Submitted by Jennifer Kundak
With a crowd of 75 attendees, the city of Chelsea’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 21 was an impressive event.
Community members gathered in the city council chambers to sign a re-affirmation of a proclamation written in February 2012 showing the Chelsea area's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.
Chelsea resident Joanne Ladio welcomed the participants and introduced youth from SRSLY Chelsea, who read quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Andy Ingall, superintendent of Chelsea Schools, read the proclamation, which covers non-discrimination, equality, fair treatment of all citizens and visitors, and a proactive call to community action.
Some of the original signers of the document spoke, including: Police Chief Ed Toth, Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Pierce, Chelsea Library Director Bill Harmer, SRSLY Director Reiley Curran, and Washtenaw County Commissioner Kent Martinez-Kratz, who read a statement of support from state Rep. Gretchen Driskell.
Mayor Pro-Tem Cheri Albertson, council members Marcia White Parker and Dustin Suntheimer, were present, as well as city attorney Peter Flintoft.
Toth and Harmer both noted that their organization's mission statements directly supported the intent of the proclamation and that they are proud to serve all citizens. Pierce highlighted the positive business and economic impact of the greater awareness of this document’s existence.
The enthusiastic audience joined in a spirited sing along of Woodie Guthrie’s "This Land Is Your Land," led by local musician Bill Personke.
The framed proclamation with signatures will be displayed in a public building in Chelsea.