The Johnson County NAACP is right to encourage more minorities to run for city council seats, school board positions and other elected offices.
The county branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a news conference Monday at the Johnson County Courthouse to announce the new initiative. The population of Johnson County has grown dramatically in the last few decades to about 567,000 people.
Minorities living in the county also have seen their numbers increase. Latinos now are 7.9 percent of Johnson County, African Americans are 4.6 percent of the population and 2.3 percent are a combination of other ethnicities. That’s a total of close to 15 percent.
People of color need representatives in place to ensure the best interests everyone are taken into consideration.
The blowup in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old African American if nothing else showed that poor voter participation by that majority black population in the St. Louis suburb resulted in a poor representation of blacks in the city government and on the police force, leading to long-standing discriminatory and abusive practices against African Americans by city and police officials. Two Justice Department reports this month after a six-month investigation made that public.
The Johnson County NAACP has the foresight to see that addressing the concern now will lead to positive outcomes later. Certainly minority voter participation in Johnson County is a must ahead of all else.