Many in Central Mississippi may not be aware of STAND – Sisters Taking Action and Nurturing Decision-Makers – but you need to be.
In an email dated August 16, 2015, Corinne Williams Anderson, Ed. D. of STAND writes on a mass email regarding Initiative 42:
“WE DID IT!! We united, attended community events, gathered signatures for petitions, delivered petitions, cross-checked voter registration files for the Circuit Clerk’s office, AND ensured that Hinds County met the prescribed number of signatures (6,000+)!!! Our organizations are on record!!!”
Anderson lists the following as STAND Coalition Organizations:
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Beta Delta Omega, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Rho Lambda Omega, Inc.
American Association of University Women, Jackson
American Association of University Women, MS
Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Jackson Alumnae
Holy Family Catholic Church Ladies’ Guild
Jackson Chapter, Links, Inc.
Lefleur Bluff Chapter, Links, Inc.
Mary Church Terrell Library Club
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Central MS
National Council of Negro Women
Women for Progress of MS, Inc.
Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Beta Delta Omega Sorority, Inc.
Also listed are STAND “Advisory/Support Groups/Contacts”:
Better Jobs Better Schools
Children’s Defense Fund
Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee
Hinds County Federation of Democratic Women
Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Clinic
MS Association for Developmental Educators
MS Association for Community / Junior Colleges
MS Faith-based Coalition
Mississippi Health Advocacy Program
Parents for Public Schools
P3 Strategies, LLC
Given the lists above, how anyone can claim Initiative 42 is not a Democrat-led measure is beyond me. The proof was there from the beginning, in the initial signature collection efforts.
What is a bit more disturbing, however, is the effort Initiative 42 supporters made to involve themselves in the process of verifying the signatures on the petitions.
In a separate email, Anderson talks of STAND helping verify Initiative 42 petition signatures in the Hinds County Circuit Clerk office. She writes:
“…the second step in a long process to November, 2015, is that the signature/signatures have to be verified as legitimate voters by each county’s Circuit Clerk’s office… As part of S.T.A.N.D.’s, Accountability focus, representatives visited the Circuit Clerk’s office, met with the Election Commissioners, and sat in on discussions with the Attorney General’s office to further understand the process of how signatures are verified to be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office.
“One of the results of those very positive and educational visits was the sobering fact that Hinds County will more than likely not be able to process/verify the thousands of signatures that are coming in, at least in time to meet the projected deadline…
“We have explored and reached a consensus with our Circuit Clerk on a legitimate solution but our organizations/members will have to help. We have spent weeks working with the process, checking legalities of using volunteers and are certain we can help Hinds County… We intend to help make every possible signature count!!
“Therefore, we are calling on you who have worked the polls, served as city or county election officials, or who are willing to be trained to verify signatures, under the supervision of the Circuit Clerk’s staff. Persons who are basically computer literate are preferred…”
Anderson then lists a contact name and number to discuss scheduling hours for volunteers, and adds, “Identify your organization, too, so that the listing of supporting organizations for the Better Schools Better Jobs ballot initiative will be accurate for publication, etc…. NOTE 1: Those persons working directly with BETTER SCHOOLS BETTER JOBS should not serve as volunteers.”
So these groups associated with STAND were able to rally support, gather signatures and then help verify those signatures, and as long as they were not “directly with Better Schools Better Jobs” it was OK, even though STAND itself is directly tied to BSBJ.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone, however… It’s Mississippi Democrat politics at its best!