Monday, November 5, 2012

Why it is critical to vote NO on Proposal 1

This won't take long because the truth is rarely that complicated.

Those of you who know me and who have been following this blog already know how important I believe it is for Prop 1 to go down in flames. I have been up front about that from the beginning, long before I was appointed Interim Superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools. It is no secret that DPS is suffering from a back-breaking load of problems and challenges, and the financial challenges are just a part of that. But as someone who has been an educator and activist on behalf of Detroit's kids for more than 50 years, I am completely convinced that the appointment of an Emergency Manager by Gov. Rick Snyder is the worst possible solution to our problems. Taking away our right to vote, our right as citizens to decide how best to take care of our own children, is the worst possible solution.

And for those who think that this crusade is somehow all about me, I would remind you that I am only taking $1 as salary, and I will continue to only accept $1 as salary should we emerge victorious on Election Day, which recent polls seem to indicate that we just might do. That is how much I believe in this cause, and that is how much I am willing to sacrifice for this cause.

When President Barack Obama took office in January of 2009, he faced one of the worst national crises in American history. Had he not acted - and acted correctly - this country's economy could have slid right over the cliff and God only knows what condition we would be in right now. Similarly, the Detroit Public Schools is in a crisis situation that has the potential to destroy not just the futures of our children but the future of the entire city of Detroit. Because if our schools are not wrestled back from the brink of destruction, it is hard to imagine how our city will have any hope of success or rebirth. We always hear talk about how Detroit is coming back and is being reborn, but make no mistake; if DPS is not put back on the right track then this city's rebirth will disappear like a drop of water on a hot stove.

Mr. Roy Roberts and Gov. Snyder have been doing their best to convince you that they know what is best for us, and that we must accept their medicine without protest. But when you go to a doctor, if you disagree with the diagnosis, you can usually get a second opinion. Why is it that Gov. Snyder's opinion should be forced upon us as the only right choice? Why can't the people of Detroit be permitted to at least participate in their own future? Why doesn't Detroit deserve democracy? Because last time I checked, democracy was not something that had to be earned via the approval of a governor or anyone else.

If you are an American citizen then democracy is supposed to be your birthright.

I am not saying that I believe Gov. Snyder to be a bad man, nor do I believe Roy Roberts to be in any way evil. I am sure both of them honestly believe that the situation in Detroit is so bad that the only way to save it is to suspend Democracy and impose a solution. But they are wrong. So very, very wrong. And this is the message that they must be sent loud and clear when you go to the polls on Tuesday.

Thank you, and God Bless our children and our schools.

1 comment:

  1. When the citizens of Michigan are off the hook for bailing out these cities who can't get their stuff together, then a NO vote would make sense.

    Until then, the adults need to take over and fix the mess created by those who are clearly unable to fix it themselves. If they were able to fix it, nobody would be looking to appoint an emergency manager in the first place.