Marin City civil rights activist and community leader Everett Brandon received a commendation from the Marin County Board of Supervisors in recognition of his 90th birthday.
“I think there are a lot of very good workers here in Marin City and people who work on behalf of the community who also deserve this recognition. But I accept it because I’m 90 years old, ”Brandon said in a telephone interview.
Friends and colleagues describe Brandon as a longtime force for social equity.
“It’s a quiet storm. He listens well. He thinks deeply about issues of social justice and inequity and he has a way to get things done, ”said Johnathan Logan Jr., vice president of the Marin Community Foundation.
Logan, who said he filed for the commendation, met Brandon in the twilight of his civil rights career. While Logan was the general manager of the Marin City Community Services District, Brandon was the editor of the bimonthly Centerview newsletter, which was distributed to every household in Marin City for three years. They worked closely on the revitalization of George “Rocky” Graham Park, which Brandon counts among his milestones.
“He’s a real giant for us with a long history of fighting for equity and social justice,” said Logan, 41. “He continues to do this to this day.”
Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters read the county commendation to Brandon at a Zoom party to mark her birthday on October 19. The supervisory board adopted it on Tuesday.
Moulton-Peters, who brought the resolution, said she met Brandon earlier this year when she took the District 3 seat.
“I found him to be a warm and caring person. It was essential immediately. He connects with people individually. You have his full attention and interest, ”she said.
Brandon said he was born in the Panama Canal area and raised in Los Angeles. While attending the University of California, Los Angeles, he and other advocates founded the first chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in School.
In 1965, Brandon said, he spent about two to three months in India, working with community groups in underdeveloped and impoverished communities. He served three years in the military during the Korean War and was stationed in the United States at military installations like Fort Lewis in Washington and Camp Roberts in California.
Some of his most significant work on racial equity has been as a staff member for the West Coast region of the NAACP. Brandon said he spanned eight states, functioning as a sort of lobbyist to local lawmakers and organizing branches to participate in social issues.
Between 1958 and 1960, he helped pass landmark legislation and interacted with civil rights leaders such as Roy Wilkins, Thurgood Marshall, Medgar Evers, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
After a three-year pivot as a stockbroker, Brandon said, he founded the Challenging Times Plan of Action, an organization dedicated to providing educational assistance and guidance to area youth. bay. Brandon said the organization has helped send about 40,000 students to the university, most of them low-income or generally underserved first-generation residents. Some are provided with tutors, college tours, counseling, and scholarships.
Brandon attended law school between 1982 and 1985 at the University of California at Berkeley.
Brandon was also a spokesperson for the San Francisco Public Services Commission. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. designated February 7, 2001 as “Everett Brandon Day”.
Brandon moved to Marin City in 1998. He spent eight years with Marin City Community Development Corp. and eight years on the Marin City District Community Services Board.
Brandon is a member of the Marin County Commission on Aging and the Marin County Mental Health Council.
“I had the privilege of having a great education, I know how precious it is,” he said. “I just believe in participation, presence, representation and advocacy. I know our community is in dire need of it. I know the fight never ends.
Brandon said he’s lucky to still have a voice in the community at his age. He said there was much more work to be done, especially in Marin City, to ensure that black residents and other minorities were better represented in local government and offered education and services. lodging.
“The systems here don’t work for them unless they are part of the system and make the system work for them,” he said.