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May 10, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-05-10

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Page 4-Wednesday, May 10, 1978-The Michigan Daily

2michigan DAILY
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M. 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII. No. 6-S News Phone: 764-0552
Wednesday, May 10, 1978
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Geralds' fate
up to the people
L ATER THIS WEEK the state House will
decide whether or not to oust Rep. Monte
Geralds (D-Madison Heights) because of an em-
bezzlement conviction in March. Those who seek
Geralds' removal claim that his conviction tar-
nishes the image and undermines the credibility
of the House-but this misses the -oint.
Geralds was convicted of embezzling $24,000
from a law client several years before he was elec-
ted. There is no evidence that the House has in
any way been compromised by Gerald's actions
as a represenative, so it is not for the House to
decide whether or not he should remain in office.
On the contrary, the voters in Geralds' district
have been injured. They were not aware of the
embezzlement when they elected him, and since
he has been convicted, the voters deserve a chan-
ce to rescind or reaffirm their support. The law
provides the voters with this opportunity. They
may launch a recall drive. If his constituents can
garner enough signatures they can force a recall
election in which they may vote him out of office.
If the constituents are not sufficiently outraged
by Geralds' conviction to initiate ia recall drive,
then it is not the House's place to decide the mat-
ter. Geralds is the elected official of the people of
Madison Heights. Since he has committed no
crime while in office he has done no disserv-
ice to the legislature. He is guilty only
of embezzlement and of failing to provide his con-
stituents with all the relevant information about
himself prior to his election. If he is to be punished
for the second offense, it should be done by the
voters, not the legislators.
It is the fundamental right of the people of
Madison Heights to choose their own represen-
tatives, and as state law provides, they are not
prohibited from electing someone who has been
convicted of a felony provided it was a private
crime, and not a violation of the public trust. In
short, if the voters want Geralds they may keep
him and if not, only they should expel him.
SPRING EDITORIAL STAFF
BARBARAZAHS
Editorin-Chief
RICHARD BERKE KEN PARSIGIAN
Editorial Directors
JEFFREY SELBST
Magazine Editor
OWEN GLEIBERMAN
Arts Editor
ANDYFREEBERG
JOHN KNOX
PETER SERLING
Photographers
STAFF WRITERS: Mike Arkush, Rene Becker, Brian Blanchard, Eisa Isaac-
son, DanOberdorfer, Tom O'Connell,Judy Rakowsky, R.J. Smith
SPORTSSTAFF
BOB MILLER.................Sports Editor
PAUL CAMPBELL. . . . ..Executive Sports Editor
HENRY ENGELHARDT ............. ... ..Es uttive Spo rts Editor
CUB SCHWARTZ........................EsecoiveSorts Editor
Gory Kicinski, Geoff Larcom, Brian Martin, Dan Perrin. Dave Renbarger, Jamie
Turner.BoWarren
Cx IGHT EDITORS
A ISTANT NIGH EDITORS

Tenan

By Stephen Hersh
The Ann Arbor tenants' move-
ment is on the go.
About 70 percent of the city's
voters recognized the problems
of local tenants and cast their
ballots in favor of tenants' rights,
when the "Truth in Renting" and
"Fair Rental Information"
proposals were passed into law
April 3. The landslide election
victory proved two important
things: that the citizens of Ann
Arbor are ready for action to
solve the city's housing crisis,
and that the tenants of Ann Arbor
are capable of recommending
concrete solutions to their
problems and seeing to it that
these solutions are implemented.
THE PASSAGE of "Truth in
Renting" and "Fair Rental In-
formation" will have an impor-
tant, positive effect for tenants.
The two new laws will spread in-
formation about tenants' legal
rights, and will clear up miscon-
ceptions tenants commonly have
about their rights.
But the two laws are only a
beginning. The problems in the
local housing market run very
deep, and it will take much more
citizen action to solve the
problems completely.
What are the problems local
tenants face? There are three
basic ones: rents are too high,
houses and apartments are too
scarce, and the quality of the
city's housing is too low. And
there is hard statistical data
proving that in Ann Arbor, each
of these three housing problems
have reached emergency propor-
tions. (For a look at some of the
statistics, see box.)
HOW CAN LOCAL people help

ts still fighting
fight the housing crisis? One of people just willing to learn.
the best methods is to join the In order for CBH to become a
Coalition for Better Housing permanent part of the local
(CBH), the group which spon- community, the group needs a
sored the "Truth in Renting" concerned membership. Without
and "Fair Rental Information" continued and increasing support
campaign. from students and other local
CBH built up a strong cam- residents, change in the city's
paign organization during the housing situation will be im-
election battle. But now, the possible. And the housing crisis
group is seeking to broaden its will be with us as long as the
base by recruiting larger num- housing market is aimed at
Facts about the Ann Arbor Housing Crisis
" HIGH COST OF HOUSING: When the last U.S. Census figures
on the subject were taken, Ann Arbor's median rent was 72 per-
cent higher than the national median. The figure is now higher
than 72 percent-but we don't know how much higher.
" SCARCITY OF HOUSING: Fewer than 0.6 percent of the ren-
tal housing in the central city area was vacant, when the most
recent figures were taken by the University's Off-Campus
Housing Office last winter. But the federal Department of
Housing and Urban Development says that a minimum vacancy
rate of 7 percent-over ten times the Ann -Arbor figure-is
needed to give tenants the freedom of choice necessary for a
healthy housing market.
" POOR QUALITY OF HOUSING: Almost every building in
Ann Arbor violates the government's minimum health and
safety standards, and 35 to 50 percent of the city's housing has
serious fire and safety hazards, according to the city's director
of Building and.Safety Engineering. BSE director George Gard-
ner made these statements before the Mayor's Fair Rental
Practices Committee on December 3, 1975.

bers of people who care about
Ann Arbor's housing crisis and
want to help solve it. CBH needs
all kinds of members-people
who are willing to do volunteer
work, or people who just want to
join to show their support; people
with experience in political
groups, or newcomers to politics;
people with special skills in
writing, artwork, political
organizing, or economics, or

generating profits, instead of
meeting people's needs.
Join CBH, by calling 994-0555.
Stephen Hersh is com-
munity education director for
the Michigan Student Assem-
bly Housing Law Reform
Project.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Demonstration was in order

To The Daily:
The Daily, in criticizing the
demonstration that occurred at
commencement while Mondale
was speaking, misses the impor-
tance of the demonstration.
At a time when the people of
Africa are rising up, when the
liberation forces in Zimbabwe
(Rhodesia) control 95 percent of
the countryside, and when armed
guerrilla warfare has begun in
South Africa (as reported in the
Daily May 5), we see a sudden
"reversal" of long-time U.S. sup-
port of apartheid and white
minority rule:
CARTER, MONDALE and
Vance are scurrying all over to
negotiate a "compromise" bet-
ween the liberation fighters and
the reactionary governments
that would allow the U.S. im-
perialists to continue their ex-
ploitation and oppression of the
African people. This "new"
policy is just new patches on old
rags-and has only come because
of the heroic struggles of the
African people.
For the demonstrators to stay
quietly and politely outside while
Mondale had full freedom inside
to run his speech-the main point
of which was how much the U.S.
rlers.are -cowerned about the

injustice and inequality that exist pressed South African workers
both in the U.S. and around the were exploited to help pay our
world (specifically mentioning bills. Graduation could not have
Africa), to say we stand with the been a "happy event" for this
African people as long as it reason, unless you are selfish,
"doesn't offend anyone" (in- racist, or failed to make an im-
cluding Mopdale! ), is to back portant connection; part of any
down from the necessary fight to University of Michigan education
expose the U.S. rulers as the is possible because others were
common source of oppression in denied theirs.
Africa and here in the U.S. IT IS CLEAR from your
The demonstration was not the editorial that you are indeed
"childishness" of a few, but the hypocrites. Your choice of the
determined action of a growing word "immoral" to describe the
number of students and others investments sounds hollow after
who are not afraid of the con- you paraphrase Fleming's defen-
troversy that ensues when bold se of dissent. This is a man who
action is taken, profits from oppression, but when
-Revolutionary Communist he pays lip service to dissent you
Youth Brigade conveniently forget his "im-
moral" practices. Rather than
To The Daily: applaud him, he should be booed
As one of the participants in and hissed offstage and out of his
Saturday's demonstration at position.
Crisler, I would like to respond to It was not, as you suggest, that
the editorial that found us "out of we wanted attention. We were
order." and we remain outraged by
It should be made clear that it American imperialism. We want
was not the protestors who an end to it. We are not trouble-
marred graduation; it was some makers; we are trouble-shooters.
of the so-called dignitaries on the If we "antagonize" or seem
stage. Because of them, no "childish" and "out of order" it is
student could say, "I put myself because we do not respect
through college" neparent could ,legalized cr' genor, the thieves
say,."paid allthe'expenses wIh pcac5ticQ
happened differently because-o . - . :, ,;rKe n Kpight ke

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