Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 29, 1987
Cities try to restore Reagan budget cuts
(Continued from Page 1)
cases: Reagan administration cuts in city
revenue sharing funds, and grants for low-
income city residents.
The council occasionally debates foreign
policy resolutions on issues such as South
Africa and Central America that are introduced
by individual members. In October 1985, for
example, the council urged the city's Pension
Board to divest its funds from companies doing
business with South Africa.
Last August, after a long debate, the board
approved a plan calling for full divestment
within 36 months.
Central American and arms control issues
have appeared on the ballot in recent city
elections after local activist groups collected the
necessary signatures required by the city
charter. In 1985, voters defeated a "nuclear free
zone" proposal that would have prohibited all
nuclear weapons research within city limits.
Last spring, voters overwhelmingly author-
ized the creation of a task force to establish a
"sister city" in Juigalpa, Nicaragua. The task
force has recently become politicized, as
members have endorsed protests against U.S.
support of the Contra rebels.
A similar ballot proposal in Detroit,
however, ran into legal problems. The
proposal, intended for the November 1984 city
elections, would have authorized two resol-
utions urging the Reagan administration to end
its defense buildup and "cease all forms of
military assistance to Central America."
The Wayne County Election Commission
refused to certify the resolutions on the grounds
/that Central America was not a proper
municipal issue, and the resolutions were kept
6ff the ballot. In response, the city of Detroit
brought a lawsuit to Circuit Court challenging
the election commission's authority. Last July,
the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the
Ann Arbor City Attorney Bruce Laidlaw said
he would have raised legal questions about Ann
Arbor's Nicaragua ballot proposals if this case
had been decided earlier. Although future ballot
proposals could face serious obstacles, city
council resolutions pose no legal problems,
Laidlaw said Ann Arbor has never developed
an official city policy on discussing national
issues, though they have proved "a source of
endless debate over the years."
City Councilmember Jeannette Middleton
(R-Third Ward) thinks the debate is a waste of
time. "I don't think I was elected to take care of
foreign policy. I was elected to take care of
things that directly affect Ann Arbor,"
Middleton said. "I don't feel qualified to vote on
issues that are best decided in Washington."
Middleton said the council's busy agenda
should preclude even limited discussion of
national and foreign policy topics, though she
still considers them important. "I don't want to
go to war. I don't approve in my own mind the
tremendous amount we spend on defense...but I
just don't think this is appropriate for city
council to discuss," she said.
"The city council passing a nuclear test ban
resolution is not going to make any impression
on the federal government," Middleton said.
Council Democrats, however, insist that
resolutions can have a more subtle "incremental
effect" and can help galvanize opposition to
federal policies. Councilmember Jeff Epton (D-
Third Ward), who proposed the test ban
resolution, said its overall impact must be
measured in the context of anti-nuclear move-
ments and demonstrations throughout the
"Just because we speak out doesn't mean I
expect everything to change tomorrow," Epton
Democrats pointed out that the Reagan
administration's huge military buildup has
produced direct local consequences: cuts in
funding of city programs.
Last spring, Congress did not renew the
federal revenue sharing program, which had
provided direct grants to cities. Amounts were
based on a formula involving the city's
population and tax base.
Assistant City Administrator Donald Mason
said this will mean cuts in fire and police
protection in next year's city budget. And city
officials confirmed that federal Community
Development Block Grants, which aid low-
income residents, have declined 38 percent under
the Reagan administration.
Although lobbying by Mayor Pierce did not
prevent these cuts, cities in general are proving
more successful in influencing domestic policy
at the national level, primarily through Con -
"Cities want to become involved in all kinds
of issues, and they're doing it. This is a big
trend," said Phil Kennedy, an official in the
Office of Inter-Governmental Affairs in
Kennedy said global economic trends have
had a tangible impact on local economies, such
as Japanese competition forcing American steel
mills to shut down. He said this forces
investment and trade decisions into "a wider
University Political Science Prof. Jack
Walker, who specializes in American politics,
said cities have mobilized to influence the
federal government at an unprecedented level
over the past 30 years.
Walker attributed the trend to the federal
government's expanded role in financing local
programs that began with the Kennedy
administration. Increased dependence on federal
grants forced cities to fight back when the
grants were threatened by the Reagan adminis-
Cities have far more influence on domestic
issues than on foreign policy, Walker said.
Group urges faculty to aid Nicaraguan colleges
(Continued from Page 1)
both cities and to raise public
awareness about Central America.
The U.S. currently supports
rebel forces trying to overthrow the
government of Nicaragua, which
took power in 1979. Critics of the
administration policy say that
Nicaraguans are much better off
under the Sandinista government
than they were under the Somoza
Somoza loyalists make up much
of the rebel army that is trying to
overthrow the Sandinistas.
The group's action was
prompted by information presented
by Barbara Kritt, a graduate student
in sociology who taught statistics
and research methods to professors
at the National Autonomous
University in Managua for seven
Kritt said supplies for the
colleges are desperately needed -
"the more basic the better... any
kind of material you can think of
- like paper, chalk, and erasers -
are all scarce."
Another common problem at
Nicaraguan colleges is a shortage of
faculty, which forces universities to
hire foreign teachers and local
students to teach courses.
Alexander hopes to set up a
faculty exchange program with
Nicaraguan colleges. "In many
departments there are a sufficient
number of faculty who will respond
to something like this," Alexander
George Estabrook, a botany
professor, expressed doubt that a
sister department program could
work. In his view, it would be
more realistic to get the entire
University involved and establish
ties between the entire faculty here
and the faculty at a college in
Nicaragua. "The way it's going to
happen is for the faculty as a
whole," he said.
Alexander, on the other hand,
said a sister department program
could lead to a sister university
The group has 30 dues-paying
University faculty members, but
members say that there are 60
professors on their mailing list.
At yesterday's meeting, group
members also decided to collect
faculty signatures and donations to
take out an advertisement in The
New York Times.
Compiled from Associated Press reports
Group claims it kidnapped;
profs; Waite reported safe
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A group calling itself Islamic Jihad for the
Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility yesterday for the:
abduction of three American and an Indian professor from a west=;+
The four professors were "conspirators under the pretext of
education," said the hand-written Arabic-language statement delivered
to the west Beirut office of a Western news agency. The group had
not been heard from before.
It could not be determined whether the group is related to Islamic
Jihad, or Islamic Holy War, the pro-Iranian Shiite Moslem extremist
faction that holds American and French hostages kidnapped in west
Beirut in 1985.
In London the-Church of England said the Archbishop of Can -
terbury had received assurances that his envoy, Terry Waite, was safe
and continuing his mission to free foreign captives in Lebanon.
Anti-abortion petition OK'd
LANSING, Mich., - Anti-abortion forces got a green light
yesterday to mount a petition drive aimed at outlawing Medicaid-paid
abortions for poor women in Michigan.
The Board of State Canvassers voted 3-0 to approve the form of a
petition drafted by the Right to Life of Michigan in an attempt to win
voter approval for a new law banning public-financed abortions.
Supporters may now begin gathering the 191,726 valid signatures
needed to place the issue on the November 1988 ballot. However, the
signatures must be collected within 180 days of submitting them to
Barbara Listing, president of the Right to Life of Michigan, said
she was "very pleased" with the canvassers' approval and added, "We
"We will go ahead with the printing of the forms," she said.
Nicaraguans free alleged spy
MIAMI - Sam Nesley Hall, a self-styled soldier of fortune
accused of spying in Nicaragua, flew home to the United States today
after telling the Nicaraguan people he was sorry he "tried to ambush
He left Nicaragua this morning and stopped in San Jose, Costa
Rica before arriving in Miami about 12:25 p.m.
Hall departed the plane with several men and was led quickly to a
waiting van, which then drove away. Hall did not acknowledge shouts
from numerous reporters crowded behind a fence near the runway.
The Sandinistas said Hall, the brother of U. S. Rep. Tony Hall (D-
Ohio) was released because he is mentally unstable.
Hall was arrested in a restricted area of the Punta Huete air base, 13
miles northeast of Managua.
Iran unable to aid hostages
TEHRAN, Iran - Parliament Speaker Hashemi Rafsanjani
flourished a Bible yesterday that he said was sent as a token of
goodwill, but added that Iran is not ready to help free American
hostages in Lebanon.
The speaker called on the United States to release $507 million in
Iranian assets frozen by President Jimmy Carter after the seizure of the
U. S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
The United States and Iran have been negotiating over the assets at
a special tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
State senators worth 15 cents
What's a state senator worth? Well, at least three constituents of
state Sqn. Vernon Ehlers think the Grand Rapids Republican is worth
more that the 15 cents they're paying him.
Ehlers, a scientist before he got involved in politics, last year
calculated what lawmakers' salaries cost each person in Michigan.
After the Senate Fiscal agency confirmed his calculations -
representatives' annual base salaries cost 44 cents per person and
senators' cost each person 15 cents a year - Ehlers noted the sum in a
Daytona welcomes revelers
Daytona Beach, Florida's Chief of Police C.W. Willits, Jr. is
anticipating this year's Spring Break migration to his acknowledged
"haven for college students," and doesn't plan on letting anyone get
away with lawbreaking.
Willits forwarded a copy of rules and regulations to The Daily
because "alot (sic) of students become a court statistic without realizing
that their actions have caused a violation of the law." Willits writes
"Have a good time" but also reminds students that prohibitions include:
sleeping on the beach, littering, dogs on the beach, hitchhiking.
If you see news happen, call 76-DAILY.
01 ficht-gan BMWl
Vol. XCVIi --No.85
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