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Grand Rapids Rally and Canvass to Repeal Snyder’s EFM Law Slated for Saturday

August 23, 2011

On Saturday, August 27, a rally to repeal Governor Snyder’s Public Act 4 will be held, with a canvass effort to follow. Public Act 4 is the augmented Emergency Financial Manager law for Michigan.

Plan on attending the rally, which starts at 10AM at 918 Benjamin Street NE. You can sign a petition there. Afterward, volunteers will head out to canvass for more signatures until 3PM. Michigan Forward is holding this event in partnership with the Amalgamated Transit Union of Michigan. Contact Claudia Hudson at chudson@atu.org for more information.

Participation and your signature are both vital, because few petition events have been held in Grand Rapids, and the EFM battle is heating up.

In EFM-run cities and school systems, the privatization of services is becoming a clear pattern. This dangerous trend takes long-term control out of the citizens’ hands completely and will be hard to reverse.

Detroit Public School employees were recently forced to take extra pay cuts and accept 20 percent of the cost of their health insurance in order to begin work in the new school year. A large number of DPS employees now make approximately $20,000 for a full-time salary, placing them below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, EFM salaries under Snyder go up to about $425,000 per year.

Even more troubling is Snyder’s demand to fast-track a court challenge to Public Act 4’s constitutionality. A citizen group represented by the Sugar Law Center of Detroit filed a lawsuit in June. Last week, Snyder asked that the lower courts be bypassed and that the suit be heard in Michigan’s State Supreme Court—one of the most conservative legal bodies in the United States.

Snyder doesn’t admit he wants the case in the hands of hyper-conservative judges; his issue is “that this lawsuit may take years to reach finality” without the shortcut. What this represents is one more example of Snyder’s total disregard for the democratic process.

It’s unclear whether the man himself can be recalled, but the EFM law is on its way to the ballot. But it needs Grand Rapids to push the signature drive over the top.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2011 10:52 pm

    I forgot to add to my article this point: that under the former EFM law, there was a cap on the manager’s salary. Set by the Emergency Loan Board, an annual salary could not exceed $132,000 a year. These salaries have tripled or more under Snyder’s version, which struck down any salary-cap limit.

    By collecting enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot, the law will not only revert to its former conditions, it should strike down these ludicrous salaries that EFMs have awarded themselves.

Trackbacks

  1. Recall Efforts Continue For Both Snyder and His EFM Law « Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

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