The Herald-Sun is reporting this morning that Lavonia Allison, the newly re-elected chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, has called an annual meeting of the historic group for January 24. The time and location have yet to be announced.
The announcement came in a news release Tuesday to select media outlets (the Indy was not included in the release) and according to The Herald-Sun, Allison made a comment indicating she wanted to engage the large number of black residents who turned out last Thursday for the election of the group’s chairperson for work on social justice issues.
More than 200 people turned out to vote for the chairperson position last Thursday, when the Rev. Melvin Whitley challenged Allison, who has served as chair the past 12 years. But only 18 people voted despite the large turnout due to an attendance rule that requires voting members to attend a certain number of meetings throughout the year.
The policy drew criticism at the meeting and has left many residents questioning what the rules are. While Sen. Floyd McKissick told the Indy Thursday that he recalls the attendance rule being in place during past elections, other elected officials, including City Councilman Howard Clement, say they thought all black residents of Durham County would be eligible to vote.
Allison has repeatedly declined comment to the Indy regarding the rules, the election, or any other matters.