Knowledge of our history and of our current community contributions are key to a prosperous Ypsilanti.
Additionally, we must be a community of inclusivity. This means that the often marginalized voices of PoC, women, and LGBTQ individuals and groups must be heard. And their needs and desires acted upon. We must strive to not fall into the trap of gentrification as our neighbor Ann Arbor has. This requires civic and legal action to support measures such as rent control and affordable housing, sanctions against residential and commercial real estate slumlords, and fair lending practices by banks and credit unions. Exercise your vote and engage with efforts to support the historical and current legacy of the city by supporting candidates, individuals, and groups who actively seek ways to prevent gentrification, promote PoC/LGBTQ/women-owned businesses and initiatives, and bring about the legal changes necessary to ensure success for ALL community members.
This feels like a personal mission statement to me, however I must admit, although I try to uphold it, I feel I am often falling short of my goals. Since this statement is so important to me, however, I do think that I am actively making personal changes to live up to it. As an events planner, it often feels like being a radical to promote PoC/LGBTQ/women performers and artists. This should definitely NOT be the case but I do get some slight pushback sometimes from audiences and venues, despite the fact that my events have been relatively successful.
I am glad that I am getting to know so many people in the community that are presenting wonderful creative work and as such, I am always looking for opportunities for them to showcase their arts.