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By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Aug 14, 2014

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The Lee County NAACP says there aren't enough districts to represent minority neighborhoods. They're ready to fight it in court with a federal lawsuit. 

The organization has announced it wants to file a federal civil rights complaint to investigate voter representation in Lee County. FOX 4 also spoke with a few people on the streets, who say district lines should have been re-drawn a long time ago. 

"We don't even have a voice," said Allean Pruitt, of Fort Myers. "We still down on the totem pole."

Opinions like Pruitt's aren't hard to find on the streets of Dunbar.

"We still feel that we have not had minority representation in this county," said Peter Ndiangui, of Fort Myers.

The Lee County NAACP is now validating this common chorus of complaints about the Lee County commission. The branch president is asking the national chapter to grant it permission to file a lawsuit for single member districts so minority neighborhoods are heard. 

"Our roads have gone unrepaired, our sidewalks have gone unrepaired, our neighborhoods have remained slum-blighted from overgrown lots," explained James Muwakkil, the branch president.

The organization believes redrawing district lines and creating a new one would help. It wants another district made up of the City of Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres and Charleston Park in Alva. Areas with dense minority populations. This wouldn't guarantee that a minority would be elected to the commission but...

"It does guarantee that  they would have to come to our neighborhood to get our interests because they would need our vote," said Muwakkil.

The Lee County NAACP says in the history of Lee County, there's never been a black commissioner elected to office. Ms. Melvin Morgan was appointed to the commission in 1983. She served for over a year but was voted out. 

"It's 2014 [we've] never had an elected, black official on the county commission," said Early Barnes, of Fort Myers. "We're not in the Stone Age anymore."

A conference call with the National chapter of the NAACP is scheduled for Monday.

 

Gabrielle Sarann

Gabrielle Sarann

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Gabrielle is a reporter for FOX 4.

We are very proud to acknowledge our youth who attended the 2014 National competition in Las Vegas Nevada.   And for the second straight year we had a Bronze Medal winner.  Congratulations to Ngan Nguyen who excelled in the Chemistry area of competition.

We are pleased to bring to you the Lee County NAACP 2014 Freedom Fund banquet with Master of Ceremony Lee Pitts of the Lee Pitts Live.  We are honored to highlight Marcus D. Goodson, Executive Director of Fort Myers and Lee County Housing Authorities as this year’s KEYNOTE speaker. 

 

Location:     Dr. Carrie Robinson Center - 2990 Edison Ave. Ft. Myers Fl. 33816.

Event Date: October 18th, 2014

Time:           5:30

 

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