Tough times can bring out the best of people. In Michigan and across the nation, as the National Action Network Michigan Chapter President, I have traveled across the state and country fighting for voter rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, working with churches to empower and educate voters, and working with NAN Chapters across the state fighting Michigans Public Act 4. I've seen firsthand how this tough economy hurts families by foreclosing homes and pushing families to move from city to city and in some cases state to state to try to find good honest work. Yet, I've seen the best of what it means to be a community and most of all an American. I watched neighbors lending a hand to neighbors and sacrificing for the common good. Many during this holiday season are redoubling their efforts to make sure the most vulnerable among us are respected and protected.
Sadly, Governor Rick Snyder and some of our other elected officials are attacking Michiganders with dangerous laws that would weaken our families, suppress our voice and divide us all. These laws, under the false guise of "right to work," will have a devastating impact on those who teach our kids, protect our streets, keep us healthy, make our automobiles and repair our roads.
Michigan is the heartbeat of trade unions. Children grow up learning about the stories of bloody battles fought at the Ford Rouge Plant, where tremendous sacrifice was made to organize and create a fair and safe working environment. Many of us are only one or two generations away from this type of activism, and are fired up and ready to fight to maintain workers rights.
Right to work is just the latest in a series of attacks on the middle class by our governor, who has raised taxes for the middle class and seniors while doling out billions in tax cuts to CEOs, corporate special interests and his wealthy friends.
As reported by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,
New Jersey and Wisconsin all have scaled back tax credits for low-income workers in recent years while cutting business taxes. In Michigan's case, low-income families will see their tax breaks shrink starting next year by about $260 million annually while businesses will get a $1.1 billion tax break starting in January and a $1.7 billion tax break the year after.
While thousands of Michigan families faced losing their homes to foreclosure, our governor pushed for rule changes to protect a few wealthy donors from commercial foreclosure.
Also reported by Crains Magazine
Gov. Rick Snyder today signed into law a bill that will protect real estate investors with certain loans from having their personal bank accounts at risk if the buildings are taken back by lenders.
Did I mention thousands of Michigan residents that now won't and can't receive emergency welfare assistance. Oh yeah, don't let me forget unemployment has been shortened from 26 to 20 weeks.
That's just wrong.
Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan National Action Network will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other citizens at the Capitol to show the governor and other elected leaders that we will not stand quietly by while they hurt our families and communities. We're doing what the faith and civil rights community always does, and that's providing a moral and ethical center. We point out what's right, and what's wrong. We've always been there when the chips are stacked against us. Whether it was the civil rights movement of the '60s or wherever we are needed, we have stood for what's right and we never loose a battle that we fight.
In response to Gov. Snyder's pen that will stroke as he signs "right to work" possibly this week, every civil rights and union organization in the country will be lining up to fight this bad legislation. From recalls, to protest, to civil disobedience, Gov. Snyder will see what relentless, positive direct action looks like, for the next two years of his first and hopefully last term!