Community Portrait Campaign

KVCC and the Family Health Center are teaming up for a portrait based campaign showcasing and promoting health and diversity in the community. A design crew is creating posters to be displayed in the health centers, and travel to other locations such as the KVCC Museum, the Arcus Gallery, and WMU. All participants will receive an 8×10 black and white family portrait free of charge, and anyone who provides an email will receive digital copies of all photographs taken.

Project Cypher IV

HighTyde Presents Project Cypher 4. This year we’re raising awareness for#Encephalocele #DandiWalker and #Hydrocephalus while telling#SebastiansStory.

Sebastian is the one-year-old and son of Aixa Esquilin and Steve Boice. All proceeds from the event will go towards Sebastian and his family.

Performances by:
• HighTyde • Sick Daze • Nemoniq • Griffin • Ckyttlez • J-Phrey • Erika Scherry • Da Golden Child • Gerald “G-Ride” King • Erik Stephen • Konspiracy Kamp • DL Blaze • Smoove •
Hosted by Mr. Joe Walker

#Prizes #Awareness #Merchandise #The2017Cypher #AndMore

••• MUST BE 21+, MUST PRESENT TICKET AND I.D. AT DOOR.

Kalamazoo County ID: The Task Force Report

**SHOW UP FOR THE TASK FORCE REPORT**
The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners will be reviewing the findings of the ID task force on the implementation of County IDs at the committee of the whole at 4 pm. This could give all Kalamazoo County residents the opportunity to be a part of a community that supports diversity and promotes inclusion. This is the big meeting where the board will see the results obtained in support of the Kalamazoo County ID Initiative. We must urge our county commissioners to pass the resolution for implementation of Kalamazoo County ID.
It is imperative that EVERYONE in support of Kalamazoo County IDs shows up at this meeting. We will gather at the lobby of the Kalamazoo County Administration building on Tuesday, March 21st. at 6:30 P.M. Please consider voicing out your support by addressing the County Commissioners Board. Make sure to come up the podium to thank Commissioner Hall and Commissioner Kendall for their guidance and leadership in this project. It doesn’t have to be a long speech. Two or three sentences in support will be powerful. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to speak. You will have up to four minutes to address the board. Let us all unite in this important cause. Let us all help protect the most vulnerable of our neighbors. Together we win!

ECONOMIC JUSTICE COALITION FORMS “RAISE MICHIGAN” COMMITTEE TO EXPLORE POTENTIAL 2014 MINIMUM WAGE BALLOT CAMPAIGN

Lansing, MI – Community organizing, social justice and labor groups have formed Lets Get Moneya committee to explore a ballot campaign to raise the minimum wage in Michigan. The minimum wage in Michigan –currently $7.40 an hour – hasn’t been raised since 2008, leaving many families living on wages that have not kept up with the price of goods and services.  Tipped workers, like waiters and waitresses, have not received an increase in their minimum wage for over 22 years and currently earn only $2.65 an hour.

Shannon Bryson, 33, of Muskegon is a single mom with two kids, who works part time at a fast food chain and earns minimum wage. “By the time I pay for gas to get to and from work, there’s not much left of my pay check.  Raising the minimum wage could do a lot for mothers like me.  I see people evicted from their homes because they don’t earn enough to pay their rent, and during this cold, cold winter, I see children whose parents can’t afford to dress them warmly enough.”

Research continues to show strong support for raising the minimum wage both in Michigan and nationally including a majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans (Hart research, July 2013).

Over the last year State Representatives Jon Switalski, of Warren, and Rashida Tlaib, of Detroit, and State Senator Bert Johnson, have introduced various bills to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over three years while also raising the minimum wage for tipped employees and indexing the wage to inflation.  Governor Snyder and various legislative leaders have indicated that they will not take up the bills this year. Last fall, Governor Snyder stated that raising the minimum wage was not a “significant issue” for his administration

“People who work hard, shouldn’t have to wait for out of touch politicians to act and do the right thing – and raise the minimum wage,” said Rebecca Hatley-Watkins, 23, of Kalamazoo, who is married, the mother of one and a Michigan United member. “If you work full-time you shouldn’t live in poverty.”

“It is impossible to raise a child on a job that pays minimum wage. I worked full time and still only brought home one third of the amount I needed to get a decent apartment. Not to mention childcare costs. Sometimes it feels like I am just working to pay someone else to raise my child,” said Cori Johnson, a 24 year-old mother of one in Detroit who is a member of Mothering Justice.

Members of the coalition will make a formal decision on moving forward with a ballot campaign in the next few weeks.

The coalition includes a diverse set of non-profit organizations including: the Center for Progressive Leadership, Michigan United, MOSES, the Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) Michigan, Mothering Justice and Building Movement Project/ People’s Platform.

The coalition believes that if Lansing won’t act, voters across Michigan will.

Twelve states increased their minimum wage January 1st, 2014.

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