NAACP eliminates most of its $3.2 million debt Mfume sees clean slate soon, urges new activism


WASHINGTON -- NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said last night that the nation's largest civil rights group has reduced its debt to $250,000, down from $3.2 million when he took charge of the organization in February.

Mfume made the remark in a talk to the Capital Press Club, a black journalists group. He shared the podium with Hugh B. Price, president of the National Urban League, another major civil rights organization.

Mfume said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which has headquarters in Baltimore, expects to wipe out the debt "very shortly."

NAACP officials say the group has cut its debt by reducing spending, negotiating with creditors to pay past-due bills at less than full value and raising money from its members, foundations and corporations.

Saying the NAACP was "still remaking itself," Mfume called for a "new sense of activism" among African-Americans to develop an agenda to put before the Democratic and Republican parties.

Both Mfume and Price attacked the welfare-reform law recently signed by President Clinton as injurious to poor children. Price said the measure was evidence that "one party takes us for granted and the other ignores us," referring to Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

Price called for campaigns nationwide to create after-school programs to give youths something positive to do from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when their parents are at work. He said the Urban League would sponsor an advertising campaign on that theme this fall.

Pub Date: 9/10/96

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