Saturday, May 3, 2008

Coming Monday -- Rally for Justice

Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the All Saints sanctuary, the 13 member churches of ACTION of Greater Lansing will gather to rally for this year's issue of justice -- housing.

This is our chance to get prepared for the major event of the year, the Nehemiah Assembly on May 19 at Union Missionary Baptist Church. We will hear the results of the research team's work on questions of housing and the proposed action we will ask the city of Lansing to take on this issue.

Some things that have come to light during the research: Lansing does not license its landlords. So it is possible for a landlord to have a number of red-tagged houses and still be able to get permits to rent other properties. Also, there is no way for prospective tenants to effectively research their landlord's track record and find out if that landlord does not keep his or her property up to code. The issue of rental housing not meeting code becomes crucial when a renting family is evicted after a house is tagged. A large number of homeless families who go to the Red Cross arrive their after being evicted when their landlord's property is shut down.

Taking action on these issues in the city of Lansing is delicate and not without challenges. There are entrenched forces with an interest in keeping things as they are. We need the support of everyone who cares about our capital city and its residents to come out and show -- simply by your presence at these two events -- that the faith community cares about this issue and will not keep silent on it.

Plan to join us in the sanctuary Monday night at 6:30, and mark your calendars for May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Union Missionary Baptist Church.

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