(Majyck Radio)– The United For A Better Future public meeting was hosted at the Hispanic American Council Thursday evening. Representatives from the U.S Citizen and Immigration Services presented facts about the organization and their mission. They were also available after the presentation to answer individual questions and to directly address the concerns of the community.
The coalition consisted of speakers from the Hispanic American Council, ISAAC, Association of Kalamazoo For Justice, the YWCA of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center and the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP.
Dr.Charles Warfield, President of the local branch of the NAACP, summed up the evening with, “You are not alone” repeated a total of nine times. The impact of those four words brought the almost 200 hundred people in attendence to their feet in a standing ovation of support for the energy Dr. Warfield evoked into the words.
Lorie Mercedes, Executive Director of the Hispanic Council, started her speech with a quote from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and explained her message surrounding immigration reform. “Tonight is not only about immigration. Tonight is not only about undocumented families. Tonight it’s about unity it’s about social justice it’s about democratic principles”.
A handful of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officers including Rev. Denise Poise, Community Relations Specialist at Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Assistant Chief Donald Webster, Sargeant Tim Randall, and Assistant Chief Brian Uridge were present. Uridge emphaszsed that he and his officers are not interested in your immigration status, only if you are a victim of a crime. “At public safety we have three goals. We don’t have a lengthy mission statement. We have three goals. The first goal is to reduce crime, build trust and deliver the best service possible. This is why our community is so great. I have worked here for 22 years and this is just one of the many ways that we build trust. These type of community meetings where we can sit together and discuss issues and together come up with solutions”.
Also in attendance were numerous elected officials, including State Rep. Sean McCann, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller and a representative from Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s office, City Commissioners including Stephanie Moore hosting the meeting and Mothers of Hope.
Association of Kalamazoo for Justice Meeting will have a meeting of February 7th at 6PM in the St. Joseph Library located at the Hispanic American Council.