Imagine a public school funded by an operating budget robust enough to procure educational tools including next level technology, foods high in nutritional value, and other forms of interactive enrichment. Local school-aged youth can compete with students from historically well-funded school districts. Especially if we continue to reimagine what community support looks like in action.
Imagine a law enforcement agency that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. And commanding officers that scheduled on-going trainings to encourage field officers to apply cultural humility methods in real-world situations. Understanding implicit bias theories, and advocating for intercommunal and inclusion practices will help low performing first responders reimagine what to protect and serve in its true sense looks like in public.
Imagine elected officials actively engaged in demonstrating the confidence, vulnerability, and the creativity needed to deposit community goodwill among partners (outside of their base constituency, or neighborhood) in the streets, not for charity or votes. Reimagine that!
Imagine a County that is affordable, and equitable, and accessible, and enriching for all of its citizens and visitors –without a large portion of county-wide luxuries being the result of monies generated from corrections, the criminalization of women, and punitive court practices. Imagine an administrative judicial system that chooses not to create policies, action items, and engagements that lead to segregation. Hostile, oppressive attitudes, and violent systems need to be reimagined and abolished.
Imagine a County and surrounding communities, taking pride in the true diversity of its residents, business owners and homeowners, public officials, economic development managers by reflecting that in leadership onboarding practices, and fair equitable economic development opportunities and practices.
Now take the time to imagine how it stands at this hour:
- Many, if not, all of the local public schools are in dire need of capital, community-driven educators, and vocational training opportunities.
- Law Enforcement agencies within Washtenaw County continue to ignore earmarking money to improve professional development trainings, lack diversity regarding leadership, and remain opaque in their perception of community engagement and public interest.
- Many County surpluses are due to funds from court costs, probation and parole fees, drug testings, bonds, and other derivatives claimed from the correctional sysyem.
- City Officials are virtually unseen and inaccessible until election cycles, in which they make themselves available for disingenuous polling and political hodgepodge.
- Washtenaw County has one of the largest income disparity rates in the nation (ex., Barton Hills compared to Willow Run)
- Home ownership is at an all time low in Washtenaw County for residents of color.
Reimagining a new system that progresses past the standard punitive-based pedagogy will help to free the poor, the black, and the brown residents of Washtenaw County from the physical and immaterial bondage of capitalism and privilege.
D’Real Graham has imagination, vitality, and poise. He has the will to envision something different in a world that wishes for a lot more of the same ol’ binary political rhetoric and status quo biased business-as-usual disposition that has driven decision and policy making in Washtenaw County for over two decades. Enough is enough. It’s time to reimagine more. It’s time to REIMAGINE D’Real Graham as our next County Prosecutor.