In the News
U-M grad employees on strike since Tuesday. The Graduate Employee Organization’s demands include the right to work remotely, extension of degree timelines and funding, transferring half the budget of the Division of Public Safety and Security to “community-based justice initiatives,” and cutting all ties with the AAPD and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. U-M says the strike violates the union’s contract and state law, however it did make an offer that the GEO rejected yesterday. Detroit News, Michigan Radio.
U-M steps up testing to 3,000 per week; launches Contact Tracing Corps. Beginning September 9 and running through November 30, the School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine, and University Health Service are ramping up testing to 3,000 individuals per week as part of a voluntary surveillance testing program on the Ann Arbor campus. The university is recruiting seventy-five student volunteers for the Contact Tracing Corps to reach out to members of the Ann Arbor campus community who have been exposed to individuals testing positive for Covid-19. Campus Housing has set aside 600 single rooms for Ann Arbor campus students who may need to be quarantined. The University Record.
Report finds racial disparities in Washtenaw County criminal charging, sentencing. Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw County (CREW), a volunteer civic group, examined case records for over 3,600 felony charges and found racial disparities in areas such as charging decisions, the use of the habitual offender designation, average convictions per case, and sentencing. They found that, in Washtenaw County, a person of color is from three to twenty nine times as likely to be charged with one of the eleven case categories than a white person. “We can hardly keep up with the overwhelmingly positive response from the community,” says Mary Ann Sarosi, founding member of CREW. The organization is hopeful that the report will lead to change, and “is in the process of reaching out to the county commissioners, the court, the prosecutor and the Michigan Supreme Court to set up zoom meetings to discuss the findings in Race to Justice.” Read the report here.
Covid-19 again closes the Argo and Gallup canoe liveries. The city-owned facilities, which closed for several weeks in July after two employees tested positive, closed again on Sunday, for cleaning after another positive test. This employee did not have close contact with the public, but anyone who visited the liveries on August 29, September 5, or September 6 is advised to self-monitor for symptoms. The Argo Cascades remain closed. a2gov.org.