Hood Research is a Michigan non-profit Think Tank established to promote positive public policy, encourage business growth in the Black community and improve the economics within our neighborhoods. Hood Research members feel strongly concerning the Michigan legislature’ actions toward the Detroit Public Schools. The recently passed legislation is poor public policy is an affront to our local democracy in the city of Detroit and we strongly believe it violates the Michigan constitution.
Hood Research requests that you through your office write the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, for a legal opinion on whether or not this legislation has met the constitutional requirement of immediate effect. Your official request shall be for an opinion regarding Article IV, sec 29 of the Michigan constitution which defines the immediate effect of all legislation. The DPS legislation failed to achieve a two-thirds vote in favor of passage and therefore, per our constitution, should not be implemented until the 91st day of 2017 which is April 1st. Hood Research is of the opinion that the language in the Michigan constitution is clear and would therefore block this legislation from taking effect. Due to the language in this legislation, if this does not take effect in 2016 the legislation becomes null and void.
The legislation consists of the bills; SB 0711, SB 0820, SB 0822, HB 5383, HB 5384 and HB 5387. Specifically HB 5384 mandates two school districts for Detroit and the dissolution of the currently democratically elected school board. This bill did not achieve the required number of votes for immediate effect. HB 5384 was enacted based on a 55 to 53 vote in favor by the Michigan House (Roll call # 386) and a 19 to 18 vote in favor by the Michigan Senate (Roll Call # 428). Therefore this legislation cannot be implemented on July 1st of 2016.
Once you have written the letter to AG Bill Schuette please send a copy to Hood Research. This letter, our request, is being sent to all current state representatives and senators who represent any portion of the city of Detroit. The list is attached to this letter. This letter will be sent in email form and as a mailed copy to the addresses list. Hood Research will publish this letter to our website, our Facebook page and Twitter to inform the public and our members that this request has been made and to keep them informed on any progress of your actions. Hood Research is also encouraging any member of the public and any Michigan legislator to duplicate these actions and make the same request to their state legislator and for the legislator to make the same request to the attorney general. Hood Research plans to take any positive action to ensure that Detroit citizens are treated fairly and equally as citizens of the state of Michigan. We feel it’s a failure of our representatives not to use the full capabilities of their office to protect citizens of this state and to fight against poor legislation that is not in the best interest of the people. This legislation should be blocked if for no other reason than the process has not complied with the Michigan Constitution. Hood Research is working with other groups across Detroit and Michigan to ensure that legislation such as this abides by our constitution. Any deviation or work by a government official seeking to bypass our rights shall be reported to our community.