Betty Williams, past president of the Sacramento NAACP, has been appointed chairwoman and executive director of Sacramento County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The first African American to head the local chapter, Williams was unanimously elected.
"Criminal justice issues, homelessness and education will be our top three priorities," Williams said. "We want to make sure the criminal justice system is fair and safe and taxpayers' dollars are being used wisely," Williams said. "The system should be used to incarcerate people for violent crimes, not immigration enforcement and minor drug offenders. Dollars should be spent to help people get back on their feet and back on track."
On its website, the ACLU noted that Williams - who served as local NAACP president for eight years - "has long been a defender of and advocate for the civil liberties of Sacramento County residents."
Williams serves on the County Sheriff's Advisory Committee and the Career Educational Training vocational school. With the NAACP, she taught parents how to advocate for their school children, put on free legal clinics worked with local ministers to empower neighborhoods.
Other newly-elected board members include:
Carol Velarde, vice chairwoman; Tessnim Ahmad, program and events chairwoman; Dale McKinney, treasurer; Mary Bell, communications chairwoman; Vanessa Saavedra, secretary; Tristan Placone, community action chairman; Allen Asch, Northern California representative; Debra Reiger, past chairwoman; Adriana Saltonstall, alternate Northern California representative; Bill Lackemacher, webmaster; Silver Allen, Larry Baskett, John Kraintz and John Tjaden.
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