Benson and Wheeler to host community listening sessions

Civil Rights - set of scalesJUNE 5, 2020

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler announced today that they will participate in conversations and listening sessions in the months ahead in the disenfranchised Michigan communities that have had low turnout in elections historically.

“The tragic killing of George Floyd and countless others, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, and the ongoing inequities in our education, health care and criminal justice systems underscores the work we all must undertake to dismantle structural racism in our society,” Benson said. “The vote is one of the most powerful promises of equality in our democracy and as Michigan’s Secretary of State I am committed to ensuring every voice is heard and every vote is counted.”

Benson’s administration is reaching out to community leaders, including those affiliated with houses of worship, neighborhood associations and block clubs, government housing facilities, grassroots organizations, schools and more. Michiganders who would like to gather their communities for such a virtual conversation with Benson and Wheeler are encouraged to contact Zaineb A. Hussein at HusseinZ3@Michigan.gov.

“The greatness of America is revealed in our right to protest,” said Wheeler. “Now is the time for all people of goodwill to embrace and ensure the dream of America becomes real for everybody.”

Many of the voting precincts with the lowest turnout are located in Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Pontiac, Warren, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor and Benton Charter Township, but listening sessions will be held statewide as communities confirm interest.

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