NAACP elects McGee as branch president

Members of the Anchorage NAACP, which has been very involved in prominent civil rights and public policy issues in Alaska, have elected Kevin McGee as its new branch president, the organization said Nov. 28.

McGee has pledged to continue the work of outgoing branch president Wanda V. Laws, including efforts to expand the use of green energy in the state’s public schools, so that more money earmarked for educational needs can be used in the educational process itself.

McGee noted that the Anchorage NAACP has supported efforts to get a wind turbine into use at Begich Middle School in Anchorage, and supports the addition of solar panels for the school as a project that could be expanded statewide.

The Anchorage branch is an Energy Justice supporter of Green Energy and producer of jobs in Green Energy.

McGee also noted that the Anchorage branch has signed on in opposition to the proposed Chuitna coal project, a coal strip mine proposed for the Beluga Coal Fields near the Chuitna River in upper Cook Inlet. That project is a proposal of PacRim LP, a Delaware-based corporation owned by the Texas-based energy company Petro-Hunt LLC.

Much opposition to the mine has been voiced by Alaskans, including fisheries biologists, who say such a project would devastate more than 30 square miles of critical wildlife habitat and destroy 11 miles of salmon spawning streams. There is no precedent in Alaska for permitting mining in active salmon steams and no guarantee that post-mine mitigation would restore such ecosystems.

Other priorities of the Anchorage branch of the NAACP including holding all Alaska’s elected officials accountable and demanding that they support renewal of the Voting Rights Act, reforms of the criminal justice system, and support of the Equal Protection Clause in the Alaska State Constitution.