New Mpls NAACP officers ‘gearing up and ready to go’

VP Jones sees convergence of social justice and labor movements

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones

Being a community advocate is high among Cathy Jones’ passions.

Jones, the Minneapolis NAACP second vice-president, recently spoke to the MSR by phone, saying she is encouraged by numerous community folk, including longtime members, who have expressed their support.

“I’m not worried about any push-back. We’ve gotten a lot of love from the brothers in the community.”

“I see a lot of interest from people wanting to get involved,” Jones pointed out. “That sends a positive message to me that they have the confidence in the leadership [and] that they are much more interested now — even some members of 20 years who want to be involved again.”

Jones was elected earlier this month as part of the new Minneapolis NAACP leadership team. “I think people are pretty excited about the change. I wear my different hats,” admitted the postal worker and union officer. “I’m hoping I can use my positions to better our community. That’s my goal, whether it’s with the union or the NAACP.”

“The union started my activism,” continued Jones. “From there it turned into the social justice movement and different things. I tied [together] the social justice movement and the labor movement” in her community work.

Since the election, Jones said the group has been meeting on how to address key issues. “I don’t know what would be the most important — all the issues are important. We have a lot of issues ranging from criminal justice to housing, health and livability. I think with all the committees we are forming, and the volunteers that have stepped forward, we should be in good position to start doing some uplifting in our community. We are gearing up and ready to go.

“Education is number one,” continued Jones. “I definitely think…we should be looking at…overhauling the Minneapolis Police Department. We have to keep on top of the police department in the way we think about policing communities. I think that needs to change.”

Jones says that despite some criticism, she believes the community mostly supports her and the other NAACP female leaders. “I’m not worried about any push-back. We’ve gotten a lot of love from the brothers in the community. I’ve had one-on-one’s with some of them. I’m not expecting any push-back from the ‘old guard.’”

Furthermore, Jones said she hopes more young people join and get involved so that a youth branch could be established “and let them run it. I know one of the main things we would like to do is really involve the youth.”

Finally, the second vice-president wants to keep going the excitement that many currently have for the Minneapolis NAACP. “I’m hoping that we can keep that excitement going and continue to keep people involved. I’m just grateful to be able to use my voice in the community to help in any way that I can.”

 

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.