LANSING, Mich. — Black Lives Matter of Lansing is asking local Black leaders to take a stand against Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.
In a public letter released this week, the organization asked that those in positions of influence "acknowledge the harm perpetrated by Andy Schor and his administration" and "divest from work with and support of Schor’s administration," among other requests.
"This was really to call all of our Black Leaders in to say, 'We’re not saying you’re not a leader, but we need leadership,'" said Black Lives Matter Lansing Co-Leader Sean Holland.
Schor did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did the two Black members of the Lansing City Council, Patricia Spitzley and Brian Jackson, nor Ingham County Register of Deeds Derrick Quinney, who is also Black.
Black Lives Matter's leaders have been calling for Schor to resign since the summer, saying he hasn't taken meaningful steps to stop police abuses or to improve the city's racial landscape.
It started when Schor responded defensively to questions at a community forum in June.
“This was in the midst of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Audrey, and the worst time in racial tension in the last two decades and he said I only came to listen,” Holland said.
Schor later apologized for his response saying he did not come prepared to answer question
Holland said the organization isn't criticizing Black elected officials, but looking for leadership, love and accountability.
“We need unity for the sake of our people and this a critical time,” Holland said. “What we don’t need are old reforms that bring us back to the same place, that we’re in now.
Schor has rejected calls to defund the police department but has said he wants to address racial inequities in the city.
The $237 million budget proposal he released this week includes money for the police department to hire a second social worker along with $300,000 for racial justice training and the creation of an equity committee.
Black Lives Matter says that’s not enough and wants Black Leaders in the city to acknowledge Schor’s lack of efforts to promote equality in the city.
“You cannot move forward healing a community when there’s no acknowledgment in the harm,” Holland said.