Community members in Benton Harbor gather to address rezoning issues
Community members in Benton Harbor are fed up with school closures and came together at Benton Harbor High School Friday night to address rezoning issues. A group of activists say school closures have become rampant throughout the community as part of gentrification and removal strategies and that has community members calling out to the school board to reclaim school sites back to public school zones.
“My kids schools however, will never be at risk of being shutdown," said Kim Jorgensen Gane, a mother in St. Joe.
“Other communities have had an opportunity to pass down wealth while we have been in a position of generational trauma and it is time for our community to come together and to heal. And this is the first step. Voting yes for black wall street zones," said Elnora Gavin, Community Organizer.
The zones were changed in 2011 when then Governor Rick Snider passed an emergency management law that no longer required community oversight.
While the board has challenged the rezoning since the school zone doesn’t only include areas in Benton Harbor - neighbors continue to advocate - ready to take back what they feel is rightfully theirs.
“For several years now I’ve seen other people tell our story and give our narrative. Now it’s time for the residents of Benton Harbor the people who care about Benton Harbor. Those who are passionate about this city to begin to write the narrative," said Pastor Palmer.
You can sign the petition here.