Every election cycle voters are asked to make critical choices on issues that resonate with their well-being and their communities.
In this election we have the same responsibility, to take a position on the issues that matter to voters as well as moving Detroit and the state forward. Our role is not to dictate or tell voters how to vote, but to recommend the Michigan Chronicle’s position on these issues.
Perhaps for the first time we are witnessing a proliferation of proposals for the Nov. 6 ballot that warrant the attention of every voter in this city and state.
Proposal 1 — Maintain the Emergency Manager Law (PA 4). This law despite how controversial it has become is much needed to revitalize Detroit and other cities that are struggling financially. We have debated too long and continue to do so about the financial future of the city. But the fact remains that the city is a creature of the state and we do not expect the state to abandon its largest city or stand by and watch Detroit go under. When the financial mechanism and stewardship fail we believe that there has to be strong financial controls in place to get the city back on sound financial footing. Gov. Rick Snyder hasn’t abused PA 4 in our judgment and that is crucial in the debate about the survival of the Emergency Manager Law. We trust that the governor will exercise due diligence, caution and efficiency in helping restore Detroit to financial stability. That process has already begun with the Detroit Financial Advisory Board and outlawing PA 4 will disrupt that process. We say vote YES on Proposal 1.
Proposal 2 — Enshrine Collective Bargaining in the Constitution. This proposal by the labor movement in our city and state is necessary to continue to protect working families. We support collective bargaining because it has helped a great deal in improving the lives of the working class and the working poor. While there are deeply inherent issues between labor and government over reform, we believe collective bargaining should be enshrined in the state Constitution. Period.
Every political leader, including mayors and governors, has had issues with reform and cost-cutting measures with its labor employment force. Unlike others we believe that labor is an important part of our political and economic fabric and we can’t dismiss the essence of collective bargaining and its role in protecting working men and women.
We say vote YES on Proposal 2.
Proposal 3 — Amend the Constitution to Establish a Standard for Renewal Energy. We support any effort toward energy renewal and efficiency. This proposal would require that 25 percent of the state electricity be generated through renewable energy by 2025. But the state has already passed a renewable energy standard. This does not belong in our Constitution and it is an overreach. We can resolve issues around energy without resorting to the Constitution. We say vote NO on Proposal 3.
Proposal 4 — Amend the Constitution to Establish Quality Home Care Council and Provide Collective Bargaining for Home Care Workers. This does not belong in our Constitution and the supporters of this proposal need to find other ways to address much needed quality care for our seniors and the disabled in our community than opening our Constitution to all sorts of changes. This is not the way to address the crisis of home care given that most of the people who would be provided collective bargaining are already family members providing care. We say vote NO on Proposal 4.
Proposal 5 — Amend the Constitution to Limit Enactment of New Taxes. This proposal would require a two-thirds vote to raise any taxes. This clearly would handicap any government in Lansing to address the economic crisis facing our state. While the proposal appears on surface to care for struggling citizens already paying taxes, it makes it impossible for any administration to reform the tax code. We say vote NO on Proposal 5.
Proposal 6 — Amend the Constitution Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels. This is a deceptive proposal and a willful attempt to prevent the creation of at least 10,000 jobs in the construction of a new bridge. It is a gross overreach to enshrine in the Constitution that any future transportation project involving bridges and tunnels should be subject to a referendum. Such a proposal if passed would handicap transportation projects that struggling and working people need to maintain their families. We say vote NO on Proposal 6.
Wayne County Community College District Millage Renewal — Michigan’s largest urban district has done an outstanding job of fiscal discipline and management with taxpayer money and recently received an A+ bond rating. We ask voters to approve a millage for the college to expand its educational mission in this region. Institutions like WCCCD that have shown tremendous growth and sound budgetary management over public dollars deserve continued support from taxpayers. We say vote YES on the WCCCD millage
Proposal S — Renewing and Restoring Detroit Public School Operating Millage. For Detroit Public Schools to continue to make needed reforms under Emergency Manager Roy Roberts, the District must have the resources and the operating capacity to do so. Without it the District will be unable to function effectively.
DPS has gone through many reforms and we believe that under Roberts the District is now on sound footing and has the requisite leadership to make bold and sometimes unpopular decisions to make our school system progress. And in order for the District to do it needs to have the operational budget to do so. Proposal S would do just that. We say vote YES on Proposal S.