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An Open Letter Written by a MWRO Member and Supported by the MWRO

Dear friends;

I am writing this because this is one of the darkest periods in history our country has experienced and because I have never failed to vote in any local or national election since I was old enough to vote. This is a tradition I inherit from my grandparents and parents, who firmly believed that it is our right and responsibility to vote in all matters. Thus, I have raised my daughters in this tradition. Now that the twins are eighteen years old, they have registered to vote and our block of four votes comes out of this tradition. I hope that the dreams of my grandfather will be realized before the end of our lives: That the money that rules politics will be removed from the equation by the efforts of those who struggle for democracy. The groups like Common Cause, Michigan Campaign Finance Reform, The League of Women Votes, Smart Voters, etc, all have an eye on this corrupted process which has entirely hijacked our votes and subordinated the common good far below corporate greed. From the sentencing of our young people into private prisons, to the criminalization of undocumented people who come here escaping the policies of NAFTA, CAFTA and their historical predecessors, our "leaders" have made slaves of workers around the world and pitted us against people we don't know or have no quarrels with. What do we know of Iraqi children? What do we have against Honduran and Salvadoran and Mexican farm workers or displaced professionals or any other ordinary men and women? What would we do if we had no way to feed our children? What is required of us as Americans who have the right to vote?


I have to say that despite a fine anti war candidate on this ticket, we support Governor Granholm for reelection. Her positions on stem cell research, women's right to choose, affirmative action and the very real threat of a reactionary opponent taking this seat if she loses. We have been pushed back so far that we cannot afford to lose any more ground on this.

3rd District County Commissioner:
We support Fred Vitale for the County Commissioner seat on the East Side of Detroit. He is the Green Party candidate for the Anti War Slate.

State House District 1:
Kristen Hamel, Grosse Pointe for State Rep on the Green Party. This is the Anti War Slate.

Wayne State Board of Governors:
Michael Merriweather Green Party, Margaret Guttschall Green Party

Michigan State University Board of Trustee:
Loren Spencer Green Party

State Board of Education:
Kevin Karey Green Party, Jacob Woods Green Party

The Michigan Supreme Court is very important to us!! This is the court that ruled that workers injured and maimed on the job are not eligible for comp if they have no social security number. This encourages employers to exploit our people and cheat others out of their work. This has to change, and we can change it!! We asked our best legal minds for advice on this: Beckering is a trial lawyer out of Grand Rapids who is for the people. Support Beckering for the Michigan Supreme Court. Diane Hathaway for court of Appeals. They are running against reactionary Republicans.

Remember that Debbie Stabenow voted to build the wall along the Mexican Border. She voted for the bankruptcy act written by corporations against poor people who are losing their homes; she voted for the Habeas Act, which allows the president full power to lock up anyone for anything without any due process. She voted for the war. There is a good candidate running on the Anti War Slate for the Senate seat of Debbie Stabenow: David Sole. Many people seem conflicted about voting against her. This is baffling to me. These are people who apparently have no one on the other side of the border and don't come from folks from the other side of the border; they come from people who will never have to file bankruptcy, and come from people who will never be accused of a crime. That is not us, friends. We are all those people and she is not a friend to us. There is absolutely no ambiguity here. I am not confused and I do not know why others are. The rationale that a vote against her is a vote for Republican challenger Bouchard is odd to me. Do we want to be lead to our demise by a Democrat who votes against us on every important issue, or a Republican who votes against us on every important issue to us? Electric chair or lethal injection? You choose, or say NO to both of them. Who cares which one wins if they are the same? Frankly, I am angry that people would ask us to vote for her anyway, while we are being attacked they ask us to support their candidate who attacks us. What's up with that? HOW DARE THEY ASK US TO VOTE FOR OUR ENEMY?

In this election period, we must look carefully at what is really being said to us and why we are being pitted against our own class. We are the same class as all the people around the world who do not own anything that makes money. If you own a factory or a retail chain, or massive acres of land that produces food, I am not directing this missive to you. If you wish you owned those things, I am still talking to you because you are still working class. Every single election counts and every vote counts while we have no other process available to us. We saw that in the last City council elections, Maureen Taylor, of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization would have won had the opposition not put up someone with a very similar name. Dirty tricks abound when rich people are threatened. Maureen is the candidate who can organize people to resist the privatization of water and the shut offs of utilities. We are talking about forces who organized against her to keep people from their basic human rights. These are people who would see children freeze to death under viaducts and be taken from their mothers because they are poor and have no utilities in their homes. The money spent to defeat her could have kept thousands in their homes, warm for the winter. But the battle was not lost; the city clerk who resided over years of such thefts was ousted from office and replaced by a little known challenger, whom we believe is much more honest. Maureen Taylor will be back to run on a slate of several challengers to the thieves on the council so that we have some comfort and rest and backing from our warrior councilwomen, Brenda Jones and JoAnn Watson.

There is a little publicized race for a seat on the Wayne County Board of Trustees. Leonard Monroe, a longtime employee of the college, now retired, is running for one of the seats on the Board. Having worked with Mr. Monroe for many years, I would certainly cast my vote for him knowing that he understands the terrain and is known for his integrity. WCCC Board of Trustees, Leonard Monroe.

In our (12th) district, State House Rep Steve Toboccman is running unopposed. He is in his last term and has done a good job for us. I would vote for him for any office he runs for because I have found him to conduct himself as a statesman, looking to the best interest of his district for generations to come. He is a young attorney, I expect him to be around for a long time in politics. This is, though, hopefully the last time we have no Latino representation in our district. We need a good candidate, who is honest, understands the issues and is Raza. We can say here, to be Latino for this and other seats, it is necessary but not sufficient. This is a call for candidates. Latino/Latina, sane, qualified and an eye to the public good. All applicants welcome. Keep in mind that as Latinos, we are voting on behalf of the millions who are good enough to work here but not good enough to vote, so step up and do the right thing. The people working without rights and incarcerated are still human beings and members of our families, so even if the State does not recognize them, they are children of God, counting on us to help them claim their inheritance. Be aware of this awesome responsibility when we go to the polls.

On the proposals, there are some confusing issues and wording. YES on Proposal 1: Money held for conservation can only be used for their intended purposes. It sounds like these items could be moved around for other things if there is no ballot initiative that mandates their protection. The land, like people without the right to vote, depends on people of good will to vote on its behalf. Vote YES ON Prop 1.

A Vote on Proposal 2: VOTE NO on 2!! Liars, thieves and outsiders want to take away what little is left of affirmative action, before we get past a 50% dropout rate of students in Detroit Public Schools, 47% illiteracy rate of Detroiters, what else do they want? A return to the good old days of institutionalized segregation, riots and mayhem.

No on Prop 3: Mourning Doves. Mourning Doves never did anything to us. This is an odd proposal. Important to hunters (yes for them) and animal rights people (no for them), not too many others care. They can't vote, either. Do the right thing.

NO on Prop 4: Eminent Domain for whoever wants your land...All Detroiters know about being displaced by freeways, big businesses, bridges, and any other powerful force that wants the land you occupy. What possible reason would we have to agree to give it up without a fight? We are beleaguered, but not completely colonized. Vote NO ON 4

YES! Proposal 5: Yes to School Funding. The opposition says it goes to teachers' pensions, administrative support, etc. That is how you get the best people in the schools, and in Detroit, where teachers are overworked and underpaid, only ignorant haters would vote against this. I say YES to Prop 5, and hopefully all parents of any kids anywhere will do the same, and all workers who think pensions are a good idea, vote YES on 5! Support teachers!!! Our future depends on this!! They are with our children!! Why would we want to deny them a decent wage and pension?

We hope this is some help to you. We thought about the issues, researched some answers and proposals and decided on these positions. Thank you for your attention to this. We cannot change the world overnight, but we will struggle for justice and freedom for as long as we breathe. This is what is required of us.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre,
Elena M. Herrada
Latinos Unidos

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