VALLEJO – The statewide conference of the NAACP directed former Vallejo City Councilmember Hakeem Brown to end his claim to presidency of the Vallejo chapter on Wednesday.
Brown was appointed as president of the NAACP Vallejo chapter by longtime President Jimmie Jackson just days before his death on Jan. 17.
But the President of the California HawaiiI Conference NAACP, Rick Callender, wrote a letter to Brown dated Wednesday which states that the NAACP Branch Bylaws require the highest ranking officer to ascend to the presidency in the case of the death of a chapter president.
“On behalf of the CA/HI State Conference NAACP you are hereby directed to stop publicizing yourself as Branch President, or taking any action that the bylaws does not afford you as a Vice-President of the Branch,” Callender wrote.
Callender wrote in his letter that in the Vallejo chapter’s vice presidential elections Patricia Hunter had received the highest number of votes and that Brown and another candidate had tied for second place. He said that Hunter is the duly elected First Vice President and the proper successor to Jackson.
In a Facebook post, Brown refused to step aside and said that he is facing a “coup attempt” because of the new direction he has charted for the organization and his questions about the chapter's recent financial expenditures. Brown arranged a meeting Wednesday night for members to express their opinions and to “help clear this hurdle” on the way to becoming “the model NAACP chapter,” he said.
Jackson and Brown had worked closely together during Brown’s term in the city council from 2018 to 2022 when Brown chose not to seek reelection.
After two years on the council, Brown ran for mayor and was considered a frontrunner in the race against then-fellow Councilmember Robert McConnell.
But just before the 2022 mayoral election, news reports exposed Brown’s criminal history of domestic violence. Brown was arrested as many as nine times for issues related to domestic abuse. He faced charges for five of those arrests and was convicted three times including a felony domestic violence charge in which the victim testified that Brown had punched her in the face and twice in the stomach when she was pregnant. She later lost the child.
Jackson continued to support Brown in his mayoral bid after the domestic violence revelations. “He has said to me recently that he wanted to put it in the past, but always be mindful that he would never repeat those actions again,” Jackson wrote in a letter published by the Vallejo Times-Herald.
In Brown’s Facebook post on Wednesday, he wrote that Vallejo NAACP officers, including Hunter, Secretary Lynda Daniels and Education Chair Hazel Wilson are attempting to remove him as president because he had raised questions about anomalies he found in the chapter’s annual financial report.
He alleged that the anomalies involved an intake of $10,000 for COVID-19 training from a company, Urban Strategies which employs Hunter, hiring of employees for unclear purposes and $22,000 in expenses. Brown said the expenses cannot be accounted for.
“In the last 60 days we’ve brought about effective, lasting change that will reverberate for years to come. However, despite the forward-thinking displayed and the progress made, I knew that there would be resistance to change in the organization,” Brown wrote.
As an example of his efforts, he described his persistence in urging Vallejo school officials to circulate a notice among teachers reiterating the district’s policies with regard to racism after an incident between a teacher and three Black students.
“I took the lead as the incident at the high school was egregious enough for me to take a stand,” Brown wrote. “As President, I will not stand idly by as students suffer at the hands of individuals who do not understand our collective brilliance and power.”
Brown ended the post with an appeal to members to share their opinions at Wednesday’s meeting and to reach out to the state and national NAACP to share their concerns.
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- Hakeem Brown
- Jimmie Jackson
- Rick Callender
- Patricia Hunter
- Robert McConnell
- Lynda Daniels
- Hazel Wilson
Ryan Geller writes about transitions in food, health, housing, environment, and agriculture.
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