Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller Resigns Amid Medical Mart Fallout, Conflict With Forbes Over Hts. Curfew Law

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 02:50.


Outgoing Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller

 

Cleveland NAACP President and Attorney George L. Forbes, also general counsel for The Call and Post Newspaper, Cleveland's Black Press

From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

Cleveland NAACP Executive Director Stanley Miller has resigned after serving six years in the post, and amid controversy from a Black contractors group that says that Miller and Cleveland NAACP President George Forbes have done in struggling Black contractors by not speaking up about a dearth of minority contractors on the lucrative Medical Mart Project, though the major-metropolitan City of Cleveland is majority Black and roughly 67 percent minority.

Miller played his departure as a new opportunity to lead Cleveland's struggling Marcus Garvey Charter School of some 175 students, but others say he resigned under pressure and because of ongoing conflict with Forbes, including a scathing letter last week from Norman Edwards, executive director of The Black Contractors Group,  a letter sent to Forbes and Miller that was copied to community leaders, Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

The Black Contractors Group picketed Medical Mart officials two weeks ago saying that the 15 percent figure of Black contractors at work on the project is unfair and preposterous. The group also called for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to step up and speak out on the issue, and the media supported Edwards and his group with 19 Action News Reporter Scott Taylor, who is White, asking questions around the controversy through the local television station's coverage of the controversial protest.

Edwards' letter reads as follows:

George Forbes, President NAACP & Stanley Miller, Executive Director,

Our organization, The Black Contractors Group, would like to know why you, Mr. Forbes and Mr. Miller, after watching the woeful numbers (15%) African American workforce were posted last week by Cuyahoga County as they relate to The Medical Mart Project, have said absolutely nothing, complete silence. Wow!!! Is it because the Secretary of The NAACP Cleveland Chapter, Ms. Arlene Anderson, who is also the owner of Minority Business Solutions, who just coincidentally happens to be the Diversity Director/Coordinator for The Medical Mart Project and The Casino Project.

Ms. Anderson was also the Diversity Director on the $1.3 billion dollar University Hospital Project and made sure that Black & Minority Contractors and construction workers received very little to no economic inclusion and jobs. Please have the NAACP address these very serious issues of non-inclusion within the greater Cleveland-Cuyahoga area on these multi-billion construction projects immediately. We are waiting for your response. Thank you

Norman K. Edwards
Executive Director
The Black Contractors Group
216-355-0535

Following the above letter Community Activist Frances Caldwell, a member of The Imperial Women who supports Edwards and his group and who is pushing for a renewed African-American Museum of Cleveland, sent out an email targeting Forbes and Miller as allegedly mistreating the Black community and lacking the leadership necessary to promote its pertinent agendas.

The letter went to people such as Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood, Kathy Wray Coleman of The Imperial Women, Cool Cleveland Journalist and former Call and Post Editor Mansfield Frazier, Ward 6 Precinct Committeeman John Boyd, Attorney Michael L Nelson Sr., Community Advocate Michael Nelson, George Frazier, Black on Black Crime Members Donna Brown and David and Marva Patterson, Dr. David Whittaker, Besheer Jones, Cleveland Chapter of The New Black Panther Party Leader Abdul Qahhar, and George Edwards, head of The Black Trades Council.

"I consider all of you community leaders/activists and we MUST stop the division and come together to rid our community of organizations and elected officials that do not look out for our interests," Caldwell wrote. " The elections are coming up, lets all meet and plan an agenda to put judges and elected officials in office that will work with us and for us. If not we are all spinning our wheels for naught."

 
Some people like them though, and Forbes said in a campaign letter to prospective supporters, when he beat Attorney Lawrence Floyd last year to retain the presidency that he won in 1992, and over and over again, that recently  the organization had gotten policy changes to minimize racial conflict in Cleveland's Warehouse Entertainment District, had fought with RTA for Blacks, and will get jobs for the Casino Project.

 
 
 
 
 

How Forbes' campaign position on the Casino promise pans out with Edwards on his tail remains to be seen, particularly since both are strong Black men with a following. 
 
 

 
Miller, 63, recently bumped heads with Forbes by taking a stance against a Cleveland Hts curfew law adopted some three weeks ago by Cleveland Hts City Council that allows police to arrest children for eating at select restaurants or otherwise patronizing select businesses after 6 p.m. Activists have said that it is unconstitutional against all children but was designed to target Black kids, with Forbes backing it and repeatedly branding Black children "hooligans" in anti-Black editorials as general counsel and the editorial page director of The Cleveland Call and Post Newspaper, the city's Black press.

Miller would often say that he had little clout and had to do what Forbes demanded, even if it were not in the best interests of the Black community.

Miller, Forbes and the Cleveland NAACP narrowly escaped a protest scheduled against them earlier this year by The Imperial Women, who claim the group and its leaders have been unresponsive to serious issues impacting Black women such as The Imperial Ave Murders and because Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Timothy McGinty had appointed Miller as a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury Foreman and thereafter an indictment was issued against Rebecca Whitby, the 24-year-old then Collinwood area woman whom Cleveland Fifth District police allegedly beat up and called nigger, an elderly White neighbor said. 
 
Whitby had escaped an indictment by a previous county grand jury  that would have brought various criminal charges pushed by police over the incident where she says police harassed her after coming to the family home in 2009 and finding nothing wrong over a small family quarrel. But after Miller came aboard to lead the grand jury indictment process, Whitby was indicted on criminal charges,including the allegation of assault on the White police officers accursed of abusing. Her family says the charges were leveled to quiet city officials that feared a lawsuit over the dispute.
 

The Imperial Women were also upset about efforts by Jackson and his law director Robert Triozzi to maliciously prosecute Destini Bronaugh allegedly in retaliation for a peaceful student protest at Cleveland's Collinwood High School last year around projected teacher layoffs and school closings.


Bronaugh, who graduated last summer, is facing misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of official business before Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lynn McLaughlin Murray, whom Triozzi and Jackson assigned to the case with chief judge Ron Adrine's help, and ironically,  all three of them have endorsed her run this year against Asst. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Pinkey Carr, who is Black and is one of the prosecutors in the Anthony Sowell Capital Murder Case.
 
A Cuyahoga County jury convicted Sowell on Friday of murdering 11 Black women and keeping their remains at his home on Imperial Ave in Cleveland.
Sowell faces the death penalty at his upcoming sentencing mitigation hearing beginning Aug 1 before Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose.

McLaughlin Murray was appointed to the seat in Jan by outgoing Gov. Ted Stickland and has come under fire for allegedly fixing cases for select law enforcement authorities, Jackson, Triozzi and others that have targeted innocent Blacks and women for malicious prosecution.

An ordained minister, Miller is pastor of Shaffer United Methodist Church in Cleveland. He is  is a graduate of  Cleveland's Glenville High School and Kent State University. He was employed for many years in the corporate sector as a top executive and served briefly as a press spokesperson for Cleveland schools before becoming the executive director of the local chapter of the nation's most prominent and respected Civil Rights organization, one of only four chapter executive directors nationwide. He steps down July 29 with no replacement yet named, and if and when one is tentatively chosen, he or she must be approved by the national headquarters.

Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com..

 

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