EFM on the November Ballot

I have been too busy over the last couple weeks to keep up with much in the way of the news. I’m only just now starting to catch up on my backlog of Rachel Maddow episodes that I accumulated while away at my sister’s wedding, finishing teaching a summer class and spending time with my boyfriend before he left for school.

But I can’t believe I missed this one.

Out of all my friends in Michigan, I didn’t see a single person mention this.

On Friday, Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the Emergency Financial Manager recall must be placed on the November ballot.

This is a huge victory for our state regardless of the outcome of this vote in November.

What continues to worry me is how indifferent so many are to what’s going on in our state. Our democracy has been undermined to the point where we’re quibbling over font size. Our democracy is so endangered that thousands of people across Michigan no longer have any say in their local politics.

Why do so few people care?

Because the people who are most affected by this come from unprivileged communities. Because the people who are most affected by this are too busy just trying to make ends meet. There are a lot of people doing everything they can to make sure that this stays front in center in Michigan politics so I don’t want to take anything away from their valiant efforts.

But the general apathy in affluent areas like Grand Rapids, my hometown, is disquieting. I’d wager Mitt Romney $10,000 that a poll of my friends and family would show that most of them have no clue what the EFM law does or what communities it affects.

It’s time to educate yourselves, people of Michigan.

I don’t agree with a campaign of slander against Rick Snyder. I don’t believe that he is an evil man on a deliberate conquest against democracy, but I do believe that the end result is not good regardless of the intent behind the law.

People’s voices are being silenced in the name of the greater good. In the name of economic recovery, we’re going along with this law that eliminates local control of the government, that hurts our teachers and public servants, that gives our kids enormous class sizes (up to 61 students in a classroom).

Just because it doesn’t affect you directly doesn’t mean that you don’t suffer.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. One community oppressed means that none of us are really free.

Time to wake up, Michigan. Time to exercise your vote before it gets taken away.

Democracy’s not dead yet. It’s still kicking.

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