By Gwendolyn Gaines and Sylvia Orduño
Call’em Out!!! is a Detroit-based community political action group “dedicated to the mission of stamping out samboing and selling-out of our community by elected officials.” For the past several years, Call’em-Out!!! has held various meetings, pickets, and community actions to hold elected officials accountable to the people with the motto:
When Elected Officials in the City of Detroit Do Not Serve in the Interest of the People in the City of Detroit, Call’em-Out!!!
Last Tuesday, Call’em-Out!!! organized a mayoral forum, “An Agenda for the People of Detroit.” All of the 18 candidates for next year’s special election were invited to sit and listen to the community’s concerns. Mayoral candidates were not allowed to give any campaign speeches and could only ask clarification questions. Seven candidates attended—Wayne Co Sheriff Warren Evans, Rev. Nicholas Hood, Freman Hendrix, state Rep. Coleman Young II, Sharon McPhail, D. Etta Wilcoxon, and Jerroll Sanders—and spoke to the gathering of over 200 people.
The program opened with a welcome and forum introduction by Agnes Hitchcock. Janella Frazier was the mistress of ceremony and she began with the introduction of the mayoral candidates. This was followed by brief presentations from community activists: Jerry Goldberg, [foreclosures], Maureen Taylor, [water affordability program], Denise Hearn [southwest Detroit], Dee Dee Harris [recreation], Marie Thornton [public school education], Sam Riddle [grassroots organizations and the work that they do], and Emanuel Roberson [youth]. After all the presenters spoke on issues of concern to Call’em Out!! members and other Detroiters, they were given the chance to meet and talk with the candidates. Prior to this, Call’-em Out!!! had been doing surveys about our issues, the candidates were there to listen and to ask for clarity on an issue.
The next Call’-em Out!!! program will be January 6, 2009 when the candidates will respond to community issues and questions. It was a good program and a nice size group that attended!
(Image from Call’-em Out!!! web-archived site. A new site will be up soon.)