Open letter to President Obama
Re: Concerned citizen and activist living in Apartheid Detroit
I am writing you as a frustrated American citizen who has participated in the process of defending democracy and my rights, the rights of other Detroiters and the rights of citizens in the state of Michigan. You should also know I voted for you in both elections, made modest contributions and worked on your first campaign as a volunteer. I have functioned as a precinct delegate, co-campaign manager, senior legislative analyst and activist. I also helped to plan and implement numerous people’s conventions, rallies, referendums, public hearings and the like, primarily in opposition of the unconstitutional Emergency Manager Law imposed upon Michigan citizens, and the fraudulent elections held here in the city of Detroit.
I am writing you as a last resort, because all of our efforts to access the electoral, judicial and legislative process here in Michigan and particularly in Detroit have been undermined by corrupt elected leadership and bought-off /apathetic bureaucrats. We have attempted to seek relief through federal court seeking justice against the Emergency Manager Law Public Act (PA) 436 and its predecessor, PA4 to no avail. You should also know the practice of imposing emergency managers in Michigan is racist in nature, insofar as every city in the state with a large percentage of African Americans has been assigned an emergency manager or “Dictator” as we activists and conscious citizens term it.
The imposition of the unconstitutional emergency manager sent to Detroit via Jones Day Law Firm to seize the assets, including our beloved Belle Isle, pension funds, water department, unlawful Public Lighting Authority (a tool of gentrification in direct conflict with our state constitution and our city charter), are egregious acts that continue to steamroll over our rights as citizens and taxpayers. Over the past two years we have called and faxed the White House and U.S. attorney general’s offices and waged online petitions seeking intervention to no avail. Even a recent 12-page letter forwarded to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder by FBI administrator Barbara McQuade outlining the breaches of our rights via the Emergency Manager Law(s) yielded nothing but a letter that side stepped the issues.
The true story of what is happening here in Detroit has not been told and when the history is finally recorded, I’m sorry to say it will not reflect positively on the role your administration played, nor many of our senators or representatives and other elected officials. Rhetoric of democracy is not enough! We need authentic action to seek the truth, relief and restitution that has not occurred to date.
I am aware your position as the president of the United States has many responsibilities on a national and international level, however, how can you ignore the fundamental rights of the largest, Blackest city in our country with an effective unemployment rate of over 65 percent and be okay with that? I had greater hopes and expectations of your presidency from the very first time I listened to your speech at the National Democratic Convention, prior to your public decision to run for the Presidency.
Those hopes and expectations have been severely dampened in part due to your administration’s lack of responsiveness to the citizens here in Detroit.
Mr. President, will you do anything substantive to intervene and make a difference for Michigan citizens in general, and Detroit citizens in particular? Please respond to my very specific concerns versus a template general response letter. I am respectfully submitting concerns of hundreds of citizens in the city of Detroit.
Debra A. Taylor