• National Leaders are holding a Press conference to address bankruptcy issues, encourage alternatives, and obtain 100,000 petition signatures TODAY

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    DETROIT- Rainbow PUSH and the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus have partnered to launch a Change.org initiative to encourage our city leaders and others to find alternatives.  Without alternatives to bankruptcy, the well-being of Detroit pensioners, and its dedicated civil servants will be jeopardized.

    “There are alternatives to bankruptcy to be discussed,” says Councilwoman Joann Watson.  In recent months, the slogan “bankrupt Detroit” is often used to describe the current status of the City of Detroit. This situation begs the question “how can this be fixed?”

    On Thursday, October 17th, 10 a.m. a press conference will take place at the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – 600 West Lafayette Blvd., Suite 500, in Detroit, Michigan.

    The press conference will address bankruptcy issues, encourage alternatives, obtain 100,000 signatures to show solidarity and support of the citizens of Detroit in the effort to take back their city.

    Several civic and community organizations and their leaders have expressed their opinions. Many have been vocal on this issue, including the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) which is the city’s largest union.

    “For municipal and retirees there’s a lot at stake in the bankruptcy proceedings,” says Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., president and founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  “The bankruptcy crisis also has implications for other cities such as Pontiac, Saginaw and Flint making this a statewide issue,” says Jackson.

    Confirmed attendees include:

    • Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.-National Rainbow PUSH
    • Councilwoman JoAnn Watson
    • Mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon
    • Al Garrett, President, Local 25 AFSCME
    • Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President, PUSH Excel
    • Councilwoman Brenda Jones

    Leaders such as Congressman John Conyers are clear proposed talks to help solve the current financial state of the City of Detroit are controversial at best. The likelihood of retirees, city and municipal workers potentially losing earned pension money has been a major cause for concern, thus leaving many in a state of uneasiness and uncertainty about their post-retirement financial future. This is contrary to Michigan’s Constitution where it states that pension payments are a contractual obligation of the state.

    The Michigan State Constitution – Article IX, Section 24 states:

    “The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.”

    Rev. Jackson believes that the promise made to the citizens of Detroit should not be dismissed by the stroke of a pen.

    “There are alternatives to bankruptcy,” says Al Garrett, president of AFSCME Local 25.

    Garrett encourages individuals to go to Change.org and sign the Detroit Bankruptcy petition and urges the governor and other to find alternatives to eliminating the pension that was promised to hard working citizens of Detroit.

    To sign the petition or for more information visit Change.Org

    The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th Street in Chicago.

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