Monthly Meeting Thursday Nov 2

Hello WeROC Community…
Your chance to build relationships and build a better future for everyone is this Thursday, Nov 2!  WeROC’s monthly Meeting of the Whole, 5:30-7:30 Thursday Nov 2, Ekklesia Fellowship Ministries, 123 N Adams, Ypsilanti.  (Parking across Adams in the city lot, or in the First Congregational UCC lot just to the north.)  Light dinner provided.
It really feels like almost every day there are new attacks on our families and neighbors, attacks that are all the more immoral because they hit people with low incomes and people of color first, and hit them hardest.  Isn’t that what WeROC is about at our core — An effective way for the people most affected.to have their voices amplified and their leadership recognized, and to win actual victories that mean something?  People most affected by wages not moving — by jobs disappearing — by health care (including mental health services) being slashed — by our God-given land, air, water, and climate that everyone needs for a healthy and productive life being desecrated — and by voter suppression and intentional and intentional divisiveness.  Isn’t a powerful, united movement of regular people just what we need at this dangerous time in our history, more than ever?
The campaigns that WeROC clergy, leaders, and members have taken on recently are ripe for additional ideas and vision…
  • We’ll want to hear from people about ideas for getting serious funding back into crucial county mental health services, including the November 7 millage vote, as part of our County Equity theme.
  • Our Education Action Team is eager for more help in exploring how any new mental health funds can also be used to expand the services available in area school districts, supporting young people earlier and better.
  • And we’ll also want to hear each others’ ideas for making sure that in the future, much more transparent processes happen in decisions about economic development projects throughout the area and how WeROC might play a positive role, including involving more people that are have to live with any negative consequences in those decisions.
So bring your passion, your curiosity, your vision of a better future for Washtenaw and join with organizations and neighbors who are also serious about finding new, more effective ways of living out our positive values of unity, democracy, and care for each other — in these tough times when greed and division are winning way too often.  Hope to see you Thursday!
Tad Wysor, Volunteer WeROC Organizer

WeROC Statement on Mental Health Millage

A Note to WeROC Members and Supporters:

As many of you know, WeROC participants have been struggling together about how best to address the crisis that has resulted from the immoral de-funding of badly needed mental health services all around our county — especially for residents in eastern Washtenaw and other areas with larger numbers of underserved neighbors. WeROC’s Clergy Caucus and other leaders have now met with several key County elected officials, to inform a collective decision about supporting the County-wide millage on our ballot this November 7.

This has been a tough decision, but the decision by the leaders present to support a YES vote on this millage was unanimous. With little expectation of more funding from Lansing or DC any time soon, the consensus was that we need strong action, and now. The millage would also maintain the Sheriff’s Department coverage of police services around the County, while also supporting jail diversion programs to get people the services they need, when the need them, not a criminal record. The tax increase for the average home (and usually passed through to rentals) would be about “a cup of coffee a week”, as the “YES” campaign says.

Many of us wish the proposal had been less complex, but the need is great and urgent. Plus, if it passes, WeROC is prepared to be on the front lines of pressuring County decisionmakers — the Sheriff, the Board of Commissioners, the Community Mental Health Director, and others — to direct the money where it’s needed most, and with full transparency — including increasing the embarassingly low pay of mental health workers in our County.

WeROC leaders hope you will vote YES for the millage, and encourage you to pass the word to your congregations, organizations, networks, families, and friends.

More information from the campaign is at this link: https://www.facebook.com/yesonwashtenawmentalhealth/

Tad Wysor, Volunteer WeROC Organizer

WeROC October Meeting of the Whole

WeROC October Meeting of the Whole, this Thursday, October 5, 5:30-7:30, Strong Tower Ministries, South Building, 134 Spencer Ln, Ypsi Township (first building off E. Michigan Av). Light dinner provided.

Some of the special strengths of WeROC are our commitment to find ways together to address meaningful community issues — in ways that connect to other issues, AND in ways that make us stronger and more united for the next fight. That’s why it’s important for as many of us as possible to meet face-to-face as often as possible, so we can develop and test relationships, learn from each other, take chances together…things that work best in person. Serious input from leaders and members from the faith community, local labor movement, and other parts of the community is so important at a time like this. Please try to make the time to participate Thursday!

We’ll be discussing how two unexpected but important organizing opportunities fit into our “County Equity” theme:

Countywide Mental Health Services/Public Safety Millage (November ballot): Clergy and other community leaders have recently met separately with our first three County Commissioners and are scheduling a meetings with Sheriff Clayton and others We’ll discuss what we’re learning from these conversations, about how a more organized community — congregations, local unions, organizations, and other institutions and individuals working more effectively together — can make a serious difference in addressing the crisis in mental health services and funding in our County — and in ways that are more equitable across all parts of Washtenaw.
Consistent Policies toward Community Economic Development: As the City of Ypsilanti faces the potential of AND the challenges of a major new economic development project (International Village), and likely others, WeROC is exploring how we might learn from the surge in grassroots involvement in the fast-moving events and how we might work with others to develop consistent development policies for the future from the ground up, including the role of Community Benefits Ordinances and Agreements. Not an Ypsi resident? Well, there’s no reason why new approaches to community invovlement in economic development that Ypsi residents are creating with City Council and others, should not not become a model for others around our County and region, right? Another case of “we’re all in this together”!