As you know, if you read my blog, this past spring, Michigan Republicans passed legislation that Governor Rick Snyder signed into law as Public Act 4 of 2011, otherwise known as “The Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) Law”. Although Michigan governors already had the ability to put EFMs in place in struggling cities and schools, this new law gives EFMs wide-sweeping new powers such as the ability to break contracts with unions and other groups and to dismiss local elected government officials.
Both of these things have happened. In Benton Harbor, EFM Joseph Harris relegated the City Commission to calling meetings, approving minutes and adjourning meetings – essentially becoming stenographers as he reconfigured city commissions and awarded city contracts to companies of his own choosing. In Pontiac, EFM Michael Stampfler voided a contract with police dispatchers and outsourced the city’s water treatment to a company facing a 26-count federal indictment for Clean Water Act violations. This new law has turned EFMs into dictators who subvert our democratic process and disenfranchise our citizens.
This week the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Committee voted to support Michigan Forward’s effort to repeal P.A. 4 – The EFM Law. Only 161,400 valid petitions signatures are needed to put the repeal this anti-democratic law on the ballot. Once the signatures have been validated, the law is immediately suspended until it is voted on at the November 2012 election. The number of signatures needed is small and quite achievable.
You can get involved in several ways. First, this Saturday, June 18th, at 10:00 a.m. is a press conference to launch the local petition drive at the Ann Arbor Education Association at 4141 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor. There will be speakers including Brit Satchwell, president of the local teachers union, and Sabra Briere, Ann Arbor City Council member. We are hoping for a HUGE turnout. At the press conference, you can receive training on collecting signatures and take home petitions for your friends and acquaintances to sign.
If you’d like to get more involved, you can sign up to do so HERE.
You can also follow the Michigan Forward on several places online:
Please join us as we work to repeal the Michigan Dictator Law, the biggest overstep by Republicans yet.