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More than 100 Michigan elected officials pledge to stand against hate

Posted on December 08, 2016








More than 100 elected officials across Michigan have signed a pledge to take a stand against hate and discrimination. The “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” recommitment pledge is a project of Welcoming Michigan, TAKE ON HATE, Mothering Justice, and the office of State Representative Stephanie Chang.

“Elected officials across the state have recommitted themselves during this time as our state and country experience a rise in hate incidents in schools, on college campuses, and in our communities,” said Christine Sauve, Senior Program Coordinator for Welcoming Michigan. “There were 40 incidents reported in Michigan. This was the highest in the Midwest, and sixth highest in the nation.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, over 867 harassment or intimidation incidents took place in the ten days after the November election, including anti-Black, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT and other forms of harassment. There were 40 incidents reported in Michigan.

In December 2015, Welcoming Michigan and TAKE ON HATE launched the “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge. In light of disturbing comments made at the national level regarding Arabs, refugees and those of Muslim faith, and the growing number of hate incidents targeting Muslim individuals and mosques, these organizations asked elected officials in Michigan to take the “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge. Over 100 elected officials signed the pledge. The recommitment pledge was launched in November 2016 by these two organizations as well as Mothering Justice, as the organizations noticed a rise in hate incidents.

"Hostility toward Arabs, Muslims and those perceived to be is escalating following this year’s election,” said Nadia El-Zein Tonova, Director of the National Network of Arab American Communities, which leads TAKE ON HATE. “Anti-Arab and Muslim incidents and sentiment not only create an atmosphere of fear, but go against our American values of freedom and justice. Now is the time for our elected officials to demonstrate real leadership and speak up in solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans, and all who are being vilified. They must also voice their opposition to Islamophobia and xenophobia, rather than remain silent. Now, more than ever, we must come together to uphold the American ideals of equality and community."

“Elected officials must lead the way in setting a standard of respect for all of Michigan’s diverse communities regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration or refugee status, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other social identity,” said Stephanie Chang, State Representative (D-6). “We asked Michigan’s elected officials to recommit their support for inclusive communities and to stand against hate by taking the pledge, and they have resoundingly answered the call. Many of us are very concerned about HCR 28, a resolution being considered by the House Local Government Committee. It is based on erroneous assumptions about refugees and the very thorough screening process.”

“This pledge is a way for us as elected officials to stand together across the state, and make clear there is a community of people and leaders who care for and are willing to stand and fight for inclusion of all members of our diverse communities and that we will not tolerate or accept the normalization of hate and discrimination,” said Kate Flores, Battle Creek City Commissioner.

The “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge reads:

“I pledge to stand against hate and discrimination and affirm that Michigan should be a welcoming state for all.

I am proud of Michigan’s diversity. I recognize that at every level of American society, people of all backgrounds contribute to our democracy, culture and economy. We must advance the basic principles upon which the United States was founded, establishing the equality and dignity of all people regardless of their background.

I condemn any attacks on, harassment of, or intimidation of individuals or places of worship that are based on race, ethnicity, immigration or refugee status, religion, sexual orientation, or other social identities. From our schools to our neighborhoods and our city halls, Michigan must be a place that respects all of our diverse communities.”

The full list of signers of the pledge is included below.


Christine Sauve (734) 845-8695
Stephanie Chang (313) 806-2466


Welcoming Michigan works to foster more welcoming and inclusive communities by promoting mutual respect and cooperation among foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans.

TAKE ON HATE—led by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), an ACCESS institution—addresses bigotry and discrimination, particularly toward Arab and Muslim Americans, and stands against hate toward all people.

Mothering Justice works to improve the lives of Michigan families by equipping the next generation of mother activists.


Signers of “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” Recommitment Pledge
December 7, 2016

Zachary Ackerman - City Council, Member Ann Arbor
Alphonso Amos - City Council Member, Port Huron
Sarah Anthony- County Commissioner, Ingham County
John Austin - President, State Board of Education
Janeé Ayers - City Councilwoman, Detroit, At-Large
Beth Bashert - City Councilmember, Ypsilanti, Ward 2
Mariam Bazzi - Trustee,  Dearborn Board of Education
Steve Bieda - State Senator, 9th District
Rosalynn Bliss - Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
Michael Bridges - City Councilmember, Farmington Hills
Winnie Brinks - State Representative, 76th District
Julie Brixie - Treasurer, Meridian Township
Marlon Brown - Mayor Pro Tem, City of Mason
Raquel Castañeda-López - City Councilmember, Detroit, 6th District
Stephanie Chang - State Representative,  6th District
Edward Clements - City Commissioner, Bay City
Ian Conyers - State Senator, 4th District
Angela Croft - Council Chair, Pro Tem Taylor
George Darany - State Representative, 15th District
Mitch Doig - School Board, River Rouge
Gretchen Driskell - State Representative, 52nd House District
Kyle DuBuc - City Commissioner, Royal Oak
Michael Duggan - Mayor, City of Detroit
Amanda Edmonds - Mayor, City of Ypsilanti
Jim Ellison - State Representative Elect, 26th District
Kaytee Faris - City Commissioner, Battle Creek
Pam Faris - State Representative, 48th District
Michelle Fecteau - Michigan State Board of Education, Secretary Michigan
Kate Flores - City Commissioner, City of Battle Creek
Sommer Foster - Township Trustee, Canton Township
Latanya Garrett - State Representative, 7th District
Alex Garza - City Councilman, City of Taylor
Erika Geiss - State Representative, 12th District
Marcia Gershenson - County Commissioner, 13th District
Anne Marie Graham-Hudak - Township Trustee, Canton Township
Nathan Grajek - School Board Trustee, Battle Creek Public Schools
Julie Grand - City Council Member, City of Ann Arbor
Patrick Green - State Representative, 28th District
Christine Greig - State Representative, 37th District
Vanessa Guerra- State Representative, 95th district
Abdullah Hammoud - State Representative-Elect, 15th District
Fadwa Hammoud - Board of Education, Trustee Dearborn
Michael Hanley - County Board Chair, Saginaw County
Brian Hartwell - Mayor, City of Madison Heights
Andy Helmboldt - City Commissioner, Battle Creek
Jon Hoadley State Representative 60th District
Hoon-Yung Hopgood State Senator 6th District
Tina Houghton City Council, Ward Rep City of Lansing
Marcia Hovey Wright State Representative 92nd District
Adam Hussain City Council Lansing, Third Ward
Roland Hwang Trustee Northville Schools
James Irving City Commissioner Bay City, 5th Ward
Jeff Irwin State Representative 53rd District
Jeff Jenks City Commissioner Huntington Woods
Brandon Jessup Secretary Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy
for Social Justice
Bertram Johnson State Senator 2nd District
Jewell Jones State Representative-Elect 11th District
Brenda Jones City Council President Detroit, At-Large
Marilyn Kelly Board Member, Wayne State University Board of Trustees
David Knezek State Senator 5th District
David LaGrand State Representative 75th District
Mary Lane President Dearborn Board of Education
Gabe Leland City Councilman Detroit, 7th District
Sandy Levin U.S. Congressman 9th District
Leslie Love State Representative 10th District
Evan Major Vice President, Board of Education, Hamtramck Public Schools
Marian McClellan Mayor Oak Park
Brian McGrain County Commissioner Ingham County, 10th District
Mike McGuinness School Board Trustee Pontiac School District
Andy Meisner Oakland County Treasurer Oakland County
Mark Miller Clerk Kalamazoo Charter Township
Fred Miller County Commissioner Macomb County, 9th District
Kathleen Moore Board of Education Lakeview School District
Jeremy Moss State Representative 35th District
Pete Murdock City Councilman City of Ypsilanti
Andrew Niedzinski Commissioner 3rd Ward Bay City
Kristy Pagan State Representative 21st District
Yousef Rabhi County Commissioner Washtenaw County
Sarah Roberts State Representative 18th District
Michael T. Sareini City Councilman Dearborn
Andy Schor State Representative 68th District
Mary Sheffield City Councilmember Detroit, 5th District
Michael Siegrist Clerk Canton
Sam Singh State Representative 69th District
Jacqueline Slaby School Board Member Battle Creek Public Schools
Chip Smith City Councilman Ann Arbor
Conan Smith County Commissioner Washtenaw County
Steven Sneideman Trustee Canton Township
Ronald Styka Township Supervisor Meridian Charter Township
James Tate City Councilmember Detroit, 1st District
Christopher Taylor Mayor Ann Arbor
Lamar Tidwell Mayor Ecorse
Jessica Unangst School Board New Lothrop
Daniel Vogt City Councilmember Ypsilanti
Rebekah Warren State Senator 18th District
Elizabeth Welch School Board Trustee East Grand Rapids
Barbara Winter Library Board Member Hazel Park
Robert Wittenberg State Representative 27th District
Carol Wood Councilmember At-Large City of Lansing
Kevin Wordelman County Commissioner Kalamazoo County
Henry Yanez State Representative 25th District
Adam Zemke State Representative 55th District