Michigan Democracy Problem: Suffrage Movement Underway (Benton Harbor Situation Update)
We live in a freaky time. Now, in the year 2012, in the United States of America, Michigan residents are fighting to get their voting rights back. This Wednesday (February 29, 2012) The Stand Up for Democracy coalition and Michigan Forward turned in over 218,000 signatures to return their rights to their democracy. This figure outnumbers the 160,304 signatures they need, but the petitions remain to be certified. Michigan’s Secretary of State assured some of the state’s democratic members of congress that the signatures would be secured against tampering, after they requested it (The Rachel Maddow Show 2012).
The Public Act 4, the Michigan law that allows the governor to appoint an emergency manager to a town, has been put to use in poor and largely African American communities, eliminating the right to voice of more than half of the state’s impoverished and black communities (Eclectablog 2011; The Rachel Maddow Show 2012 [link to Eclectablog December 23, 2011 article with table at this post's base]). Sound fishy? #$@#$%ed straight it’s fishy.
If you are new to Michigan’s Public Act 4, here are a few scary items about it:
- The emergency manager can dissolve the town without the town’s say-so.
- The emergency manager can fire all the public officials that the town voted for.
- The emergency manager can sell the town’s property without the town’s consent.
- Much of this has already happened in Benton Harbor, Michigan (for more information, see related links at this post’s base).
- Emergency Managers currently rule four Michigan cities and one school district.
- Detroit may receive an emergency manager.
I’m excited about these signatures. I’m not excited about the fact that Indiana seems to be headed towards the emergency manager direction, as reported by Eclectablog on January 21, 2012 (link at this post’s base).
Related Posts (mainly about Benton Harbor, but also some creepy history)
2012 Indiana Republicans Pass Emergency Manager Bill Out of Committee. Eclectablog (posted online January 12, 2012). Electronic document, http://www.eclectablog.com/2012/01/indiana-republicans-pass-emergency.html, accessed March 3, 2012.
2011 Does Justice Dept’s Ruling on SC Voter ID Law Bode Well for Repeal of Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law? Eclectablog (posted online December 23, 2011). Electronic document, http://www.eclectablog.com/2011/12/does-justice-depts-ruling-on-sc-voter.html, accessed March 3, 2012.
The Rachel Maddow Show
2012 Michigan’s Shameful Legacy a Lesson in Putting Rights to Popular Vote. The Rachel Maddow Show (broadcast Friday, March 2, 2012). Electronic document, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#46610391, accessed March 3, 2012.
Michigan Democracy Problem: Suffrage Movement Underway (Benton Harbor Situation Update) by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.