Dubuque Chapter of N.A.A.C.P Considering Expansion
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa - A Dubuque civil rights activist says it’s time for the community to make some changes. Lynn Sutton is calling for a rebirth of Dubuque’s Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., a group that advocates for African-Americans.
Sutton is a Dubuque City Council member. She is also the newly elected President of Dubuque’s N.A.A.C.P. Sutton says there’s a big need for change in her community.
The Dubuque chapter of the N.A.A.C.P started in the early 1980′s. Since then both membership and participation has ebbed and flowed.
Sutton said, ” the past couple years I felt we were at a lull because membership had dropped drastically. ”
That’s one reason why Sutton wants to rejuvenate the chapter. She’s also calling for answers in an incident that happened earlier this month.
The Sheriff’s Department is investigating what they say is a possible hate crime. Sutton said, “a family was targeted, un-necessarily, and it really does appear to be racially motivated.”
Someone painted racial slurs on this house then set it on fire.
Neighbors say an African-American woman and her teenage daughter live in the home. But so far, deputies haven’t arrested anyone.
Sutton said, “no one is giving information, no one is coming forth but we truly feel there is someone out there that knows something. ”
Sutton says there is a common belief in the community that African-Americans move to Dubuque from bigger cities and are the ones committing all the crime.
But she says Dubuque’s recent crime study suggests otherwise.
“If you look at our demographics here in the city, the majority of our population here is not of color, therefore we can’t be committing all the crimes, ” Sutton said.
Sutton hopes a stronger, more visible N.A.A.C.P. chapter can help eliminate some of what she calls negative beliefs. Right now there are 90 members in Dubuque’s chapter. Sutton wants to increase that number and get more people involved with chapter events.
What's On KCRG