The first East Side All-County Precinct Delegate Gathering on Sunday was, as advertised “Ypsi style.” Think of the kind of place where you might enjoy ending the work week with a beer, whatever is cooking on the outdoor grill, great music, and a bunch of friends. That was the atmosphere for the precinct delegates, candidates, and volunteers of all kinds who met up, exchanged names and contact info and ideas, and heard some mighty inspiring speeches. And then we dug into Philly cheesesteak egg rolls while listening to a DJ who rocked the joint with the likes of Debarge’s “Rhythm of the Night.”
The highlight of the event was Michigan Supreme Court candidate and current State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden. During her eloquent discussion of what the November judicial elections mean, you could have heard an “I VOTED” pin drop. Except when she was interrupted by applause.
“What is the deciding issue of our time that the Board of Canvassers is going to have to consider in 2024?” she asked. “Voting. Who gets to vote, how they vote, where they vote will be up to the Michigan Supreme Court. Whether our elections are going to be certified—period—will go to the Michigan Supreme Court. Literally, the type of Michigan we are going to live in for generations to come will be decided in the next two years by the Michigan Supreme Court. And not just what type of Michigan we want to live in, but what type of nation we want to live in.”
What is the deciding issue of our time that the Board of Canvassers is going to have to consider in 2024? Voting. Who gets to vote, how they vote, where they vote will be up to the Michigan Supreme Court. — Kyra Harris Bolden
Kind of makes you want to vote right now, doesn’t it? But before you do vote, here are two vital bits of information she emphasized about judicial voting in November.
When it comes to the judiciary, “Straight ticket won’t get it!” Bolden said, and she had everyone chanting that slogan, a reminder that even if you check the box to vote for all Democrats, you won’t be voting in the vital judicial races. Sometimes, voters who don’t know the candidates choose an incumbent. One incumbent on the ballot is Republican Brian Zahra. Remember that name. He was one of the two current justices who voted to throw out petitions on the wacky basis of kerning, an obscure term known only to printers and graphic designers. Check his voting record on the court. Be appalled. Tell your friends.
Other candidates—many for school boards, which have taken on an enormous importance—had the chance to introduce themselves and what they stand for. We were also reminded that we want to keep the all-blue County Commission all blue.
Literally, the type of Michigan we are going to live in for generations to come will be decided in the next two years by the Michigan Supreme Court. — Kyra Harris Bolden
And what about that social club that hosted the event? Who are the Men Like Us? Ardis Lewis, Jr., who heads up the group, said he and some of his motorcycle enthusiast friends decided to join together to do more than ride bikes. “I liked the brotherhood of the men in the bike world, the men like us, and wanted to bring that into the neighborhood. I’ve seen a lot of young black men get led in the wrong direction. Men are not stepping up to teach young men how to be men. Our mission is to identify at-risk youth who may benefit from learning a skilled trade to build a safe and stronger community.”