September 18, 2012

Local NAACP president challenges council

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Last night's city council meeting began with a passionate speech by Chickasha's NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) branch president, Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander.

Alexander explained the purpose of his presence at last night's meeting was to make the city council aware of the NAACP's current concerns and he wanted to echo his longing to work together as a united community.

Alexander focused his attention on Mayor Hank Ross.

"We want you to come walk the streets. It's a new day and we are committed," he said.

Alexander suggested a key to improvement is dialogue and said his roots in Chickasha are deep.

"My grandparents lived here. My parents lived here. We love our city," Alexander said.

City council member Howard Carpenter expressed his thankfulness.

"I just wanted to thank you for coming here and voicing your concerns," he said.

Ross added he too was appreciative for citizens of the community coming forward and speaking up.

"There's something very powerful about Chickasha," Alexander said, "Something that is sometimes missed."

Alexander teaches a government class at Chickasha High School and he explained the importance of teaching Chickasha's past, which included lots of segregation.

Ross suggested Alexander and his fellow members attend upcoming work sessions that are less formal.

Joshua Trammell was also approved for a taxi cab business in Chickasha during the meeting. Trammell wrote in his original letter to the council that his company would benefit, "out of town people that can't drive their own vehicle and need after hour transportation and weekend and night transportation for Chickasha people that need it."

He explained to the council that he is heavily insured and if an accident ever occurred not only would he be insured, but his passenger would be insured up to $100,000. He also told the council he is up to date on all CPR certificates.

Trammell explained his company's addition to the community could save lives.

"If I can save one person from killing someone leaving a bar, it'll help," he said.