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The NAACP's move towards political lobbying

Derrick Johnson speaks at the National Press Club in August. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

The NAACP announced its new president and CEO, and its intention to alter its tax status to a non-profit category that permits more aggressive political lobbying, NPR reports:

  • Derrick Johnson, 49, has been interim president and CEO since July. Previously, he was state president of the NAACP's Mississippi State Conference.
  • During a phone call with reporters, Johnson said the NAACP's national office would soon transition from 501(c)3 to 501(c)4.
  • Why it matters: "The change will lift significant restrictions on the NAACP's ability to engage in political lobbying."
  • Priorities: "promoting candidates and issues in local and Congressional elections ahead of next year's midterms. [Johnson] added that the change would also allow the NAACP to speak to the needs to African-Americans across the country in an increasingly political climate."
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