A Pacoima man has been elected the first statewide president of the NAACP.
Jose de Sosa, 51, will lead 78 local NAACP chapters throughout the state. The new post, he said, will allow the organization to speak with greater force on civil rights matters in the state.
Sosa said the two-year post was created as part of a restructuring of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People. Previously, the civil rights organization in the state was divided into three conferences representing Northern, Central and Southern California.
Sosa was elected at a conference attended by more than 100 NAACP members over the weekend in Burlingame.
An engineer with Pacific Bell, Sosa has served as president of both the NAACP's Southern California conference and its San Fernando Valley branch. Sosa, a native of Panama, said he would try to use his black and Latino heritage to build working relationships with both groups.