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 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”!

WeROC August 2017 Meeting of the Whole

Join us for our next WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

When: Thursday, August 3 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: First Congregational UCC Church, 218 N Adams St, Ypsilanti

This month, we will discuss how we can best become involved in designing and passing a major county-wide millage to fund critically needed general mental health related services through the Sheriff’s Department.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Tad Wysor  – tadwysor@gmail.com

July ’17 Meeting of the Whole

Join us today for our July 2017 WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

Thursday July 6, 5:30 PM
New Beginnings Community Church, 4859 Ellsworth, Ypsilanti

(Light dinner provided.)
Here’s what’s happening: If you’ve been to any of our community organizing trainings, you know that the lifeblood of WeROC and MOSES is action…smart, collective, effective action, that lives out our values. Not only that, though, we design our action campaigns to create meaningful improvements and at the same time build WeROC as a powerful local and regional organization. Well, as you read this, WeROC leaders have begun seriously exploring how we can best become involved in designing and passing a major county-wide millage to fund critically needed general mental health related services through the Sheriff’s Department.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Tad Wysor  – tadwysor@gmail.com

WeROC Meeting of the Whole 6-1

Our June “first Thursday” Meeting of the Whole is Thursday, June 1, 5:30-7:15 pm, at Strong Tower Ministries, 134 Spencer Ln, Ypsilanti Township. (Light dinner provided). And isn’t this exactly the kind of time when, more than ever, we need good people from a lot of backgrounds and perspectives and experiences to get together and listen to each other? So much around us is changing so fast, and so much of it is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before — especially the rapid increase in major policy decisions being made or considered that seem designed to take more away from those among us who have already have been living with too much economic and racial and social inequity for too long.

WeROC May Meeting of the Whole

Thursday, May 4, is our monthly WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

5:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Community Church of God
565 Jefferson Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

Light dinner provided. Learn of next actions on education (followup to meeting with Ypsi Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Edmonson) and on public safety (plans for Neighborhood Listening Campaign near Community Church of God in Ypsi).

Come learn how you can make these powerful upcoming actions stronger with your participation.

April 6 Meeting of the Whole

When:  Thursday April 6, 5:30-7:15 pm
Where: Beth Israel Congregation, 2010 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor (Building to the left of the main building).

Light dinner provided. Learn of next actions on education (followup to meeting with Ypsi Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Edmonson) and on public safety (plans for Neighborhood Listening Campaign near Community Church of God in Ypsi).

WeROC Meeting of the Whole 3-2-17

Don’t forget our monthly WeROC Meeting of the Whole, our chance to get together with other awesome folks committed to positive change in this community, and to catch up on current actions and plans.

Where: Ekklesia Fellowship Ministries, 123 N. Adams, Ypsilanti
When: Thursday 3/2/17,
5:30 PM – 7:15 PM

Three ways to experience how we’re building healthy collective power locally right now:

  • Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson will be present as we explore with him how our broad-based, collective voice can be best engaged in continuing to reduce suspensions and unnecessary expulsions. (Thanks to our Education Action Team for organizing this!)
  • Report from WeROC Training Event Planning Committee about the plans-in-progress for our major local community organizing training session set for Saturday, March 25 (to be rescheduled for another date).
  • Keeping the momentum going for all of us to set up and do short but serious one-on-one meetings with those we need in our web of relationships.
One more thing…celebrating community victories: EMU Administration dropped all charges against students who protested the racist grafitti on campus after hours at the Student Center. Broad support from WeROC clergy, local union leaders, allies, and the broader community were key to the University reversing its position! Let’s never underestimate our influence when large numbers of us are united around our bedrock values of community, caring, equality, and solidarity — especially when democracy seems to be in more danger than it has for many decades.

 

WeROC Monthly Meeting – Thurs Jan 5

As we move from the holidays into an uncertain New Year, let’s keep building human relationships, and some healthy strength in numbers, for the serious storms we’re likely to face together.  WeROC monthly Meeting of the Whole, Thursday Jan 5, 5:30-7:15pm, Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, 2145 Independence Blvd, Ann Arbor, between Packard and Manchester. 

Also, consider joining the WeROC table(s) at our “big sister” organization MOSES’ 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr Banquet — always a good program, always important for us to show our support for MOSES. Sign up on Eventbrite here .

Those of you who have participated in WeROC (or MOSES or Gamailiel) trainings will remember this simple, but often overlooked observation: that power comes either from organized money or from organized people.  We’re so used to thinking about power in terms of money that we can forget that second part — that WE have power, too — very substantial power if our numbers are large enough and our unity is strong enough.

Of course the difference is, when we build healthy collective power as grassroots people and institutions, it’s not power based on greed and division, disrespect, hate and fear — no, it’s power based on our best human values.  Values of community. Of caring. Of “we’re all in this together.” Values including — but broader than — our own personal interests. And looking beyond the immediate present to a longer-term vision for the future.  Although there are always those who try to paint these values as signs of weakness, we know that healthy, collective power based on these values and built on solid human relationships is actually the strongest force for human progress and development throughout history.

That’s why the congregations, organizations, and individuals who are joining together as WeROC, and others who consider becoming a part of WeROC, represent one of the true lights at this gravely uncertain time in our country’s and our state’s history. Organizing people is in our name!  We can expect the representatives of “organized money” to try to do what they have said they will do with the new powers they now find themselves with: That is, try to shift even more income and wealth upward, defund programs lower income people depend on, privatize public schools and other democratic institutions, create fear and divide us as working people, damage unions. Overall, they seem hell-bent on just making it harder for the majority of people who don’t share their values to get organized and stand in their way.

There’s no sugar coating it… the economic and social threats to ordinary people may be worse than at any time in a generation. But we come from traditions of faith and solidarity, and we already have a head start on working together. Come help us apply the tools of state-of-the-art community organizing to whatever we need to defend against… and, yes, to win positive victories whenever we can.