On Thursday, April 25, Club President John Van Wagner enjoyed the warm hospitality of the “The Largest & Oldest, Baddest & Boldest, Most Loved & Hated, Most Feared & Revered, The Most Cussed and Discussed Civil Rights Organization in America”, the Montclair Chapter of the NAACP, as its Facebook page describes itself.
NAACP Chapter President Tom Reynolds, a hometown Montclair architect and Eagle Scout, was featured at this winter’s Montclair Republican Club (MRC) meeting and returned an invitation for John to meet with his chapter.
Earlier this winter, Reynolds was frank in conversations with the Club about worrisome realities in the African-American community. Tom’s very appearance as a dynamic local leader with national potential, and the success and prosperity of many Montclair African-Americans, shadow these broader social problems, such as lack of relative academic achievement (despite high spending) and the high rate of unwed motherhood (now at approximately 70%). He very ably arrayed these conditions against the goals & positions of the NAACP on health, education and prosperity.
To many in the room, it seemed as though the conservative values of the Montclair Republican Club (and hallmarks of the black Christian community) might be a common-sense restorative for those of any race seeking change toward health and wholeness. So, when Reynolds invited Van Wagner to attend an NAACP meeting, John welcomed the opportunity. With the tight, historic relationship between the NAACP and the Democratic party, the overture from Montclair’s NAACP leadership was especially friendly and collegial.
On Thursday, Van Wagner spoke with the local NAACP chapter members of the various ways its aims and goals parallel those of the Montclair Republican Club. The discussion ranged from issues like school choice in Montclair, the municipal debt and its bloated cousin at the federal level, to violent crime, its costs and ways to mitigate it, and entitlement reform. Many good ideas were aired, and seeds of new thought were planted on both sides.
Thanks to Tom Reynolds & the Montclair Chapter of the NAACP for the most gracious, baddest & boldest, invitation. Looking forward to working together in the future. And, if any of your members are interesting in registering as Republicans, the PARTY AFFILIATION FORM is available on this website.