Editor’s note: Flint, MI resident Lela McGee-Harvey, co-founder, Operation Unification Inc/Village, passionately spoke truth to power to elected officials at the Flint City Council after Gov. Rick Snyder informed the city that the state would end its payment to Flint for water credits at the end of February. This meant skyrocketing bills for water that we in Flint STILL cannot use. What’s more, bond payments for an unfinished KWA water pipeline began in January. Here are excerpts from her presentation:
“For the last 40 years in this place called Flint and Genesee County, MI, those who we’ve elected have chosen to serve themselves and the blood-sucking stakeholders of this city.
This is why there are two Flints and our assets are hijacked. Forty percent of the people are poor. Some of the state’s largest foundations are in our city while areas of Flint look like a Third World country.
Our elected officials and leaders chose to do the work of iniquitous people, while the real criminals remain like vampires in dark caves and buffered.
We are not a blind and dim-witted community. Out grandmothers and grandfathers told us to think for ourselves. Let us mention the number of African Americans they used in fulfilling their agenda. What man or woman who lives in a discriminative community can tolerate working for a discriminative organization? This is a sickness.
Our community is being devoured and sliced by the stakeholders and Gov. Snyder with the consent of our elected officials’ participation. Bear witness with me.
Ask yourself: When was the last time you were able to cast a vote that would change someone’s impoverished lifestyle? You know what your community needs, but on the night before the election, you receive a request to change your vote, knowing that a vote with integrity alleviates the pressure of the voiceless. So, the poor become poorer.
Speak truth to power. Most of your votes and energy are for the stakeholders’ control of this city.
When was the last time we were able to vote with integrity, to inquire, or to stand up for the grandmother who has no strength? But that grandmother found the strength to stand in the cold to vote you into your seat. You have misused her.
What have you done for the people in your ward? A hot dog give away don’t count! Your ward is not developed or invested in is because your vote and position has been coopted. You can’t negate the master’s plan which does not have the North or East Side in it.What legacy will you leave? You have become comfortable collecting a check and insurance while leaving the grandmother and young child with nothing.
Why do the people have to encourage you to point out the wrong the stakeholders are doing? Isn’t it your oath to do this?
We see through all the elected officials. And the saddest aspect is that many of you misuse the people and claim God in the next breath.
The destruction of this city is on the hands of our elected officials and leaders. Silence is the new extermination and displacement of the poor.
I know there is good in each of you, but fear has created two personalities, two faces for you spiritually. Look at yourself in the mirror. If you don’t have the courage as an elected official, organization, or pastor to serve the people, then resign. You took an oath to serve, not manipulate their trust.
We are sick and tired and tired of being mentally and physically sick!