Detroit Branch NAACP February General Membership Meeting and Education Forum

Please join the Detroit Branch NAACP for our February General Membership Meeting and Education Forum.

What are the education topics that matter to you?
How do we create solutions that work?

Thursday, February 27, 2014
6:00 P.M.
Second Baptist
441 Monroe St,
Detroit, MI 48226
In partnership with:

  • AFT Michigan
  • ACLU Michigan
  • AAUP AFT
  • Black Family Development
  • MOSES
  • Youth Voice

    Refreshments will be served. Free Parking is available in the garage that is located directly across from the Atheneum Hotel on Brush St between Lafayette and Monroe. The church is able to validate tickets from this garage only.

    For more information please call (313) 871-2087

 

 

Detroit Branch NAACP General Membership Meeting and Affordable Care Act Panel Discussion

Join the Detroit Branch NAACP on Thursday, December 19 at 6:00 P.M. at Northwest Activities Center (located at 18100 Meyers in Detroit) for the final General Membership meeting of 2013 and a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act.   Panelists will include representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield and National NAACP’s Health Advocate.  This is your chance to ask questions and be informed on how the Affordable Care Act can work for you.

Allies, Issues, & Actions: Janee’ Ayers and Brandon Jessup

The Struggle continues! The Detroit NAACP continues on the path of working for justice and in the process insuring that we leave no one behind. Our Allies, Issues, and meeting was extremely informative. Our guest Speakers included Janee’ Ayers, recording Secretary for Unite Here Local 24, a strong union for Hospitality workers in the Metro Detroit Area. Our second guest speaker was Brandon Jessup, President and CEO of Michigan Forward. We also had a special guest from the National NAACP office, Jennifer Arice White, Program Specialist.

Ms. Janee’ Ayers spoke passionately about Unite Here and there tremendous efforts to “Erase the Working Poor!” She spoke about hotel workers in Detroit and the importance of increasing the minimum wage as well as insuring a living wage for hospitality workers. “Our union works on the one basic principal – SOLIDARITY! Every worker is vital.  Janee’ also pointed out many disparities in the hotel work environment. Saying “$8 an hour is not enough!” Some Hotel workers go from cleaning rooms to cooking lunch all in one work day. ”As a Union we have been there protesting and shining a spotlight on those hotel companies who are glorifying the working poor. “They can do better”

Brandon Jessup, Founder and Chairman of Michigan Forward also graced us with his presence and discussed Detroit: “Bankruptcy; Recovery and Reinvestment”.
Mr. Jessup was extremely detailed and very technical in his approach. He was able to breakdown the Bankruptcy proceedings and the Emergency Manager Law and the negative impact it has on Detroit. He also eloquently spoke of other options that could have prevented the bankruptcy, and alternatives to solving the City of Detroit’s financial woes. 

Celebration of the Life of “Madiba” Nelson Mandela

The Detroit Branch NAACP held a press conference with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Shahida Mausi-Johnson from The Right Productions to unveil the plans for the special tribute to honor the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.  The tribute will be held on Sunday, December 15, 2013 from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.  at the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public, but does require tickets.  For more information please read the following press statement. (Photos courtesy of Kwabena Shabu CCSD/Detroit)

Press Statement — Celebration of Nelson Mandela

Mandela press conf2 Mandela press conf1

Allies, Issues, & Action with Greg Bowens and Newly Elected Detroit City Council Members

Greg Bowens Detroit Branch NAACP

Greg Bowens discusses the 2013 Mayoral Elections and the future of the City of Detroit at the Detroit Branch NAACP Allies, Issues, and Action meeting.

On Tuesday, November 12th the Detroit Branch NAACP held another Allies, Issues, and Action meeting. Our topic of discussion was the 2013 Detroit elections! The key note Speaker was Greg Bowens, who opened his speech by discussing the importance of Veterans Day.  Bowens explained “as a Veteran myself I feel it’s our duty to stop and say thank you!” Bowens also discussed the outcome of the Mayoral election and what it means for Detroit moving forward under the current Emergency Manager Law. Bowens asked the question, “Does anyone remember the current school board members?” Most people shook their heads saying no! His reply was, “That’s because the Detroit Public School system has an Emergency Manager. Our elected school board has all but disappeared, with no power over finances or decisions; our Detroit Public School Board is basically obsolete.” Bowens followed the question by asking, “Will the same occur for our newly elected city council?” His intent was to draw correlation between the two entities in hopes to inspire the newly elected City Council members to not become obsolete due to the Emergency Managers powers. In his words, “Under Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevin Orr, the newly elected members of the Detroit City Council will not only have to find the bathroom, but they will also have ask Kevin Orr for the keys to the bath room, because he holds all the power!”

Scott Benson Gabe Leland Detroit City Council

Newly Elected Detroit City Council members Scott Benson and Gabe Leland engage questions from the audience about their plans to protect the City Charter for the City of Detroit.

Joining us from the newly elected members of the Detroit City Members were; Scott Benson of District 3; Gabe Leland from District 7; and Detroit’s first Latina elected to the City Council, Raquel Castaneda Lopez from District 6. All three newly elected council members were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak on what they would like to do for their perspective Districts.

Join us for our next Allies Meeting on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013.

Executive Director Donnell White poses with newly elected City Council members Raquel Castenada Lopez and Gabe Leland. Lopez is the first Latina to ever be elected to the Detroit City Council.

 

Federal Monitors Arrive in Detroit to Safeguard Votes During Detroit’s General Election

The Detroit Branch NAACP held a press conference on Monday, November 4, 2013 regarding the announcement by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division that they will be sending monitors to Detroit for the General Election.  Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony made a request to United States Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ for Federal Monitors to be sent to Detroit to ensure Detroiters of a safe and protected election.

Please click the link to read the press statement given by Rev. Anthony during the press conference.

Press Statement — Federal Monitors Arrive in Detroit to Safeguard Votes During Detroit’s General Election

Allies, Issues & Action: City Clerk, Janice Winfrey

          Detroit NAACP Allies, Issues, and Action Meeting held on Tuesday, October 8th was exciting and informative. Our guest speaker was Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. As we prepared to here from the City Clerk, we were also graced with the presence of Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, Attorney for the Detroit NAACP. Attorney Hollowell opened the discussion giving an update on the Affirmative Action Case, which will be heard in the United State Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Our Attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell also spoke about the Detroit Branch NAACP Lawsuit against the State of Michigan concerning P.A. 436, the Emergency Manager Law.  “This lawsuit is not just about Detroit. Its about every Municipality in Michigan with an Emergency Manager.” Butch went into a very detailed discussion to educate our Allies on the three separate lawsuits on the Emergency Manager issue in Michigan. “Flint’s Lawsuit deals with Pension Funds. AFSCME’s lawsuit deals with Collective Bargaining Rights, and the Detroit NAACP Lawsuit deals strictly with Voting Rights. Our argument is the Emergency Manager law creates a superior and inferior class of voters.
          Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey was joined by the Will Wesley. Mr. Wesley took over for Daniel Baxter as the Deputy Clerk and Director of Elections in Detroit. Speaking first,  the Clerk defined what the roll of the Clerk was in the election process. In terms of voter turnout Clerk Winfrey explained “Voter turnout is my priority!” City Clerk Winfrey also tried to dispel some of the misunderstandings about the 2013 Primary Elections.  “We met with the Wayne County Clerk, and the State Board of Elections to discuss the primary election months ahead of time!” the Clerk explained. “We used hash marks to keep a tally of the votes, but it was not a binding document.” The Clerk was deliberate in helping our Allies understand the challenges she has had to face every election cycle. From the infamous two page Ballot, to Detroit voting city council by district for the first time in almost 100 years, every election cycle has brought new challenges and new ways of doing things! Winfrey explained that she is an administrator at heart and will stop at nothing to insure the integrity of our elections. “I will go to jail to insure that elections in Detroit are administered with the utmost integrity!”
          Mr. Wesley addressed the Allies with information on his work history. He is a military man who has worked in elections throughout the country for 11 years. From the State of New York to Washington State, and Florida, Will Wesley brings allot of experience to the job, but can he feel the big shoes of former director of Elections Daniel Baxter?  Deputy Clerk Wesley opened his remarks by saying, I was thoroughly impressed with the level of professionalism of our employees at the Department of Elections.” Will Wesley, the Director of Elections/ Deputy Clerk also left us with some very important dates for the upcoming elections;
  1. October 21st – Satellite Voting Begins at the East and West campuses of Wayne County Community College District
  2. October 28th – Public Hearing on the Consolidation of Elections – (Moving all odd year election; Mayor and City Council, to even years elections to coincide with Presidential and/or Gubernatorial elections.)
  3. Vote -In – Person ballots end on November 4th
  4. Election Day is November 5th!

Allies, Issues and Action Meeting with Guest Speaker: Cathy Garrett

          Tuesday, October 1st Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was enlightening and extremely informative. Our Guest Speaker was Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. Our topic of discussion was the 2013 Mayoral election.
          The County Clerk opened the discussion with a detailed explanation of the origin and purpose of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.  Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also spoke in detail about the importance of poll workers using hash marks as they count votes on each ballot. She asked the question; ”How are you able to keep an accurate count with no discrepancies if you don’t use a system that identifies every vote. Furthermore how do you check to verify that each vote has been counted if your just writing down the total number without identifying each vote within that total with a written indication that each vote has been counted?”
          Speaking with conviction the Clerk also highlighted many other possible irregularities within the 2013 mayoral primary election. All of which were indicated in her 23 page report distributed at the Detroit NAACP Allies, Issues and Action Meeting on October 1st. The Packet for information purposes, contained:
- Legislation on the Appointment of County Board of Canvassers
(*Note section 168.823)
- Election Inspector Training Coordinator Accreditation Workshop Manual
      (*Note: pg. 72 for example on how votes are tallied on election night)
- State Manual for Board of County Canvassers
(*Note Pg. 26 for instructions on examining write-in tallies)
 - Job Aid issued by the City of Detroit for Election Inspectors to Tally Write-in Votes
 - Letter from the Director of the Detroit Department of Elections to poll Workers
 - Example from State of Michigan Precinct by Precinct Mayoral Re-tabulation (Recount)        Report
 - Summery of request concerning Turnaround Detroit PAC
          Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also highlighted some of the same irregularities mentioned by former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow.  ”On write-in Ballots there were more than 90 different spellings and/or ways the write-in candidate’s name appeared in the write-in section on the ballot. Some write-in names were even typed in and not written at all!” The Clerk went on to say, “One box that supposedly had ballots inside; when opened, it was empty. Seals were broken before ballots were counted.”  Gracefully speaking, the county clerk explained how important it is to get this one right!  ”Regardless of who you support, as a Clerk it is our duty to uphold Democracy and insure the integrity of elections.

Detroit Branch NAACP Advocates for Equal Opportunity as the City of Detroit receives $300 Million in Grants from the Obama Administration

Friday, September 27, 2013 at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Wayne State’s Campus, the Detroit Branch NAACP along with other community organizations, present and past leadership of the City of Detroit and of the State of Michigan joined with the Obama Administration to discuss the $300 Million in grants that is coming to aid in the City’s current condition. Representatives from the Obama Administration were U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, White House National Economic Council director Gene Sperling, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The funds that are coming to the City will be used for blight and revitalization of neighborhoods, repair and rehabilitation of buses with up to date security software, the regional transit network, M-1 rail project, and hiring of public safety officials to keep the city safe. It is believed, that the unlocking of the federal dollars will lead to some immediate changes in the residential and commercial areas of the City.

As always, the presence of the Detroit Branch NAACP was to ensure that minorities are represented at every level of decision making and that decisions being made are benefiting all Citizens of Detroit. As the City moves forward, it is our priority that minorities have access to the jobs that will become available due to the new constructions and demolitions, and that contracts will be shared equally among minority firms. This should be an opportunity for all Citizens of Detroit to participate in its revitalization, and see it restored to its beauty and full functionality.

Allies, Issues & Actions with Tom Barrow

Guest Speaker Tom Barrow expresses his concerns with the integrity of the 2013 Mayoral Election.

Tuesday, September 24th the Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was eye opening to say the least. Not only was it National Voter Registration Day, but it was also a big day for the Detroit mayoral recount. Our guest speaker was Tom Barrow, former candidate for Mayor. Barrow, completely immersed in the re-count effort of the 2013 Mayoral elections, opened his remarks by highlighting his extensive background as a fighter for Detroit. He indicated that he is not bitter from losing the election, and stressed the importance of fighting for Detroit! He quoted in the meeting, “There is a sophisticated effort designed to take the City from individuals like me and you!” While focusing on the 2013 elections recount, he also drew attention to similar instances of perceived illegalities in our election system in the previous 2009 elections. “I learned from my mistakes”, Barrow said, as he discussed the differences in his 2013 bid for mayor as opposed to his 2009 bid. “This time around we were prepared with Challengers at every precinct. We also had Challengers inside of COBO Hall, watching as the Department of Elections counted absentee ballots.”

Barrow explained that the handwriting on many ballots in the write-in section was the same handwriting on almost all ballots. Barrow also explained that in some precincts there were more counted ballots than people who signed the poll book. “This election was rigged!” Barrow said, “It’s not just the city but our Democracy that’s being stolen from us!”

Congressman John Conyers pledges his support to advocate for election protection on Capital Hill.

We were also joined by the Dean of Politics, Congressman John Conyers and Gina Avery, Deputy Director of Elections from the Department of Elections. Mrs. Avery made no comment on Tom Barrow’s accusations, but she did mention, ”Our staff at the Department of Elections works extremely hard every day to bring you the best and most up-to-date service while upholding our integrity.” Mrs. Avery brought voter registration forms, absentee ballot request and some important tips about voting in the 2013 Election. Mrs. Avery also gave us a quick update on Detroit Voters by the numbers. There are currently 536,000 registered voters in Detroit, 36,000 absentee voters in Detroit, and an expected 8% to 11% turnout in November.

We invite you to join us for our next Allies, Issues and Action meeting Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:00 A.M with guest speaker, Cathy Garret – Wayne County Clerk.