Michigan Campaign Builds for Sept. 17 Moratorium March; Prospects for Labor
After activists stop eviction
Campaign builds for moratorium march
By Kris Hamel
Published Sep 1, 2008 12:10 AM
Momentum is building for the Sept. 17 march on the State Capitol in
Lansing, Mich. The action will demand immediate passage of SB 1306, a
two-year foreclosure moratorium bill introduced in the State Senate. The
bill would give immediate relief to tens of thousands of working
families throughout Michigan.
Sponsored by State Sen. Hansen Clarke, SB 1306 would put a two-year halt
on sheriff sales and foreclosure redemption periods for those about to
lose their homes. Under the proposed law, courts would set reasonable
payment plans for homeowners, based in part on their income and ability
Activists with the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and
Evictions have begun a campaign to force State Sen. Randy Richardville,
chair of the State Senate Banking and Financial Services Committee and
vice-chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Regulatory
Reform, to move the bill out of the banking committee where it has
languished since its introduction last spring.
Organizers sent Richardville a certified letter on Aug. 19 requesting
that he immediately begin public hearings on SB 1306 and hear testimony
from those most affected by the foreclosure crisis. They requested that
Richardville convene a mass public hearing on Sept. 17, when hundreds of
moratorium activists and foreclosure victims will be at the Capitol.
Coalition organizers asked Richardville to respond to their letter in
writing within seven days. If no satisfactory response is forthcoming,
they plan to step up the struggle for public hearings with
demonstrations, e-mail blitzes and other tactics. Stated one activist,
“On Sept. 17 in Lansing there will be a public outpouring of support for
SB 1306. Richardville and the other politicians won’t be able to ignore
the people’s voice.”
Activists and family savor victory
On Aug. 22, Coalition activists and community supporters gathered at the
home of Rubie Curl-Pinkins on Holden Street in Detroit. They celebrated
the hard-fought victory that saved Ms. Pinkins’ home from foreclosure by
Countrywide Bank. After two militant demonstrations in late July,
including one outside Countrywide’s parent company, Bank of America, in
downtown Detroit, the lender was forced to back down and stop the
foreclosure and eviction of this disabled senior and her family.
At the front-yard victory rally and press conference, Nikki Curl, Ms.
Pinkins’ daughter, thanked everyone for the support and dedication shown
in the struggle to save her mother’s home. Coalition activists also
spoke about various aspects of the moratorium campaign. Many reiterated
that it was the people united in struggle that prevented a huge
corporation from stealing Ms. Pinkins’ home and how this fight must
continue until all foreclosures are stopped.
Coalition activists are planning to do major outreach and literature
distributions on Labor Day weekend in Detroit and elsewhere in Michigan.
Organizer Kim Greene reports that the Coalition’s office at Central
United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit is abuzz with activity. In
addition to making phone calls, faxing, e-mailing and updating mailing
lists, activists go out daily to pass out leaflets and frequently hold
demonstrations at 36th District Court, a foreclosure mill that
rubberstamps the banks’ and lenders’ theft of people’s homes.
Much needed donations can be sent to the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, 23
E. Adams, 4th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226. Volunteers can stop by the
office during the week from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To get involved in
this struggle and for bus information from Detroit to the Sept. 17
action in Lansing, call 313-887-4344 or visit Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions in Michigan