It’s not yet clear whether Gov. Rick Snyder and the majority Republican legislature were listening on, ironically, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
But regional and national media paid attention as hundreds of people marched to Snyder’s home near Ann Arbor, massing at the gates of the guarded subdivision that Snyder prefers to the official Governor’s Mansion in Lansing, the state capitol.
According to official estimates, more than 1,000 people marched to the subdivision’s gatehouse, chanting and shouting for the return of their absolute right to elect the officials who govern their cities and school districts.
About half of all black people living in Michigan will have no local voting rights if the state takes control of two cities it’s focused on now: Detroit and Inkster.
The number of activist groups who marched together showed that the voting right issue is bigger than any one group. They included the Michigan Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the NAACP, Occupy Detroit, The National Action Network of Michigan, AFSCME Council 25, Michigan Forward, The Sugar Law Center, and Occupy 4 All.
Michigan’s expanded Emergency Financial Manager law has become nationally notorious for giving the state the power to void local elections and take control. The law, greatly expanded last spring as Public Act 4, allows the governor to appoint a single person — the so-called emergency financial manager — to take over a city.
The emergency manager can toss out elected city or town governments, void labor contracts negotiated by the city, … [read more] Continue reading