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The fight to reclaim our state in 2014 starts TODAY


Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

Today Michigan, the birthplace of the labor movement, becomes the 24th Right to Work state in the USA. It's also the day that PA 436, the Emergency Manager law Republicans passed to thwart the wishes of Michigan voters, goes into effect. PA 436 transforms all Emergency Financial Managers to Emergency Managers (EMs), giving them powers above and beyond financial matters as they are the sole rulers of the schools and municipalities over which they have complete power.

Right to Work is being challenged by at least three different lawsuits. The Rev. Al Sharpton will join Rev. Charles Williams, President of the Detroit National Action Network (NAN), and other local community leaders to file a lawsuit in federal court in Detroit. A silent vigil is planned at the State Capitol building, as well.

The switch from Emergency Financial Managers to Financial Managers is being heralded in by action by Roy Roberts, the EM for Detroit Public Schools (DPS). He has announced that he will be firing DPS  superintendent, John Telford.

Roy Roberts, the state appointee who runs the Detroit Public Schools, announced in a letter dated today that he will fire the superintendent that the school board hired and reverse decisions the board made since it acquired academic powers in August. {...}

Lamar Lemmons, the board president, said Wednesday that he was not surprised at Roberts' first actions under the new law.

"We are essentially spectators," he said of the board.

This action is a key component of PA 436. It allows the EM to assume control over academic decisions. In other words, a man with no experience or training will be running academic programs and usurping the power of the elected officials. Here's a bit from his biography:
Roberts, former Managing Director at Reliant Equity Investors, has decades of managerial, financial and organizational experience, having served as the highest-ranking African-American executive in the U.S. automobile industry as Group Vice President for North American Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing of General Motors Corporation (GM). He also served as Vice President and General Manager in charge of Field Sales, Service and Parts for the Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing Group of General Motors Corporation.
He's a finance and marketing guy. Nothing in his resume qualifies him to run academic programming in the DPS.

It's a bellwether day for us in Michigan. It also marks Day One of the battle to reclaim our state from the misguided, drunk-with-power ideologues that are working so hard to crush unions, destroy our public school system, set women's rights back decades and to privatize anything not nailed down to for-profit businesses that bankroll their campaigns.

If you aren't actively engaged in replacing these Republicans in 2014, you should be seriously considering how you can get involved NOW. Everything we do between now and November 4th, 2014 should be aimed at that single goal. Get involved.

UPDATE: Here is a list of forums, rallies, and other events taking place across the state today (many thanks to Eclectablog reader Larry):

Right to Work Community Forum - March 28th, 6pm
Right to Work is temporary, Solidarity is forever! Governor Snyder is tearing our state apart and cannot be trusted! This Thursday, the community will converge on the UAW Vote Center at 6pm, for a frank discussion on the real effects of Michigan's new Right to Work laws on working families. Please plan on attending, conversing, and planning with many of your elected officials, community leaders, labor leaders, teachers, co-workers, and friends. Click here and tell us that you're coming.

Confirmed guest speakers: (List will be continually updated)

  • State Senator Bert Johnson
  • Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett
  • Detroit Councilwoman Brenda Jones
  • Rick Blocker - Chair of 14th District Dems and Sec/Treasurer of UFCW 876
  • Sherry Gay-Dagnogo - National Congress of Black Women Greater Detroit Chapter, Education Chair
  • Rev. Charles Williams II - President, National Action Network Detroit Chapter

UAW Vote Center
15140 Livernois, south of Fenkell
Detroit, MI 48238

Oakland County "Stand Up to Snyder" Rally - March 28, 3pm
March 28th marks the sad start of Right-to-Work-for-less in Michigan! This Thursday at 3:00PM, stand up for Oakland County's working families by wearing red and coming out to old Pontiac Central High School to protest Rick Snyder's war on workers!

Old Pontiac Central High School
300 W Huron Street
Pontiac, MI 48341

Utica Solidarity Rally - March 28, 12pm
Workers across the state will stand together on Thursday, March 28th, the day that the misnamed Right to Work legislation takes effect. Michigan’s working families know that Right to Work is temporary, solidarity is forever. Join us on Thursday to stand in solidarity and hold Governor Snyder accountable for his attacks on working families. In Utica, working families will rally to let the governor know that working families are paying attention and we WILL hold him accountable in 2014!

Utica City Hall
7550 Auburn Rd.
Utica, MI 48317

Hamtramck Solidarity March - March 28, 3:30pm
Workers across the state will stand together on Thursday, March 28th, the day that the misnamed Right to Work legislation takes effect. Michigan’s working families know that Right to Work is temporary, solidarity is forever. Join us on Thursday to stand in solidarity and hold Governor Snyder accountable for his attacks on working families. In Hamtramck, we will gather at the High School and march together in Solidarity.

Hamtramck High School
3201 Roosevelt
Hamtramck, MI 48212

Western Wayne County Solidarity Event - March 28, 4:30pm
Workers across the state will stand together on Thursday, March 28th, the day that the misnamed Right to Work legislation takes effect. Michigan’s working families know that Right to Work is temporary, solidarity is forever. Join us on Thursday to stand in solidarity and hold governor Snyder accountable for his attacks on working families.

  • Soup and bread available to commemorate the 1932 Ford Hunger March
  • Showing "Koch Brothers Exposed" several times. 4:30 and 6:30 (60 min in length)
  • We will have children's activities available.
  • There will be plenty of opportunity to make signs and educate the good people on Telegraph about the issues.
  • Around 7:45 we will start a candle-light vigil. If you can, please bring your own illumination device.

9650 Telegraph Rd
Taylor, MI 48180

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 05:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan, In Support of Labor and Unions, Your Government at Work, and Motor City Kossacks.

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