice) President Biden will be here. We believe that he can express the things that need to be said from the administration's standpoint. We're delighted that Mr. Romney is coming. It's going to be a great convention."

Governor Romney is to address the crowd Wednesday morning while Vice President Biden will speak at the end of the convention Thursday morning. Most of the events and exhibits are open to the public. You can see the schedule by going to their website at http://www.naacp.org/pages/convention.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...