Remarks to Council, Dec. 15, 2015

City Hall, 1 S. Huron St., downtown Ypsilanti, MI

A proactive council, by now, could find a way to support the protection–rather than prosecution and erasure–of Black lives. Proactive isn’t the word that we would use to describe the council, here in this Hall.

Quiet Council Members: Robb, Voght, and Murdock are like unmarked police vehicles; they refuse to express their intentions; they also unconsciously mobilize vigilantes and authorize deputized, often biased individuals to exercise authority on those society doesn’t care about.

People of Ypsilanti, especially those of you who identify as white, you’ve the right to remain silent. People of Ypsilanti, (especially those of you who identify as nonwhite) you have the right to assemble, and the right to free speech and the freedom of press. Share your story, if not with City Hall, share your story with us. Thank you to those of you who have already shared your encounter with YPD officers, your experience with local minor courts, your lack of confidence in the City of Ypsilanti’s current “Action and Request” system that is designed to facilitate complaints lodged by Ypsilanti residents and passerby.

Do Black Lives Matter, Amanda Edmonds? If so, say it!

Do Black Lives Matter, Ralph Lange? If so, say: “Black Lives Matter.”

Do Black Lives Matter, Mayor-Pro-Tem? Say, “Black Lives Matter,” Mayor-Pro-Tem, don’t allow the silence of your peers to form callus around your heart.

Mayor-Pro-Tem, Council Person Brown, are you silent because you believe that community transformation originates in voting booths and police stations and business schools and gentleman clubs? Are you electing to remain silent simply due to the fact that you enjoy your current social positions? I am having trouble interpreting and analyzing white silence, your input is invaluable, I hope that you have recorded said inquiries and plan to address them later tonight.

Months ago, we delivered letters, objecting to the escalation of the City’s legal assault on a local artist and activist. None of you responded until local media got involved.

Weeks ago, we learned that the Human Relations Commission agreed to collaborate with City Hall in a desperate attempt to save face. The HRC coordinated another special meeting (check!). The City of Ypsilanti has successfully swept another calendar year of maladministration under its rug (check!).

Days ago, Mayor Amanda Edmonds logged into a social media platform, and solicited merchants to sponsor a new campaign initiated to support refugees. Nobel effort, Mayor Amanda Edmonds, an effort that we would certainly support if we knew that you had already expressed your concern for the livelihood of thousands of minorities that reside in Ypsilanti proper; minorities that are more likely to encounter an YPD officer, report to a minor court for an infraction, or lose their home due to the increase of for-profit development.

Today, we withdraw our confidence in the leadership at City Hall. Election day is on Tuesday, the 8th of November, 2016. Without a change of heart, and a plan in place that improves the quality of life of minorities, we are determined to prevent your re-election. Which one of you will be the change?

Remarks to Council, 8/18/15
Demands of the #FreedomTuesdayz Organizers