Michigan’s ‘Emergency Managers’ Strip Black Officials of Power
(Black Voice News) — As a ballot petition to repeal Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager law, circulates throughout the state, a broad coalition of labor and civil rights attorneys has already initiated legal action to defeat the bill in court. Filed in Ingham County Circuit court June 22, the lawsuit states that Public Act 4 illegally establishes a new form of local government, violating the constitutional rights of Michigan residents. Attorney William Goodman of the Detroit Lawyers Guild told a National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) forum, held July last week at Fellowship Chapel, that putting together a legal strategy against a law so unjust proved challenging. “The courts are controlled by reactionary, right-wing train of thought,” Goodman said. “But we have drafted a lawsuit that is very strong and powerful.” In addition to legal aspects, over 100 in attendance heard testimony on what happens when an emergency manager takes over an entire city, such as Pontiac. Pontiac’s elected city officials have had their political power stripped completely since the state of Michigan appointed Emergency Manager Michael Stampfler to run the city of Pontiac March 19.