WeROC Meeting of the Whole 10-6

Join WeROC for 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:

When: Thursday, October 6, 5:30-7:15 pm,
Where: Strong Tower Ministries, 134 Spencer, Ypsilanti

Strong Tower Ministries is located just north of E Michigan Av. The meeting will be in the Annex at the south end of the lot.
Light dinner provided.

WeROC Monthly Meeting Thurs 9-1 5:30

What: WeROC Monthly Meeting
When: THIS Thursday, Sept 1, 5:30-7:15pm
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA, 1400 W. Stadium, Ann Arbor (Just west of the stadium)
Hope you can make the important WeROC Monthly Meeting this Thursday, in Ann Arbor

Hello, WeROC supporters…

Democracy is what WeROC is really all about, right?  Creating ways for members of our community whose voices often aren’t heard, and allies, to organize for action together, so people’s collective voice is amplified and we can make long-overdue social and policy changes really happen.  And elections are a time when democracy is out in the open.

For WeROC, election time is far from the only time when we need to creatively use our democracy for positive change, but it’s sure an important time — especially during a wild year like this one. On Thursday, we’ll hear from our MOSES friends about the powerful “Integrated Voter Engagment” approach to the election season — and how we can make good things happen in November while at the same time building our power as grassroots organization.  So that AFTER the election results are tallied in November, we can make sure that the community isn’t forgotton.  And we’re being presented with exciting opportunties to engage on things like…
Helping voters understand where local candidates in key races stand on issues we care about.
Making sure we win big in Washtenaw County on the vote for Regional Transit.
And a sneak peek at the longer-term statewide campaign to win fair election districts and stop gerrymandering over the next year.
PLUS: a preview of the October 8 MOSES Public Meeting, where we’re needed to help build the numbers to win on regional and state issues.
Note to Ypsi area folks:  Rita Paye has graciously invited us to meet at her church in Ann Arbor…let’s face it — with most meetings being in eastern Washtenaw, it’s only fair to our Ann Arbor sisters and brothers have a chance to meet closer to them once in a while, right?  Should be easy access and parking at Trinity Lutheran, just start a little early!

That’s THIS Thursday, Sept 1, 5:30-7:15pm, Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA, 1400 W. Stadium, Ann Arbor (Just west of the stadium).

Also, please read the Statement from our EMU American Federation of Teachers colleagues and co-founder organization about the attempted intimidation by the Eastern Michigan University Administration..


WeRoc Meeting of the Whole – Thurs July 7

What: WeROC July Meeting of the Whole
When: Thursday July 7
Where: Ekklesia Fellowship Ministries, 123 N Adams, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Parking: Please park on the street, in the city lot across the street, or at First Congregational UCC up the block.
Light dinner provided.

Engage with other smart, committed, caring folks as we consider moving in these areas…

  • Support for a strong Washtenaw vote in November for a solid Regional Transit Master Plan — jobs for our area, and sensible transit at last between Ann Arbor, Ypsi, and Detroit and the region,
  • Update from the planning team considering new WeROC initiatives to dismantle structural racism and the “dominant narrative” about race that is all around us,
  • Continued work to support young people in our area who are making their voice heard on restorative practices and reducing unnecessary suspensions and expulsions — all a part of resisting the ugly attacks on our public schools, with their racial connotations,
  • Backing up our labor and student friends at EMU as they creatively show that privatization is no way for our public institutions to go — especially at a time when we need to build up working people and young people in our area, not participate in a dangerous race to the bottom,
  • Teaming up with small businesses for economic justice efforts like Earned Paid Sick Time,


  • We’ll learn more about new resources for using the current political season as a way to build — not just for education during the elections, but to be a growing factor AFTER the voting is over.
  • We expect to vote to approve the much-discussed WeROC Bylaws.
  • We’ll find out more about the Gamaliel Network National Leadership Training this summer that several WeROC leaders already have under their belt.  Interested?  Let us know…

Next WeROC Meeting and Upcoming Events

Three items we hope you’ll consider…more details are just below:

  1. WeROC “First Thursday” Meeting of the Whole: Thursday June 2, 5:30-6:30, Brown Chapel AME, 1043 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti
  2. Faith Leaders Forum: Public Meeting on Policing and Racial Justice: 7:00 pm, also at Brown Chapel AME
  3. Call for Potential Local Small Business Contacts

Tempted? Here’s a little more to whet your appetite for some solid social justice organizing work with your fellow residents…

  1. This month’s WeROC meeting will be short but sweet…your chance to catch up with and consider participating with WeROC’s action teams:
  2. Be a part of building serious, strategic people-powered campaigns designed to win real local policy improvement for all of us in the region, especially lower income families — fewer school expulsions, paid sick time, strong regional transit, criminal justice system.
    We’ll review the final draft bylaws to take WeROC one more step toward a powerful, permanent structure.

    What: WeROC “First Thursday” Meeting of the Whole:
    When:Thursday June 2, 5:30-6:30 PM,
    Where: Brown Chapel AME, 1043 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti

  3. We’ll adjourn WeROC a little early, and hope all will stick around for this second major public meeting of the new Faith Leaders Forum, also at Brown Chapel. FLF is a group of Washtenaw County faith leaders who have come together to proactively address the issue of police and community interactions. As we know in WeROC, a large united room of community people is what impresses public officials, in this case including representatives from the Sheriff’s Dept and area police departments.
    What:Faith Leaders Forum: Public Meeting on Policing and Racial Justice
    When: Thursday June 2, 7:00 pm,
    Where: Brown Chapel AME, 1043 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti

    3) One more thing — We need YOUR Suggestions! WeROC is honored to have received a generous grant to continue building connections between our congregations and organizations, and local small business owners. We need you to help us target small businesses that you think might be willing to get behind the Earned Paid Sick Time campaign.

    The statewide campaign decided we didn’t quite have the numbers to get on the ballot this fall, and decided to reserve the resources for the next fight. (But please turn in any signatures you have.)
    Disappointing, but it’s far from over. While the coalition decides on how and when to “re-boot” in an even stronger position, we can continue to spread the word about the campaign (basically, 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 worked, full or part time). An extremely important idea, whose time is coming soon!
    WeROC leaders have committed to identifying 15 local businesses who will allow their name to be associated with the campaign. We have great materials for helping businesses realize that this is very much a pro-business idea. WE NEED YOUR HELP in suggesting business that you know or patronize that we might approach.
    Pass your suggestions on to Tad Wysor. We’re on the way, help us put our goal over the top this summer!

WeROC Meeting of the Whole Thurs 5-5-16

Please join WeROC for our May 2016 “Meeting of the Whole”:

Thursday May 5, 5:30 PM
Eastern Michigan University Student Student Center, Room 301
900 Oakwood St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Parking: The Student Center Guest Lot is off of Oakwood, north of Washtenaw in Ypsilanti. Snacks will be served.

WeROC April 2016 Meeting and Call to Action

WeROC Meeting of the Whole,
Thursday April 7, 5:30-7:15 pm,
First Congregational UCC,
218 N. Adams in Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Next Thursday, we’ll spend most of the time breaking into the Action Teams; the Team Chairs are planning agendas to move ideas that have followed the big Public Meeting last November into the kind of grassroots action that is WeROC’s trademark.

Action Opportunity: Call your State Representative to support major education bill

On Tuesday March 22,  the Michigan Senate took a huge step forward for Detroit students – DPS, EAA, and charter – and families when they passed SB 711 and 710. These bills include:

1. An elected, empowered DPS school board by August
2. The state will pay the DPS debt ($515M) and provide $200M to stabilize the system
3. The creation of a new public, citywide entity, the Detroit Education Commission, to coordinate charters and DPS for the good of neighborhoods and families
4. EAA schools return to DPS.

Please call your State Legislator as soon as possible. These calls are quick and easy, and because people are calling at the same time, your impact is multiplied.  Read below what the decent bill that the Senate passed says, and then call your representative (find their number here).  When you call, just follow the script below:

1) I am a resident of your district (and a parent / student / teacher if applicable)
2) I urge the representative to stand with Detroit students by voting YES on the “Return to Excellence” Detroit schools package, House Bills 710 and 711, exactly as it passed through the Senate!
3) Thank you in advance.

If you have any question, contact Tad Wysor at tadwysor@gmail.com.

WeROC Monthly Meeting – March Special Edition

We are devoting our “First Thursday” WeROC Meeting of the Whole to planning a major local community organizing training event in March, as described below.

The open planning meeting will be Thursday, March 3 2016, 5:30-7:15 PM, at Beth Israel Congregation, 2000 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 . (The building is to the left side of the main building). Light dinner provided.

A lot of WeROC folks have been eager for us to have an organizing and leadership training here in Washtenaw for some time, especially to build on the momentum of our very successful Public Meeting, held last November. Please make a special effort to come to this one, and be prepared to make and hear suggestions about how we best use our time and the time of participants to build the broad-based power of WeROC and the effectiveness of our leaders.

Our training is in part a continuation of a major event being organized by our friends at Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. WeROC proposed, and ICPJ accepted, a proposal for WeROC leaders to do a workshop at the March 6 event — “Connect and Act Summit: Building the New Movement for Economic and Racial Justice.” It will be held March 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor. See all the details here: .

Be sure and mark your calendars for the WeROC Community Organizing Training, Thursday evening, 6:00-8:30 pm, March 17, at Faith Assembly Church, 377 S. Harris, Ypsilanti, 48198. More details will be coming soon!

At the March 3 planning meeting, we’ll also have very brief updates on our current and emerging Action Team work.

WeROC Meeting of the Whole Thursday 2-4-16

This month’s WeROC Meeting of the Whole is at 5:30-7:15 pm this Thursday, Feb 4, at Strong Tower Ministries, 134 Spencer Ln, Ypsilanti Twp (Annex building at south end of lot, near Michigan Av).  Light dinner provided.

Your input is especially needed and welcome as our congregations, unions, organizations, as well as individuals, work together to keep building our momentum, our numbers, our grassroots power, and our smarts in ways rarely seen before our County.  We’ll be leveraging our big successes from the Public Meeting in November in several areas:

  • Updates on WeROC Action Team work on local school suspensions, earned sick time, “ban the box,” regional transit, and mass incarceration/deportation.  The Action Teams are where things actually happen; plan your time for you (and others from your organization) to participate in one or more team!
  • Launching a new phase of WeROC by completing bylaws that capture our unique organization and community organizing approach, including how existing and new congregations/organizations can be more effective together.
  • Exploring how upcoming local WeROC organizing and leadership training sessions can make the most of our busy supporters’ time while moving WeROCs agenda forward in powerful ways that strengthen our member congregations/organizations and WeROC as a whole..

Questions?  Tad Wysor, Volunteer WeROC Organizer, 734 883 3225, tadwysor@gmail.com.

WeROC First 2016 Meeting Summary

WeROC Leaders and Supporters…More info below on these topics…please read on!

  1. MOSES MLK Day Banquet, next Monday Jan 18 — Hoping you can join us at the WeROC table!
  2. Action Team meetings need you (and others from your congregation or organization) to help put “meat on the bones” of the commitments we got from officials at our November Public Meeting.
  3. Local Trainings in the works.
  4. Formalizing and stregthening WeROC as a power organization for the long haul,

FIRST: Just a note on Flint:  The human-caused horror that our sisters and brothers in Flint have been suffering, and the creative push-back by the community and their allies that is finally beginning to force the Governor and State officials to be open and honest and do their jobs, will be a source of lessons for WeROC and MOSES for a long time to come.  We don’t have a direct connection with the Flint organizing right now, but our prayers and solidarity, at least, are going to be welcome.  (This video gives a powerful summary and update, with interviews with key people):


There’s a rally in Ann Arbor Monday 1/18 at 4 PM related to Flint and the Governor: Facebook event

  1. BANQUET: If you possibly can, go to mosesmi.org right away and buy a ticket for next Monday’s annual MOSES Banquet in Southfield.  Many organizations have dinners, but those who have been to past MOSES banquets know these are special. Special mostly because the room is filled with MOSES folks who’ve doing what WeROC has been doing with MOSES support and advice…strategically building relationships, alliances, and community power.  Plus, great speakers AND a chance to socialize with fellow WeROCers.  (Let Tad know if you’re coming or have questions, including carpooling and possible help with ticket prices.)
  2. Where the ACTION is:  Action Teams!  WeROC leaders are encouraging each of us to pick an Action Team (or more than one!) and plan to participate in their meetings…probably even more important than the Meetings of the Whole.  We want to move toward each participating congregation or organization to have someone on each Action Team.  Here’s what’s coming up…many hands make big things happen, yes?
    • Education Action Team (Reducing suspensions/expulsions in area school districts)  TUESDAY JAN 26, 7-8 AM, Lord of Light Lutheran/Intersection, 801 S Forest Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
    • Economic Dignity for Working Families Action Team (Earned Sick Time and Regional Transit) THIS THURSDAY JAN 14, 6-7:30 pm, First Congregational UCC, 218 N Adams, Ypsi.
    • Ban the Box Action Team (Building on our BtB successes, possibly including new organizing led by returning citizens aimed at reducing recidivism and welcoming people back into productive participation in the community.)  Strategy meeting to be announced soon…).
  3. Local Trainings in the works:  There was widespread support at Thursday’s meeting for WeROC leaders to organize local community organizing trainings — to make sure we’re all sharing the powerful lessons learned in the run up to and implementation of the November Public Meeting.  Whether you’ve been involved for some time, or are just recently experiencing the WeROC phenomenon, creating opportunities for high quality organizing and leadership training is fundamental to building the long-term, healthy collective power that really changes policies and structures. Stay tuned, and plan to put the date(s) on your calendar early!
  4. Organization-Building for the Long Haul: As we build on our successful issue campaigns, our staying power as an important player in our region depends on building the foundations of WeROC.  In addition to the Action Team work, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being asked to part of short-term committees to plant those long-term roots, including:

    • Completing the bylaws, including clarifying how congregations, organiziations, and individuals can become formal members of WeROC together.
    • Electing formal leadership.
    • Developing more relationships with potential local and regional funding institutions.

As several of you reflected at last week’s meeting, WeROC’s exciting successes so far are only really valuable if we keep building this unique organization — we need to multiply our numbers, involve and develop new grassroots leaders, get smarter, make sure that our broad, unified voice becomes even louder.  No other local organization is filling this role quite like WeROC is, and you’re the reason.  Let’s keep supporting each other as we launch WeROC toward bigger and better things in 2016, yes?

Upcoming WeROC Meetings

If you weren’t able to be with us for the Big WeROC public meeting last Sunday, stay tuned here for more about the most successful event ever for our still-young organization. Over 300 of us who are never in same room together, including people from over 30 congregations, unions, and organizations, joined in a spirited reminder of how grassroots democracy can powerfully work when we make the effort to join our voices. We walked away with new relationships, important commitments from local decision-makers, and a lot of energy that can keep the momentum going.

Please return to this site often, and put these upcoming events on your calendar as we map out what WeROC and our grassroots Action Teams will do next to build on the commitments we won and the joyful energy that filled Emmanuel Lutheran!

WeROC Meetings of the Whole, First Thursdays
Next meeting: Thursday December 3, 5:30, First Congregational UCC, 218 N Adams, Ypsi.

Education Action Team
Next meeting: Wednesday December 2, 7-8 AM (in the morning!), New Beginnings Church, 4859 Ellsworth, Ypsilanti

Economic Dignity for Working Families Action Team
Next meeting: Wednesday December 9, 6-7:30 pm, First Congregational UCC in Ypsi

Ban the Box/Pipeline to Prison Action Team
Next meeting To Be Announced