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Tue Apr 23, 2019, 10:04 PM

Area black leaders denounce St. Louis merger plan and call for NAACP president to resign

COOL VALLEY • A group of about 35 black elected officials from St. Louis and St. Louis County on Monday denounced the Better Together city-county merger proposal and called for John Gaskin III, president of the county NAACP, to resign.

The group came together after Gaskin’s appearance on Thursday at an event billed as endorsement of the merger by his NAACP chapter. Gaskin’s speech embraced the merger as a way to end racial segregation and improve the lives of black people. But he did not disclose his full-time employment with the campaign pushing the merger until questions from a Post-Dispatch reporter after his remarks.

Gaskin’s dual role drew immediate scorn from area leaders and accusations that Better Together was buying black support for the merger plan.

In a news conference on Monday at Cool Valley City Hall, James McGee, mayor of Vinita Park, said he was appalled that the county NAACP “would be hijacked as a vehicle to take the power away from the minority community.”

Read more: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/area-black-leaders-denounce-merger-plan-and-call-for-naacp/article_5858aab7-ee92-5259-847b-9cc162cd06eb.html

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