Press Releases

MEDIA ADVISORY: Conyers to Hold Forum on Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law

Detroit, MI, February 14, 2012

(DETROIT) – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-M14) will host a Democratic Judiciary forum concerning the legal implications of the Emergency Manager Law.  The forum will start at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February, 21, 2012 and will be held at Soul Harvest Ministries in Highland Park.

Currently, there are six emergency managers appointed under the Michigan Emergency Law (Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint, Pontiac, Detroit Public Schools, Highland Park School District) and a review for an appointment is ongoing with respect to the cities of Detroit, Inkster, and Muskegon Heights.  Several lawsuits have been brought challenging the law and its implementation, and a petition drive is pending which would suspend the law subject to a statewide referendum in November.  At the same time, other states such as Indiana are considering adopting emergency manager laws similar to Michigan’s statute. This forum will consider a range of issues, including the EM law’s possible impact on voting rights, representative form of government, collective bargaining rights; the legality and appropriateness of effort in Lansing to reinstate the law notwithstanding the referendum process; the law’s consistence with the Open Meetings Act, and the state’s compliance with its revenue sharing obligations.  Witnesses will include the Emergency Manager for Benton Harbor, preeminent constitutional, voting rights, and bankruptcy legal experts as well as representatives of impacted communities, safety officials, and unions.

In December, Representative Conyers wrote the U.S. Department of Justice to ask the attorney general to review the law’s constitutionality.  That same month, Representative Conyers along with Representatives Clarke and Peters, 55 state legislators (9 sState Senators and 46 state Representatives) and 8 Detroit City Council members, wrote a letter requesting a meeting with Governor Snyder to discuss the Emergency Manager Law.

Forum to Discuss the Legal Implications of Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law
Soul Harvest Ministries
16300 Woodward Avenue
Highland Park, MI, 48288
Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan’s 14th Congressional District and Ranking Member House Judiciary Committee
The Honorable Hansen Clarke
Michigan’s 13th Congressional District
The Honorable Gary Peters
Michigan’s 9th Congressional District
The Honorable Bert Johnson
Michigan’s 2nd Senate District
The Honorable John Olumba
Michigan’s 5th House District
The Honorable JoAnn Watson
Detroit City Council
Joseph Harris
Emergency Manager, Benton Harbor
Rev. David Alexander Bullock
Rainbow PUSH Coalition Detroit
Professor Kenneth N. Klee
UCLA School of Law
James E. Spiotto, Esq.
Chapman & Cutter, LLP
Professor Jocelyn F. Benson
Wayne State University Law School
Hon. Fred Durhal, Jr.
Michigan’s 6th House District and Chairperson Michigan Legislative Black Caucus
Hon. Thomas F. Stallworth, III
Michigan’s 8th House District
Hon.  DeAndre Windom
Mayor, Highland Park, Michigan
Hon. Lee A. Jones
President, Pontiac City Council
Hon. Kermit Williams
Pontiac City Council
Hon. Marcus Mohammed
Benton Harbor City Commissioner
Al Garrett
President, Council 25, AFSCME
Chris Michalakis
Secretary-Treasurer, Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO
Keith R. Johnson
President, Detroit Federation of Teachers
Kenneth A. Cole
Detroit Representative to Michigan State Government
Brandon A. Jessup
Chairman and CEO, Michigan Forward
John C. Philo
Legal Director, Sugar Law Center