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. 

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.

 

Allies, Issues, and Action – Guest Speaker: Mr. Bankole Thompson, Senior Editor, Michigan Chronicle

Bankole Thompson, Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle, speaks at the Detroit Branch NAACP Allies, Issues & Action meeting about the upcoming election and importance of voting.

The Allies, Issues, and Action meeting held on Tuesday, September 17th, was empowering, inspiring, and politically intriguing. As the Detroit Branch NAACP continues the important work of voter education, voter registration, and voter mobilization, it was vital to have a well-informed speaker who has had the responsibility of paying attention to not only the upcoming election, but also to the politics behind it!

Our guest Speaker was Bankole Thompson, Editor and Chief of the Michigan Chronicle. Mr. Thompson opened the conversation discussing the 2013 Mayoral Elections in Detroit. He spoke about both mayoral campaigns and the election process. Well versed on politics in Michigan, Mr. Thompson also spoke in detail about the upcoming 2014 elections. Mr. Thompson expressed his discomfort for both the Democratic and Republican parties. He spoke about the lack of inclusion on process of choosing candidates on the Democratic side. On the Republican side, Mr. Thompson expressed his discomfort with the lack of recruitment and inclusion of the African American community. Mr. Thompson’s speech was extremely informative and enlightening.

As we get ready for our next Allies, Issues, and Action meeting on Tuesday, September 24th at 10 am, we look forward to meeting new allies, having a great discussion and committing to the call to action! Join us next week as we continue the great work to educate, register, and mobilize voters for election!