Detroit Branch of NAACP speaks out on emergency financial manager potential in Detroit

Rev. Wendell Anthony: 'This is simply another exercise in futility'

Rev. Anthony from the Detroit Branch of the NAACP
Rev. Anthony from the Detroit Branch of the NAACP

DETROIT – On Tuesday Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, addressed the potential appointment of an emergency financial manager in Detroit.

During the press conference he said public officials are ignoring the 2.3 million people who voted against Public Act 4 on November's ballot.

Anthony says the Detroit NAACP was a major coalition partner in the effort to collect signatures and helped to successfully repeal the act.

Proposal 1, also known as Public Act 4, failed at the polls. However, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder later signed a replacement law into place.

The new version gives several options to communities in a financial emergency, including accepting a manager, going into bankruptcy or going through mediation.

"There is no way, there is absolutely no way an emergency manager is going to come into the city of Detroit and within a period of 18 months, resolve what has taken 50 to 100 years to develop," said Anthony. "If the government of Michigan is not willing to bring financial resources to Detroit, to eliminate barriers that prevent city officials from carrying out their fiscal responsibilities, or from raising new revenue, or pay the money the city is already due, if the government is not willing to partner with the city as opposed to taking over the city, then this is simply another exercise in futility."

Anthony said an EFM is not the way to bring Detroit back to greatness.

"While there may be a financial manager in many areas, we do not need an emergency manager here. Detroit needs individuals who can manage every emergency," he said.

Anthony called on the state to "do some serious thinking" before the simplest answer is chosen for the city. He said he hopes the state will be a partner not an overseer in Detroit.

Read: Snyder: EFM decision for Detroit may come next week

Snyder has 30 days to make a decision and announce a plan moving forward in Detroit.