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Hundreds join Michigan Emergency Manager repeal campaign

Michigan Forward says that more than 500 people have signed up to circulate petitions calling for a referendum on Public Act 4 — the Emergency Manager law.

“Since our presentation to the city of Pontiac on May 12, our volunteer capacity has increased to over 500 volunteers in our focus communities: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac, Lansing, Traverse City, Saginaw, Southfield and Warren,” the progressive think tank said in a statement.

The March 16 law was cast as a measure to address the state’s growing economic problems and allows emergency managers to take over towns and schools, fire elected officials, sell public property, end collective bargaining and privatize services.

More than 161,000 valid signatures are needed to suspend the law and place it on the ballot.

Michigan Forward, which is organizing the repeal campaign together with Reject Emergency Managers, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Highland Park NAACP, said that volunteers will cover the state to educate about the anti-democratic nature of the law.

Our petition efforts will not be regulated to supermarkets and community events. We have identified 45 Michigan House and 25 Senate Districts for door-to-door neighborhood canvassing to meet and exceed our goal of 250,000 petition signatures.

The unconstitutional emergency manager law has scores of unintended consequences. Public Act 4 must be suspended immediately before more communities lose their elected officials as a fact of political take out, sacrifice federal funding for urban renewal and forego disclosure and democracy for authoritarian control.

The Facebook page of Reject Emergency Managers has a map that shows the hometowns of those who have volunteered to circulate petitions.

Organizers are urging those interested in supporting the campaign to download, print out and distribute cards with information about PA 4.

A June 4 training is planned for petition circulators.

Michigan Forward said fundraising has formally begun.

We have formed a ballot question committee, “Committee to Build Michigan” in compliance with Michigan Election law. We anticipate raising $250,000 to support our efforts. Soon we will launch our “Dollars for Democracy” program targeting 100, 000 donors giving $1 each.

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