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Clayton NAACP chapter elects new president

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) elected C. Synamon Baldwin, of Morrow, as its new president on Thursday, with the voting taking place at its headquarters in Jonesboro.

Baldwin, the co-founder of the Clayton County Wide Homeowners Association, and a host and producer of an Internet TV talk show, said she is presently considered president-elect, and will officially begin her duties on Jan. 1.

"I want to build a strong, local NAACP," she said. "My whole vision and goal is education ... at all levels."

She said that there are many ways to make Clayton County better, but she believes education has to be one of the highest priorities.

"I am a lifelong member [of the NAACP] ... It is in my blood," she said. She said she has worked in the southeast region of the organization, off and on, for 10 years, and has been a member of the Clayton County chapter for two years.

According to Baldwin, she served as a prison re-enfranchisement director, and held leadership positions in various field operations, in the southeast region.

"One of my greatest accomplishments in that position [prison re-enfranchisement director] was establishing NAACP chapters in prisons within the southeast region," she said.

One of the concerns she said she wants to concentrate on, as the local chapter's new leader, is taking another look at what the organization's response should be to the Tasha Hill-Troy Dale West case. The recent trial in the much-publicized case ended with a plea bargain, in which West, a white male -- who was accused of attacking Hill, a black woman, at a Cracker Barrel restaurant -- agreed to serve less than six months in jail.

Baldwin said the current NAACP branch executives did not handle the case properly. "We [NAACP] are going to look at it very closely," she said. "We cannot overturn the outcome, or give satisfaction in terms of Troy West, but rest assured, we will deal with it," Baldwin added.

The new president-elect said her first priority in life is taking care of her sister, Ophelia Fontenot, whom, she said, has Huntington's disease. With that as a given, she said, she is also ready to focus much of her time and energy on Clayton County.

"We have a mandate to move forward and make a difference in the community," she said.