Not Your Typical Walk in the Park in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, MI-
Maria and Lauren
Two of the seven seats on the Kalamazoo Public School District school board are up for general election on November 8, 2016. Incumbent Jennie Hill filed for re-election, while fellow board member Martha Warfield opted against seeking a new term. Challengers Maria Bosnak, Lauren Freedman, Jesse Herron, Paul Marquardt, and George White will be joined on the ballot.

Bosnak and Freedmen were joined by Michigan United Organizer,Elisheva Johnson, Vice Mayor Don Cooney to publicly pledge their endorsement to run. Marcy Peake, former Kalamazoo School Board Member shared a few words on her experience and knowledge and “passing” the baton to Lauren Freedman, recently retired Professor of Literacy Studies at Western Michigan University.

To find out more about these candidates: Maria Bosnak
Lauren Freedman

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Hear what the candidates have to say below:

SEE Prosperity Speaks Out in Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo, MI- An aspiring group of WMU social workers hosted SEE-(Social,Economic,Educational) Prosperity, a collective of community members graciously sharing their experience, living Black in the world, specifically in Kalamazoo.

Four black representation of systemic barriers and stereo types put a face, emotions and their own words on issues that they face every single day. All of the participants, raised in single parented homes were able to create a life for themselves and try to prosper despite their daily struggles.

Elisheva Johnson, organizer from Michigan United said, “I too, made a mistake over 20 years ago, which resulted in a felony. I have been forced to live that mistake over and over again and this has greatly impacted my life and my children’s lives to this day”.

SEE Prosperity is working on Raise the Age, a nation-wide initiative that has “seeded” in Kalamazoo. Raising the Age currently from 17 to 18 years old in the state of Michigan. Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

Raise the Age is packaged as-The “Youth in Prison” package also includes:

*Increasing the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18 years old;
*Increasing the County Child Care fund reimbursement rate for qualifying community-based services for youth by 25 percent;
*Prohibiting the placement of youth under 18 in adult jails and prisons and provide access to age-appropriate rehabilitation;
*Eliminating three offenses from the list of Specified Juvenile Offenses;
*Requiring equal consideration of all mitigating factors prior to waving jurisdiction in traditional juvenile waiver cases;
*Requiring public monitoring and oversight of youth under the jurisdiction of the MDOC who entered for an offense committed prior to turning 18 years old;
*Restricting the use of administrative segregation in prison for youth aged 18 and under; and
*Establishing a family advisory board within the MDOC to ensure effective partnerships with families and victims.

SEE- Social, Economic, Educational Prosperity, and many other campaigns and community stakeholders will be traveling to the state capital on May 17, 2016 for “Capital Day”.

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