WCDP News: Making Communities Safer and Saving Young Lives

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April 1st Meeting: Community Violence Intervention: The Washtenaw County Approach to Making Communities Safer and Saving Young Lives

We’re trying a hybrid in-person and Zoom meeting this month. For the in-person crowd, we’ll be meeting at our old stomping grounds, the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center where, at this time, masks are optional.

Many of the gun deaths plaguing our communities are not the result of the horrific, heart-breaking mass shootings that make headlines, but are because of suicide, domestic violence and gun violence in our cities driven by generational poverty, disinvestment in communities and young lives, structural racism and the hopelessness and despair they create. Gun violence has become the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in this country. The WCDP April 1st General Meeting Program will focus on Community Violence Intervention (CVI) and our approach in Washtenaw County to preventing gun violence in our cities and townships and saving young lives. 

CVI can include hospital intervention after a young person has been shot or community-based intervention by CVI workers who interact with those likely to be involved with gun violence, either as perpetrators or as victims, in order to prevent gun violence from taking place. In Washtenaw County we are using a hybrid approach, incorporating both the hospital and community-based approaches while including efforts to address the conditions that foster gun violence. 

The WCDP April 1st Program discussion will be moderated by Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton and include:

  • Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bryan Foley, CVI leader and Vice President of Supreme Felons
  • Roger Roper, from WeLive (a hospital-based intervention)
  • Justin Hodge, Chair, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
  • Eli Savit, Washtenaw County ProsecutorBilly Cole, CVI leader

These subject matter experts who are doing the work will explain local CVI efforts, why they are considered best practices and are supported nationally, on a state level and locally. Information on a state-wide CVI Summit hosted locally on May 1st will be provided for those who would like to learn more. 

Attend in person:
The Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center (LRC) is at 4135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, 48108. The LRC is part of the Sheriff’s office complex. The most visible landmark from Washtenaw is St. Luke’s church, which shares a driveway with the LRC, immediately west of the church. Social hour with coffee and snacks begins at 9:15 am.

3rd Annual Louis Nagel Concert April 23, 2023

Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 4pm

Join fellow Democrats for a benefit performance for the Washtenaw County Democratic Party by highly acclaimed concert pianist Louis Nagel featuring music by Beethoven. Includes a special introduction by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.

Attend in person at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, or virtually by Zoom. For those who attend in person, light refreshments will follow the performance. Tickets are on sale now.

We The People Michigan is Hiring!

From our friends at https://wethepeoplemi.org/:

“We’re still growing and looking for folks to build multiracial working class power with us! We’re so excited to announce that we are hiring a Western Upper Peninsula Organizer, and a Northern Michigan Organizer.

  • $50k-55k, Full Time, Medical, Dental, Vision, and other benefits!
  • Remote, with some in person work and travel across the state is required

Applications due Monday, April 3 at 5pm

April 25: School Funding Advocacy Day in Lansing

From the Michigan Education Justice Coalition:

What: Advocacy day to show lawmakers the strong support for public schools
When: April 25, 2023; 9am-4pm
Why: Get commitments from legislators for more funding
Where: Lansing, Michigan

“As we approach budget season for our schools districts across the state, our elected leaders in Lansing are hashing out what priorities will be funded.

\Can we count on you to help? All are welcome! We will have a big group of youth, school board members and educators with us.

RSVP here!


Volunteer Opportunities

  • Do you like to do research?
    Precinct Organizing is putting together a file with all of our Reps’ contacts and other info on the new districts. If you enjoy such tasks, and resource creation, contact Janet Cannon janetcdem@gmail.com
  • Reaching Dem-leaning voters who don’t vote in every election
    A recent analysis shows that the single largest group of non-voters in Washtenaw County in 2022 were in the 24–35-year-old age group. We are looking for volunteers to help crack this nut and help us to motivate ALL dem voters of all ages to vote in every election. Now is the time to build a strong strategy for 2024! If you have insight to offer or want to help, please contact Sandy Levitsky slevitsk@gmail.com.
 Yes, I want to volunteer!

Bring Joy and Learning into a Child’s Life! Buy a Book!

In honor of National Reading Month, the WCDP’s Dems Care program has set up an opportunity for people to buy a book (or 3) for the young children in the Ypsilanti FLI Reading Tutoring program run by the WCDP’s own Caroline Nathan, who is an expert in early childhood reading.  The ability to read is foundational in so many areas, such as education, employment, healthcare, and quality of life. This reading program, focused primarily on 2nd and 3rd graders in the Ypsilanti Community elementary schools, is extremely impactful with children showing improvement even all online during Covid.  YCS has a very high family poverty rate and many of the children in the program rarely have the opportunity to get new books and are thrilled when this happens.

We are partnering with Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center, a small local Black bookstore in Ypsilanti. If buying the books online, please designate on your order that the books are to be held by Black Stone for the WCDP Book Drive. Choose in-store pick-up option (if given choice).

Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center
214 W Michigan Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: (734) 961-7376 

For those who buy on Amazon or other sellers, or shop in-person, books can be brought to the next WCDP General meeting on April 1st at the LRC or we can pick up from you. Questions: Katherineawyatt@aol.com and mhallthiamaka@gmail.com.

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