News and Recent Activities
Washtenaw County Democratic Party passes “Community Coordination & Law Enforcement Standards” resolution
At their County Convention on Saturday, January 31st, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party passed a resolution on Community Coordination and Law Enforcement Standards. The resolution expresses their support for the strengthening and targeted improvements of law enforcement standards and practices. This statement of values comes in light of multiple incidents of police shootings of black civilians both in the community and throughout the nation.
“This is a crucial issue to our community and country,” said Washtenaw County Democratic Party Chair Chris Savage. “Both our citizens and the officers who are sworn to protect them need to be safe and protected from the possibility of undue violence. The Washtenaw County Democratic Party, along with the Ann Arbor Democratic Party that recently passed a similar resolution, wants to ensure this protection in a way that is fair to all members of our community. We encourage local municipalities, interested organizations, and the Michigan Democratic Party to take up similar resolutions which will raise the volume and attention of this debate.”
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party resolution will now be sent to the Michigan Democratic Party resolutions committee, which will examine and consider additions to the Party platform in the future.
The full text of the resolution is below.
Resolution on Community Coordination and Law Enforcement Standards
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party is committed to uphold civil rights. We are saddened to have to address the recent deaths of several African American citizens in police incidents. Our democracy is suffering because segregation by race and class has again resulted in tragedy and reactions based on fear, splitting communities and the country at large.
Therefore, in order to protect the rights of all citizens, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party supports:
1. Improved communication, coordination and alignment among the law enforcement agencies operating in the county;
2. Improved communication, coordination and alignment among law enforcement, mental health, human services, substance abuse, domestic violence, homeless prevention, legal, and other community support agencies operating in the county;
3. Ongoing and improved diversity, sensitivity and de-escalation training for police officers;
4. Objective video and audio documentation for all first responders;
5. Mental health evaluations for police officers;
6. Improved community engagement by police officers;
7. A citizen oversight board with the authority to handle individual complaints; and
8. Transparent investigation policies for all deadly force incidents in which a citizen is seriously wounded or dies.
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party seeks to work with the community and law enforcement agencies to implement these improvements.
At our County Convention on Saturday, January 31st, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party endorsed Mike Henry, Chair of the Ann Arbor Dems, to be the next chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s Black Caucus. The vote was unanimous.
“Washtenaw County has a wealth of activists and organizers and Mike Henry is one of the best,” said WCDP Chair Chris Savage. “Mike has proven himself to be a terrific leader who gets things done and helps Democrats to win up and down the ticket. This is why he earned our endorement and he will be an outstanding Chair for the MDP Black Caucus.”
Mike is kicking off his campaign for MDP Black Caucus Chair tonight, Wednesday, February 3rd, at the Melange Bistro in Ann Arbor (312 South Main Street (between Liberty & William Street). The event runs from 5:30-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Event hosts include:
- Rep. David Rutledge
- Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
- Rep. Jeff Irwin
- The Hon. John Hieftje
- Martha Darling
- Ann Arbor School Board Trustees Susan Baskett & Simone Lightfoot
- Marty Fischhoff
- Louis Green
- Eric Keller
- Current Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair Lavonia Perryman
- Washtenaw County Democratic Party Chair and Eclectablog publisher Chris Savage
- Washtenaw County Democratic Party Vice-Chair Hedieh Briggs
- Harvey Somers
- Paquetta Palmer
- Rod Casey
- Ned Staebler
- Joe Malcoun
- Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson
- Adam Kasha
- Dr. Mary Hall-Thiam
- Tracy Van den Bergh
- Veronique Liem
- Elizabeth Janovic
- The Hon. Joan Lowenstein
- Erane Washington
- David Nacht
- Travis Gonyou
- Alex Yerkey
- Sonja Karnovsky
- Dmitry Kalinchenko
- Brad O’Conner
- Leo Cartier Jr.
- Eastern Washtenaw Democrats Chair Cleveland Chandler*
- The Hon. Margie Teall
- Graham Teall
- Tracy Jensen
- Mazin Assanie
- Max Lerner
- Ann Arbor City Council Member Chuck Warpehoski
- Sam Firke
- Satish Ramade
- Huron Valley Central Labor Council President Ian Robinson*
- Michael Masif White
* = For identification purposes of the individual listed. Not intended to imply endorsement by an organization.
[Photo by Anne C. Savage, used with permission]
This coming Saturday, February 7th, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) will hold its February General Membership meeting. This meeting is a Unity Meeting with the Ann Arbor Dems and will be hosted by them.
The meeting starts with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting itself beginning at 10:00. Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson will on hand for an open and frank discussion about what the MDP has done well and what went wrong during the past election cycle. Johnson is running to continue as the MDP Chair. Any challengers who make their candidacy known between now and the meeting will be invited, as well.
We hope to see you Saturday.
What: WCDP/AADems February General Membership/Unity Meeting
When: Saturday, February 7, 2015 – 9:30 a.m. until noon
Where: Ann Arbor Community Center, 625 North Main Street, Ann Arbor
One of the shining stars of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party is the Precinct Organizing Committee or “POC” as it’s known to its members. The POC has evolved into a robust group helping to ensure that Washtenaw County gets more and more organized between elections so that, during election years, are volunteers and activists are networked, trained, and given all the resources and opportunities they need to make a real difference in the outcome of the election.
The POC meets once a month on the third Thursday of the month and the location changes from month to month as they hold it in different parts of the County. The next meeting is on Thursday, February 19th at 7:00 p.m. It will be held at the home of Jane Forman – 403 Arbana Dr, Ann Arbor. The Google map location is HERE.
If you are interested in helping to organize in Washtenaw County, please plan to attend this POC meeting. For more information, contact POC Co-Vice-Chairs Catherine Daligga (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Bill Worzel (email@example.com). If you plan to attend the meeting on the 19th, please send an email to Bill so that they know how many people to expect.
On Saturday, January 31st, 2015, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party will hold a County Convention. At the Convention, we will choose delegates to the Michigan Democratic Party’s Rules and Credentials Committees as well as the members of our County Committee (two people from each precinct in the County.) We will also be considering a resolution relating to law enforcement/community relations.
Please plan to attend on January 31st. The Convention will take place in Morris Hall at the Pittsfield Township Hall, 6201 W. Michigan Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.