Pledge to Foster Welcoming Communities

Pledge-600x167Our country has long been a melting pot, opening its doors to people of all races, religions, and national origins who want to purse the American dream. Michigan has been part of that proud tradition. Indeed, creating welcoming communities is one of the major tenets of the League’s placemaking initiative. We know that Michigan communities are more successful when they foster an engaging, friendly, and inclusive place.

In recent times, world events have put our inclusive nature to the test. Arab refugees and those of the Muslim faith, in particular, have been the subject of disturbing comments and hateful actions.

“This country was built and made strong with the success of immigrants from all over the world,” said Jim Ellison, mayor of Royal Oak. “Many of those now expressing concern about potential immigrants settling in Michigan are forgetting that they, themselves, are here most likely due to the immigration of their ancestors. I believe that new people with new ideas are vital to keep our society moving forward. I abhor the condemning of all due to the actions of a few. Let’s keep our doors open to all those looking for a better life.”

To counteract these negative actions, Welcoming Michigan and Take on Hate – organizations that work with immigrants and refugees – have launched the “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge. They are encouraging Michigan elected officials to take the pledge by Jan. 8 as a sign of respect for Michigan’s diverse communities.

Many Michigan officials – ranging from councilmembers to mayors to State Representatives – have already signed the pledge.

“Signing the Stand Strong, Respect Michigan Pledge was a proud moment as an elected official representing the diverse city of Taylor,” said Alex Garza, Taylor councilmember. “We must always be welcoming and accepting as a state and country. This country was founded on inclusion and acceptance and we must remind each other of this, especially our elected leaders. Divisiveness and exclusion have no room in Michigan and we must continue to push back on bigotry throughout our state.”

See a partial list below of pledge-signers below. For more information on the “Stand Strong, Respect Michigan” pledge, click here


Mariam Bazzi, Trustee, Board of Education, Dearborn Public Schools
Steve Bieda, State Senate, 9th District
Michael Bridges, Council Member, City of Farmington Hills
Sabra Briere, Council Member, City of Ann Arbor
Julie Brixie, Treasurer, Meridian Township
Raquel Castañeda-López, Council Member, City of Detroit
Stephanie Chang, State Representative, 6th District
Angela Croft, Council Chair Pro-Tem, City of Taylor
George T. Darany, State Representative
Vincent Delgado, Council Member, City of Lansing
Sharlan Douglas, City Commissioner, City of Royal Oak
Kyle DuBuc, City Commissioner, City of Royal Oak
Jim Ellison, Mayor, City of Royal Oak
Kaytee Faris, City Commissioner, City of Battle Creek
Pam Faris, State Representative, 48th District
Kate Flores, City Commissioner, City of Battle Creek – Ward 3
Mike Fournier, City Commissioner, City of Royal Oak
Alex Garza, Council Member, City of Taylor
Erika Geiss, State Representative, 12th District
Marcia Gershenson, County Commissioner, Oakland County
Nathan Grajek, School Board Trustee, Battle Creek Public Schools
Julie Grand, Council Member, City of Ann Arbor – 3rd Ward
Christine Greig, State Representative, 37th District
Vanessa Guerra, State Representative, 95th District
George Heartwell, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
Andy Helmboldt, City Commissioner, City of Battle Creek
Hoon-Yung Hopgood, State Senator, 6th District
Marcia Hovey-Wright, State Representative, 92nd District
Adam Hussain, Council Member, City of Lansing – 3rd Ward
Richard Hyska, Housing Commissioner, Hamtramck
Jeff Irwin, State Representative, 53rd District
Dan Kildee, Member of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, Mihigan – 5th District
Carol N. Koenig, County Commissioner, Ingham County
David Knezek, State Senator, 5th District
David LaGrand, School Board Member, Grand Rapids Public Schools
Mary Lane, Vice President/Secretary of Dearborn Board of Education, Trustee of Henry Ford Community College
Jeremy Mahrle, City Commissioner, City of Royal Oak
Karen Majewski, Mayor, City of Hamtramck
Evan Major, Vice President, Board of Education, Hamtramck Public Schools
Roxanne McDonald, Board of Education, Dearborn Public Schools
Brian McGrain, County Commissioner, Ingham County
John Meade, Trustee/Board Member, Board of Education, Dearborn Public Schools
Fred Miller, County Commissioner, Macomb County
Jeremy Moss, State Representative, 35th District
Kristy Pagan, State Representative, 21st District
Julie Plawecki, State Representative, 11th District
Yousef Rabhi, County Commissioner, Washtenaw County
Sam Singh, State Representative, 69th District
Conan Smith, County Commissioner, Washtenaw County
Andre L. Spivey, Council Member, City of Detroit
Jim Townsend, State Representative, 26th District
Rebekah Warren, State Senator,18th District
Jody Washington, Council Member, City of Lansing – 1st Ward
Elizabeth Welch, School Board Trustee, City of East Grand Rapids
Robert Wittenberg, State Representative, 27th District
Carol Wood, Council Member, City of Lansing – At Large
Dave Woodward, County Commissioner, Oakland County
Kevin Wordelman, County Commissioner, Kalamazoo County – District 2
Jessica Yorko, Council Member, City of Lansing – 4th Ward
Helaine Zack, County Commissioner, Oakland County