DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – He says it’s “a dangerous precedent for our nation.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson is pushing for mass demonstrations to protest Michigan’s emergency manager law and the appointment of a manager in Detroit.
Speaking at a news conference Friday at Detroit City Hall, national civil rights leader said the law takes away the rights of voters.
In speaking out against the state takeover, Jackson describes the EFM as a stranger with the power to neutralize a sitting mayor and city council, end or renegotiate labor contracts and sell-off city assets.
“This czar will have the authority to — in fact — sell-off Belle Isle as an asset,” Jackson said. “He’ll have the authority to sell-off downtown buildings to few rich people. He’ll have the power to sell 18-hundred lots on east side Detroit. So, as opposed having a city council that’s Democratically elected and a mayor — you’ll have a plan-tocracy.”
Jackson is calling on opponents of the state’s emergency manager law to hold a massive, non-violent protest to educate residents about its potential impact.
Bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr was hired last week and will begin work Monday as Detroit’s manager.
Michigan voters in November repealed a 2011 emergency manager law that gave the state more power in financially strapped cities and public schools. A subsequent version of the law passed by Republicans and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December goes into effect Thursday.
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