Jack, I would like to thank you for your comments your Politics & Prejudices column ("Human rights and Royal Oak," MT, Feb 28-March 6). I'm a Royal Oak resident and have attended all the meetings regarding the Human Rights Ordinance. The fact that the HRO is going to a public vote doesn't surprise me, it's just disappointing. Regardless of what side of the issue the residents are on, they should be discontented with the way mayor Dennis Cowan handled this issue. He didn't do his job, instead he "passed the buck", (a move that was probably intended to keep from offending voters on either side of the issue). Putting the HRO up to a public vote is equivalent to letting a white community vote on the civil rights of a black minority. One can't help but wonder what would have happened in Royal Oak if Cowan had been mayor in the 60's. —Bill Calhoun, MIBilly@aol.com, Royal Oak
Great piece on Royal Oak ordinance; everything you said was right on and then some. Clear-thinking individuals will have some help from Triangle Foundation; we've dealt with this struggle successfully in the past and are at the service of the good people of Royal Oak to support and assist them in ensuring democracy. Thanks again for helping bend the "arc of the universe" toward justice. —Heather MacAllister, Field Organizer, Triangle Foundation, email@example.com, Detroit
Great job on the column! As a bisexual resident of Royal Oak who has had problems with my landlords, and as an employee of Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center, I've been outraged by this entire affair. Thanks for your great insight into the situation and for your efforts to bring this to the attention of others. Keep up the good work! —Bailey Mead, Volunteer Coordinator, Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ferndale
Same old story
Jack Lessenberry’s commentary on the proposed Royal Oak Human Rights Ordinance and the American Family Association made me laugh, but also brought back memories of our struggle in Ferndale. I have debated Gary Glenn, both in person and on the radio, and Lessenberry's comment that he "is eerily obsessed with gays" is so true. Many of his arguments against gay rights remind one of the arguments used to deny African-Americans and women full and equal rights. It's the same old stuff, different group. Meanwhile, the money that funds Glenn's activities keeps flowing in from Tupelo, Miss., while he continues to mislead and use tawdry tactics meant not to inform, but to scare and spread hate.
Marie Donigan, Royal Oak city commissioner, is indeed one of those rare city officials who eloquently advocates that her fellow commissioners lead rather than run. Chuck Goedert, Mayor of Ferndale, is another such elected official. He spoke eloquently at city council meetings in favor of the Ferndale ordinance and continually supports equal rights despite any political costs.
In spite of all the nastiness, we lost by only 117 votes out of almost 4,000 votes cast. I sincerely hope that the Royal Oak vote does not produce such a heartbreaking result. —W. Ann Warner, email@example.com, Ferndale
I would just like to thank Jack Lessenberry for the wonderful piece he did on the Royal Oak Human Rights Ordinance. I am a Royal Oak resident who is trying to get the ordinance passed, and everything he said in his piece was absolutely true, especially about the cowardice of Dennis Cowan, Tom Kuhn, Brett Tillander and Ilene Lanfear, the members of the Royal Oak City Commission who didn't possess the leadership skills to pass this ordinance. Hopefully, we will be able to get Royal Oak into the 21st century and pass this ordinance. With the help of commissioners Marie Donigan, Jeanne Sarnacki and Laura Harrison, and the help of the majority of Royal Oak residents who support this ordinance, I believe we will. There is one thing about the article I must point out. The vote will probably not be on May 1. There was some sort of snafu with Royal Oak government, and now it looks like the vote will not take place until May 15. — Kim Moon firstname.lastname@example.org, Royal Oak
Jack: As a regular reader of your column, I was especially pleased with your commentary on the Royal Oak ordinance. The barbs at Gary Glenn ("Mr. Peepers") were delicious. And for past insights on the political scene, its foibles, fractures, and flapdoodle — kudos! —Charles Alexander, Detroit
Last week’s news hits should have said that Detroit Minergy, LLC, is expected to take in 500 tons of daily sludge from the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage department.