Michiganders to celebrate Martin Luther King Day with a march to Rick Snyder’s Ann Arbor home

    For those of you not heading south on Monday to celebrate Robert E. Lee Day, it looks like there might be something interesting going on right here in Michigan. From what I hear, it looks as though there’s going to be a big march down Geddes to the Ann Arbor home of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The march, which is set to begin at 4:00 PM at Washtenaw Community College (4800 East Huron Drive), is said to be in direct response to the Governor’s aggressive push to take over economically struggling Michigan cities, replacing their elected officials with his own Emergency Financial Managers, empowered to sell public assets, break union contracts, and otherwise subvert the will of the people. And, as you may have surmised, it’s not a coincidence that this protest is taking place on Martin Luther King Day. As we’ve discussed here before, the Emergency Financial Managers to date have only been deployed in cities that are primarily African American in composition. In fact, I was just reading that, if Inkster and Detroit are taken over by the Snyder administration, as most people think they will be, that will mean that half of the African Americans living in Michigan will be without local democratically-elected representation. Further details concerning the march, which people from all of Michigan’s seized cities are expected to attend, can be found here.

    And, here, for those of you interested in knowing more, is a clip from an interview that Electablog’s Chris Savage just conducted with Pastor David Bullock, one of the individuals planning the march.

    SAVAGE:If you don’t like the Emergency Manager law, then what is YOUR answer?

    BULLOCK: Well, my first response, is that dismantling democracy has nothing to do with fixing deficits. In fact, democracy is what ensures accountability and transparency when we are working to solve these problems.

    Second, over the last decade, our state and our country have been hemorrhaging jobs, losing jobs to other countries. This crushes the tax base in cities like Flint and Pontiac and Benton Harbor and Detroit. So when you are talking about solutions, you must talk about reinvestment in our cities and trade policy.

    The Emergency Managers come in cutting, not solving these problems. Cutting fire and police and attacking unions is putting a band-aid on a wound needing stitches. There is no reinvestment in our cities.

    What we need are incentives for companies to hire locally. Right now, when companies come in to do work, there’s no guarantee that they will hire locals…

    This entry was posted in Ann Arbor, Civil Liberties, Michigan, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

      10 Comments

      1. Posted January 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Speakers at the “Occupy for Democracy” rally will include:

        - Pastor David Bullock, President of Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Highland Park NAACP

        - Pastor Van Cedric Williams, Ypsilanti Second Baptist Church and president of the Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Vicinity Ministerial Alliance

        -Michael Owens, president of the Council Of Baptist Pastors Of Detroit And Vicinity

        -Brandon Jessup, president & CEO of Michigan Forward

        -Reverend Edward Pinkney, Benton Harbor

        -Representative from the Washtenaw Community Action Team

        -Representative from United Autoworkers (UAW)

      2. anonymous
        Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        actually, there were tax credit deals that do give/demand preference to locals – those preferences take the form of not allowing sponsorship of H1B Visas and/or not paying for relocation to the area and I do not know the current state of affairs but in the previous administration those were things that were specifically asked of companies applying for tax credits.

      3. Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Hey, does anyone know the history of EFM? Who thought of this idea? Were NeoCons just sittin’ around, shooting the shit when one was like, “OMG!! I’VE GOT IT!” or did it start innocuously?

        Personally, I’m thinking of marching…this has gone way too far.

      4. Posted January 13, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        http://michiganradio.org/post/7-things-know-about-michigans-emergency-manager-law

        Michigan’s emergency management system has been in place since 1988, when Public Act 101 allowed an emergency financial manager to assess and manage the finances of Hamtramck.

        PA 101 was strengthened in 1990, when Public Act 72 gave state government the power to appoint “emergency financial managers” to local government units—such as towns, school districts, or counties—nearing bankruptcy.

        Emergency financial managers became “emergency managers” when their powers were strengthened by Public Act 4 in 2011.

      5. Posted January 13, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        For more details on the history, take a listen to http://michiganradio.org/post/look-back-michigans-first-emergency-financial-manager-law

        Sorry, no transcript, but it goes into a lot more detail on the origin of the law and how it was originally used.

      6. Edward
        Posted January 13, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        I’m curious as to how Snyder plans to spend MLK Day. Will he be in Detroit, explaining to young African American students why it is that they’re in 60 person classrooms without computers while kids in Ann Arbor have significantly better facilities and much smaller class sizes.

      7. Rick Snyder
        Posted January 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        After I was elected governor but before I took office, I read a financial report that predicted Michigan would rank dead last in job creation in 2011.

        At the time, I remember saying to my staff, “This is fiction. It’s not going to happen on our watch.”

        Today, I am proud to report that in 2011, job growth in Michigan actually beat the national average. That is the assessment from an economist from the University of Michigan who took part in today’s official Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, through which the state treasury department and the House and Senate fiscal agencies agree on what the state can realistically expect in terms of revenue for the upcoming year.

        But that’s not the only good news. Today we also learned that the state expects a budget surplus of approximately $457 million.

        2011 was not easy. But by making the tough decisions and working to structurally balance the budget, we now find ourselves in a place where instead of worrying over how to eliminate deficits, we are now able to concentrate on paying off debt and making strategic investments for the future.

        -Rick

      8. Posted January 15, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        According to AnnArbor.com, Al Sharpton will be there. I’m not so sure how I feel about that.

      9. Eel
        Posted January 16, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        More information on today’s march.

        http://www.facebook.com/events/246033665464039/

      10. Eel
        Posted January 16, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        I’m not sure if I heard it right, but I believe I heard on television this morning that Synder would be welcoming a delegation from the march into his home. If so, I think it’s a good PR move on his part. I’m doubtful that anything substantive will come from it, though.

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      1. [...] wonder if they might stick around and cover tomorrow’s march on Rick Snyder’s home in Ann Arbor. That seems to me like a story worthy of national attention. How many other states can say, this [...]

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