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Letter to the Editors

Letter to the Editors

Along with article submissions from the community, What’s Left periodically receives messages of support from readers. If you’d like to submit a story idea, inquiry, or send a message you can reach issue 5 co-editors Amber and Desiraé at contact@whatsleftypsi.com or here. 7/5/2020 Hello, I…

Street Interviews at the 6/20/20 #BLM Action

Street Interviews at the 6/20/20 #BLM Action

interviews/editing/music by Isaac Levine, camera by Donald Harrison

On June 20th, Ayanna Bennett organized a Black Lives Matter demonstration in downtown Ypsilanti and highlighted that “#BLM is not a moment—its a movement.” What’s Left captured moments from the action and interviewed demonstrators in the street asking, “can you imagine an Ypsi without police?”…

An Injury to One is an Injury to All: Ask a Wobbly #1

An Injury to One is an Injury to All: Ask a Wobbly #1

Jason Bombach

I would be willing to bet you hate your job. You probably work too many hours, for terrible wages, and live one paycheck away from desperation. You might even be like me and have two or more jobs—that is if you’re lucky enough to have…

Timeline of Mayor Beth Bashert’s Pattern of Anti-Blackness

Timeline of Mayor Beth Bashert’s Pattern of Anti-Blackness

Brian Geiringer & Amber Fellows, with organizing help from Ruth Cassidy and other What's Left Contributors

Ypsilanti, Michigan Mayor Beth Bashert made national news on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, after video surfaced of her comment from the previous night’s City Council meeting (full video here). During a vote to reinstate Ka’Ron Gaines as a Human Relations Commissioner, Bashert states “since I…

Ward 3 City Council Seat Filled

Ward 3 City Council Seat Filled

Ruth Cassidy

Ypsilanti City Council voted on June 4, 2019 to appoint Annie Somerville to the vacant City Council seat in Ward 3. City Council’s process lacked transparency and did not reflect public constituent input. In-person interviews of candidates to fill the Ypsilanti Ward 3 City Council…

City Council Ticker 2

City Council Ticker 2

Racial Equity and Representation Since her inauguration on November 12, 2018, Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert has decided not to reinstate two Black city commissioners to their respective commissions. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Mayor Bashert has not nominated a single non-white Ypsilanti…

Black Commissioners Not Reappointed by Mayor

Black Commissioners Not Reappointed by Mayor

In Ypsilanti, the mayor has the sole power to nominate people to the city’s commissions. City commissions are government bodies made up of volunteers who make decisions that affect Ypsilanti. Some commissions merely advise City Council; others actually have the final decision-making power over city…

Collective bravery: #BLM protest in Ypsi

Collective bravery: #BLM protest in Ypsi

Interviews by Amber Fellows

June 6th was a hot day in Ypsilanti; a day when over a thousand people took to the streets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest domestic terrorism from the police. Upon entering downtown Ypsilanti it was difficult to miss the…

Comic

Comic

Dr. Ruby
Puzzle

Puzzle

Editor’s Note: None of the numbers can be zero!

Beautiful Gate ~ Interview with Theresa and Bonita

Beautiful Gate ~ Interview with Theresa and Bonita

Amory Zhou

It’s Saturday at Beautiful Gate Church in Ypsilanti. Families and individuals are lined up outside, coming in two-to-three at a time, to get groceries for the week. Many of the folks know one another––they may be neighbors, friends, or just people who see each other…

City Council Ticker 4

City Council Ticker 4

Brian Geiringer

City Boards and Commissions During discussion of a Human Relations Commission recommendation to increase diversity in board and commission appointments on Nov 5, Councilmember Somerville suggests creating a report of demographic information from city commissioners through a voluntary survey of commissioners.  In a 3-to-3 decision…

Publicly Funded Communal Housing

Publicly Funded Communal Housing

Jim Clark

A major concern for the at-risk community and homelessness-relief advocates is affordable housing. Access to shelter is extremely important for survival, especially in Michigan winters, and our county resources do a good job with the resources they have. The actual shelter itself may only help…

Action First: Organizing Against Gentrification in Ypsilanti — Interview with Sarah Schulman

Action First: Organizing Against Gentrification in Ypsilanti — Interview with Sarah Schulman

Interview between Sarah Schulman, Amber Fellows, Isaac Levine, and Bryan Foley Conversation transcribed by Karlie Ebersole Intro written by Isaac Levine
Privatization At EMU

Privatization At EMU

Colton Ray

Privatization hasn’t been spoken about much this year at EMU, at least in public. The administration, going from Housing and Residence Life staff all the way up to the Board of Regents, don’t even use the term. Instead, they prefer the term “partnership.” That way,…

Street Questions

Street Questions

Christine Gliha and Brian Geiringer

Despite the cold of late January, we hit the streets on a couple evenings to talk to folks who were out and about in Ypsilanti. Question 1: What will Ypsi look like in 2030? Question 2: Last Saturday, people gathered across the country for National…

8 Questions with Alize Asberry Payne

8 Questions with Alize Asberry Payne

Desiraé Simmons

Alize Asberry Payne is the first Washtenaw County Equity Officer. She started in her position in July 2019. Given the racial inequities between the 48197 & 48198 zip codes and the rest of the county, I wanted to learn more about how she will approach…

We Must Reject The Hate You Gave

We Must Reject The Hate You Gave

Desiraé Simmons Submitted by Julia Bayha

How many ways do I have to see  The hate you give? How many examples are enough So I may simply live? When can I cry uncle and you’ll agree I’ve paid a high enough price to finally be  Free? Where can I feel safe?…

Spring’s Symphony

Spring’s Symphony

SoulGalaxyGirl

What’s that wet, willing, wistful wind that’s dancing in the air? It’s Pisces! The season of empathy, fluidity, and bringing the symphony that we’ve been composing since last year’s Spring Equinox to a wonderful heart-wrenching climax. It’s fitting that this season is the realm that…

Barbara Rodman Obituary

Barbara Rodman Obituary

David & Gail Kuhnlein

Barbara Mahase Rodman (July 15, 1927 – November 22, 2019) “left the Fair” peacefully surrounded by family in her final days.  She used to have a dream many years ago that she spoke of often. She was at the fair and her son, Davey (1959-1977),…

Peace House

Peace House

by Sheri Wander and Lauren Tatarsky

The Catholic Worker Movement began in May 1933 when a journalist named Dorothy Day and a philosopher teamed up to publish and distribute a radical newspaper called “The Catholic Worker.” Grounded in the belief in the dignity of every person their movement committed itself to…

Street Questions

Street Questions

by Eddie Zhou, Brian Geiringer, and Aaron Apsey
Through the Dark to December

Through the Dark to December

by SoulGalaxyGirl

We may be approaching a sweet holiday season. I say this cautiously because I don’t want you to get too excited. Keep your expectations low, and stay grateful. Because last time I said Autumn would be amazing and….I dunno. Its kinda like predicting the weather…

The Lawn Police

The Lawn Police

by Alice Lesemann-Elliott

Members of the Ypsilanti community often struggle to meet their community’s standards for lawn maintenance. One renter described to me how her landlord had given her a lawnmower but refused to provide any other equipment, like a weed-whipper or hedge trimmer. So, she was forced…

KJ 2 KJ: Interview with Bill Ramsey, former karaoke host at Powell’s Pub

KJ 2 KJ: Interview with Bill Ramsey, former karaoke host at Powell’s Pub

by Amber Fellows, Issac Levine, Ruby Monceaux and Aaron Apsey
Governor to Appoint Local Judge

Governor to Appoint Local Judge

by Aaron Pall

Washtenaw County’s current judicial climate has been rocked by the news that 14A District Judge Richard Conlin decided to resign before his term would end next year, due to his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. The 2020 race for his seat has now been thrown into limbo…

City Council Ticker 3

City Council Ticker 3

compiled by Brian Geiringer

During public meetings of the Ypsi City Council and Commissions, there are various points at which members of the public are invited to speak. Individuals are typically allotted 3 minutes to speak near the beginning and end of the meeting. Audience Participation is a space…

Community

Community

Illustration by Becca Simmons