Detroit Vows To Close The Door On Emergency Financial Manager

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On Monday, Jan. 2, to start the New Year off right and hit the ground running, a loudly vocal Detroit crowd of protesters joined Rep. John Conyers and a fairly large representation of the city’s leadership, including Detroit longtime NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony, to protest the possible appointment of an emergency financial manager (EFM). Those following the issue are well aware that this is not a new fight by any means, but it is a fight that is getting louder by the minute as Detroiters raise their voices – and combine forces – to do whatever is necessary to prevent an EFM from being appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to oversee Michigan’s largest city. Snyder already appointed managers over Detroit Public Schools and the cities of Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Flint. The City of Inkster is perched on the precipice, and an announcement was just made today that an EFM has been appointed to oversee Highland Park.

Just to review, it’s not that we in Detroit aren’t well aware of the fact that we’re short on cash, or that our elected leaders aren’t well aware of the fact that they have their work cut out for them to set this city back on course toward financial stability. Detroit didn’t just arrive on the shores of this crisis. We’ve been treading water in the eye of this storm for more than two decades at least. And to be sure, we are hardly blameless innocents in this mess. But Detroiters are not so far gone that we can’t work together with our elected leaders and figure our own way out. To offer us assistance is one thing, but to nullify the power of our vote by voiding the decision-making power of our elected leaders is an inexcusable overreach that could create disturbing and costly consequences for years to come.

As we head further down the road of Campaign 2012, Democratic candidates for office in Michigan and elsewhere should consider the fact that what is happening to Detroit – and all the other Michigan municipalities with large or predominant African American populations – is representative of what this fight is all about, because this really is about us versus them. This is just as much about whether Gov. Snyder can be allowed to put his state’s largest city back on the plantation through the forced appointment of an emergency financial manager as it is about stopping the Republicans from sabotaging President Obama’s agenda. This is just as much about protecting the sanctity of the vote and the power of a citizenry to elect its own leaders in Detroit as it is about the Republican-led effort nationwide to disenfranchise any and all voters who are likely to support the re-election of the President.

This really is them against us.

Republicans can be allowed to short circuit all of President Obama’s initiatives

6 Replies to “Detroit Vows To Close The Door On Emergency Financial Manager”

  1. I do not understand how this is allowable. hasn’t anyone taken this to the michigan supreme court or are they part of the corruption. People cannot lose their elected leadership beucase of money, nor can that leadership be given to someone with possible outside interests involved.

    On top of that, every elected official in this country should always be open to recall.

  2. The current situation in Michigan is novel yet seriously complex. The most basic problem is in predominately African American cities, the general population tends to be non-political. This leaves the business of running the local government apparatus up to an ambitious minority of the black majority. The average voter in these cities refuses (for one excuse or another) to allocate any time to monitor major governmental decisions being made by those elected officials in his/her city. Over time this leads to graft and blatant corruption which becomes an accepted form of doing business in the city. Worse still it creates a sitution where the city government is incapable of responding to economic emergencies.

    The second contributor to the problem in African American cities is the failure to utilize talents and resources among the residential populations. For example in the predominately AA cities in Michigan there must be a reasonable contingent of sharp practicing black lawyers, who could have formed a a state wide legal group to provide monitoring and support to Benton Harbor city officials when it was initially under threat of having an EFM installed to take over the city government. Instead these brothers were content to continue their “black upwardly mobile lifestyle” and chose to ignore the gathering clouds of a political disaster in evidence all around them. I have chosen to focus on the lawyers, but among us African Americans is a wealth of all kinds of talent, the expertise of which could have been used to help solve the financial problems of Michigan’s predominately AA cities.

    Please do not think that my observations above were essentially a form of “blaming the victim”. I understand too well that America’s African people, during America’s period of slavery, were brutally intimidated and beat into maintaining a lifelong distrust of all other African slaves, and this intimidation continued unabated through the Jim Crow years up until the current era. Therefore the lack of mutual cooperation among black folks in predominately African American cities is understandable in view of the historical context of the legacy of American slavery.

  3. If there were ever any reasons for any non-politicized Americans to become politicized, the arrogance and resulting overreach of GOP/TP politicians in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio should be instructive. As happy as I am that Wisconsinites and Ohioans have fought back against the overreach in their states, I applaud the fact that Michiganders are fighting back. More power to you!!

  4. Glad to hear that someone is finally fighting back against this obviously unconstitutional and undemocratic EFM decision. Frankly, I can’t understand why the whole state of Michigan is not up-in-arms (figuratively and literally). This is “crisis capitalism/shock doctrine” on steroids.

  5. The use of a city manager is entirely undemocratic and I am stunned that it is allowed and that the streets are not full of people protesting that their voting rights have been obliterated. It must be pushed back and the Occupy people need to scream back at these overreaching Republicans.
    Democracy???? I think not.
    Perhaps Obama should install a “manager” in the Senate?

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