In 2012, a group of Washtenaw County organizers from faith, labor, and other community groups came together to work toward improving their community by helping make progress on numerous issues confronting workers and voiceless citizens in Washtenaw County. They eventually dubbed their group the Washtenaw Regional Organizing Coalition or “WeROC”.
In November of 2013, WeROC held their first public meeting where they asked local leaders to publicly commit to creating positive change by eliminating fees for “7th hour” classes at Ann Arbor public schools which make them unavailable to students whose families are on limited incomes, promoting the “Ban the Box” effort to remove questions about previous felony convictions from employment applications, and enhancing access to reliable and affordable transportation services to medical facilities around the county for patients without vehicles. You can read my coverage of that powerful event HERE.
WeROC is holding their second public meeting this Sunday, November 15, 2015 from 3-5 p.m. at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church ELCA at 201 N. River Street in Ypsilanti.
Click image for a printable flyer
Here is how organizers describe their event:
WeROC’s 2015 Public Meeting represents the launch of a major joint initiative by WeROC, MOSES, and other Michigan community organizations with committed public health professionals around the state. This broad coalition, called Michigan Power to Thrive, is born from the shared recognition of the very real links between the economic and social struggles facing far too many of our residents and the overall health of the greater community. MPTT is hitting the ground running with campaigns focusing on meaningful alternatives to Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation as well as expanding resources for Early Childhood Development.
The meeting will focus on several specific issues:
- Reducing school suspensions and breaking the school-to prison pipeline
- Broadening the number of businesses in our area that offer employees earned sick time for themselves or to care for a family member, instead of losing a paycheck or their job
- Economic dignity
- Expanding public transit options, locally and between Washtenaw and Detroit
- Building on the very real public health consequences of our unacceptable level of incarceration, especially as communities of color have been affected
If you are in the southeastern Michigan area, I hope you’ll join me and hundreds of others in attending this event. It’s an incredible example of community organizing aimed at creating real change and you’re guaranteed to come away feeling empowered and inspired. As I wrote in my coverage of their first meeting, during a time when many of us feel powerless to make a difference in the world around us, WeROC is showing that, by working together from a basis of shared values, individuals CAN be powerful and they CAN make a difference.
For more information, contact Tad Wysor at (734) 883-3225 or by email at [email protected].
You can find more information about WeROC and their community meeting on their Facebook page HERE.