The executive secretary of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, the largest black organization in the state, called upon Gov.-elect John Dalton last week to appoint a substantial number of blacks in his administration.
In an interview before speaking to the Fairfax County chapter of the NAACP, Jack W. Gravely said Dalton will make more than 2,000 appointments in his administration.
"We want the governor to appoint more blacks to commissions, boards and his immediate cabinet," he said.
Although Gravely didn't have the exact number of black appointees in the current Godwin administration, he said blacks represent only a small percentage. He said Dalton should appoint blacks to traditionally all-white groups, such as the Alcoholic and Beverage Control Commission, the medical examiners board, the State Corporation Commission and the board of visitors of predominantly white colleges, such as the University of Virginia.
Gravely also called upon Dalton to formulate a financial plan to help urban areas. He said such a plan might include encouraging more businesses to move into urban areas as well as providing a tax break for people who renovate housing in blighted urban areas.
"I am well aware that black Virginians did not vote for Dalton in truckload numbers," said Gravely, who spoke at the NAACP awards banquet.
Blacks overwhelming supported populist Democrat Henry E. Howell, giving Dalton only 5 per cent of the vote in the state on Nov. 8, according to a Washington Post survey.
"I am not here to apologize for that. I am here to ask that the Dalton administration . . . provide good and just relationships for all people," Gravely said.
He said blacks represent 21 per cent of the state residents.
"The NAACP expects the governor of Virginia to deliver to us (blacks) the same that he will deliver to any of his other constituents."
Gravely, head of an organization with more than 18,000 members, said he will be asking Dalton and members of his administration to meet with him and other Virginia black leaders.
"We want him to have a good governorship because a good governorship for him will be a good one, we hope, for Virginia," Gravely said. "And a good one (governorship) for Virginia may be good for black folks."