The Rutland Area Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has sent its 2020 candidate survey to over 60 federal, state-wide, and Rutland County Senate and House candidates via email and mail. [Click here to download the full list, with contact information.] As the nation’s oldest non-partisan civil rights group, the NAACP has a mission to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. This being an election year, the Rutland Area branch of the NAACP is working to engage candidates and community in dialogue about racial equity in our state.
This year, our survey contains thirteen questions, in honor of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to outlaw slavery. Our survey questions are meant to prompt candidates to provide their perspectives and plans to address issues of significant influence in the lives and well-being of people of color when it comes to some of the most critical and controversial topics of today. Recognizing that no dimension of identity exists separate of others, some questions are intentionally intersectional as, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
As a non-partisan organization, the Rutland Area NAACP invites all candidates to the table because we believe that dignity, identity, access to resources, respect, and freedom are not bound by political affiliation; they are matters of humanity that all people—especially those who seek to serve our community—should care deeply about. We will be assessing responses through the lens of the NAACP principles and sharing the results with the public. Our publication of the survey results—and the names of candidates who opt not to reply—is not an endorsement of any candidate; it is insight into the candidate’s position on issues about racial injustice and how closely their views and intentions to address the issue align with our own.
In the past, a few candidates have responded that they never fill out surveys. We strongly encourage the candidates to be transparent and open with the public by going on the record about their positions on the issues, especially since they’ll be overseeing these issues should they win their elections. It disenfranchises the voters when candidates avoid accountability. So we hope that all the candidates will have the courage to respond to our survey so that the voters can make an informed decision in the election this November.
We look forward to receiving responses to our survey by Sunday September 20th. The results will be shared with our members and the public as the mail-in ballots arrive in everyone’s mailboxes.
For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org