August 2020 “Justice Matters” Reflection & Celebration / WeROC Meeting of the Whole

Hello, WeROC Members, Friends, Supporters…

The team of 30+ members and allies who put together our big WeROC/MOSES virtual “Justice Matters” event last Thursday feels that, despite some minor bumps in the road, it was a big success — hope you do, too!  After this Tuesday’s primary, we want to hit the ground running to build on what we made happen, and you can be a part of that, too:  Our next meeting (combined with our August WeROC meeting of the Whole) will be a region-wide Celebration (don’t we need some of that!) and some Reflection on what to do now, locally and regionally, with this powerful cross-racial momentum we’ve built.  This Thursday, August 6, 6-7pm –Register Here:

Also, before you leave this email, please scroll down to briefly learn about two more ways that our strength in numbers is needed right now–

  • A call from our founding institution and partner EMUFT for community support in their contract negotiations.  
  • A County Commission meeting considering a public health/senior services millage for the November ballot.

More on those items below.  But first, a bit more about the Townhall, which you can view if you missed it (or go back for seconds!) at this link.

  • So, 390 of us participated from 4 counties (that’s 400 in organizer-speak!) by Zoom and Facebook Live, and we all showed once again that numbers of organized people who care really shows our power and gets serious results.  At the Townhall, and in the weeks of organizing leading up to it, we met all our goals and then some —
    • spreading understanding of the critical office of County Prosecutor/District Attorney,
    • getting commitments from candidates that we’ll be able to hold them accountable to if they win Primary, including a promise to meet with us county-level events in September, AND
    • helping build the broader movement for serious criminal justice system changes, the broad, united movement that we’ll need to turn the urgent calls from the streets into solid, systemic changes.

We can’t thank those of you enough who found time in your busy lives to help our collective experiment in democracy to happen!

August 4 (Tuesday!) Primary election.  PLEASE make sure you and those around you VOTE.  And if you’re not already helping get out the vote, an easy way to do that from home Monday is to join in our WeROC/MOSES mass phone bank effort, for as much time as you can manage.  Just email Jeremy at jeremywaechter@gmail.com to quickly get plugged in for a last push for calls from home…and THANKS for being a part of this rewarding and effective people-to-people outreach.

And two more easy things you can do right now that can make a big difference:

  • EMUFT (EMU Federation of Teachers), representing lecturers at EMU, was one of the institutions that created WeROC years ago, and has been a faithful partner over the years. Now THEY need OUR help:  After months of what seemed like constructive negotiations for their next contract, EMU’s Administration threw a wrench in the process with an unexpected demand to remove the remaining opportunity for part-time lecturers to move toward full-time positions.  
    • EMUFT has decided that they just can’t accept that, and is asking for allies in the community to show that we’re watching and that we care, and we expect better of a key institution in our community as the bargaining now gets tougher.  Two things they’re asking as many of us as possible to do:
      1. Take a selfie of yourself with a sign that says “#IamEMUFT” and send it to Matt: cooper492@yahoo.com or text it to 734-536-8891 (See mine below!) so they can show tangible community support, AND
      2. Join an in person rally by the Ypsilanti Water Tower on Thursday August 13, 11 am – 12:30 pm, weather permitting and with social distancing and masks.  Example signs to bring: “I support the Part-time lecturers” or “Job Security for EMUFT!”
        • Also, if you prefer, drive around in a circular route around the Water Tower protest area, with supportive horn beeping!
  • ONE MORE THING: Tune into the Washtenaw County Commission meeting this Wednesday, August 8, at 6:30pm:
    • The Board plans to vote at their August 5th Board of Commissioners meeting on a resolution that would add a Public Health and Senior Services millage to the November ballot. If the resolution passes, it will add ballot language asking voters to approve a new levy of .5 mills for six years.  Much needed services at a time of COVID-related financial crisis, but there are also concerns about the extra tax burden, especially on residents of Eastern Washtenaw and other lower-income residents.
      • More about this issue, and the link to join the County Commission meeting, here.  

Questions?  Contact Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225) 

Check out and share our new, improved Website:  werocmi.org —  including the section on “COVID-19 Resources.”

And follow and like us at Facebook.com/werocmi.

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