Sunday, October 27, 2013

Recall Mayor Hightower

Press Release

Contact Rev. Edward Pinkney, 269-925-0001

On Friday, Oct. 25 at 9am a recall petition was filed against Benton Harbor's Mayor James Hightower for voting 'No' to allow the city income tax to be placed on the Nob. 5 ballot.

We the people must recall Mayor James Hightower who does not work for the best interests of Benton Harbor.

BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization) is in full support of the Benton Harbor city income tax.  This tax will help restore the city of Benton Harbor.

A Michigan-based research group, Citizens Research Council of Michigan ( city income taxes work extremely well in smaller cities like Benton Harbor with populations between 2,000 and 11,000.  

A city income tax will provide an infusion of corporate revenue to support the city of Benton Harbor.

Residents of Benton Harbor must vote yes on a city income tax to save the city from a total takeover.  And, we must have it on the ballot!

Also, a yes vote to recall James Hightower Mayor is crucial.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

Actor Danny Glover stops in Benton Harbor for Justice Fund Dinner

Members of the Benton Harbor community and a handful from across the country came together Saturday night to talk about social justice issues and look for new opportunities to make Benton Harbor, a struggling city, better. BANCO or Black Autonomy Network Community Organization hosted a Justice Fund Dinner. BANCO is a group that works for economic and social justice across country. The dinner was held at Lake Michigan College around 6 p.m. Folks enjoyed dinner, music and numerous speakers. A few of those speakers were 2012 Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein, actor and activist Danny Glover and Reverend Edward Pinkney. Pinkney says Benton Harbor is in a dire situation and needs help. He says city officials need to stop outsourcing everything, and put money and jobs back into the city with the help of a city income tax. “Whether we like it or not, it has to be something that has to go through because we need to actually put this into operation. It is the only way that we are going to have resources enough for the emergency manager to leave the city of Benton Harbor,” adds Pinkney. “Whether it's the management of the city and the loss of electoral power or the disenfranchisement that is happening in the community and everything else. Whatever the questions are, Benton Harbor is a place where certainly we can look for those answers and look for people who are trying to find answers and trying to find answers is the only thing we can do at this time,” says Glover The dinner cost $50 per person and that money will go towards scholarships for Benton Harbor students. Original via WNDU

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Danny Glover to speak in BH

BANCO says it booked film star for fundraiser

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 By HP Staff      Benton Harbor — Actor and political activist Danny Glover will be the guest speaker Saturday at the Justice Fund Dinner  for the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization of Benton Harbor. Glover, who starred in “Lethal Weapon” and “The Color Purple,” is also a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. 
The doors open at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7 p.m., in the Upton Room at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. Cost  is $50 per guest. 

The dinner is a fundraising event for BANCO, which works for economic and social justice across the country, according to director Edward Pinkney.
The banquet will also honor the Black Farmers of America with the Rev. Al Sampson, dedicated to bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to people living in inner-city “food deserts.”
Other speakers are Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party presidential candidate, and David Lowery, a civil rights activist from Chicago.

For information about the Justice Fund Dinner, email Pinkney at or visit BANCO online at

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Pinkney files more BHAS recall petitions

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BENTON HARBOR - Three members of the Benton Harbor school board are the topic of at least two more clarity hearings after the wording was rejected in the first set of recall petitions during a clarity hearing last week.
Berrien County Election Commission members said they voted down the first set of petitions because they included the phrase "for violating public trust," which they said was an opinion.
The first set of petitions were filed on Sept. 9 by Benton Harbor activist Edward Pinkney.
After Wednesday's clarity hearing, he filed a second set of petitions almost identical to the first set except he took out "for violating public trust."
"I'm very confident that they (the recall petitions) will go through this time," Pinkney said Monday.
The petition seeking the recall of board President Martha Momany states that she did not adhere to the Open Meetings Act because she did not call for a vote to end a school board meeting.
The petitions targeting Trustees Willie Lark and Lue Buchana state that they failed to do their duty to appoint a seventh member to the school board by Aug. 31.
The details were not stated in the petitions, but officials believe they are referring to an Aug. 26 special meeting where school board trustees interviewed five candidates to find a replacement for former President Barbara Bell, who resigned July 29.
The board at the Aug. 26 meeting split 3-3 on whether to seat Anna Maria Brown, who received the most points during the board's selection process after the interviews. Momany, Buchana and Lark voted against Brown's being seated, while Treasurer Joseph Taylor, Secretary Sharon James and Trustee Lisa Gulley voted for her appointment.
Because no one was appointed by the Aug. 31 deadline, the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency reinterviewed four of the candidates who were still interested in the position and chose Angelika MacGowan on Sept. 16.
3 more hearings
The clarity hearing for the second set of recall petitions will be at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 in the jury assembly room of the Berrien County Courthouse, 811 Port St., St. Joseph.
On Thursday Pinkney filed a third set of recall petitions against all three board members. The clarity hearing for them will be at 8:15 a.m. Oct. 15 in the board room of the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph.
Pinkney said if all of the petitions are approved, he will get together with his supporters to decide which to circulate for signatures.
The third set of petitions contains two parts. Set A calls for the recall of the three board members because they voted to allow police officers to serve as security guards in Benton Harbor schools.
During the Aug. 26 special meeting the board voted 4-2 to hire Benton Harbor police reserves to provide security in the schools to replace Sodexo. Voting for the city police were Momany, Buchana, Lark and James. Voting against the idea were Taylor and Gulley.
Set B seeks to recall all three board members because they approved giving Superintendent Leonard Seawood a two-year extension on his contract.
On Dec. 11, 2012, the board voted 5-2 to extend his contract for two years, with James and Taylor voting against it. Voting for the extension was then-President Anthony Jett, Bell, Momany, Buchana and Lark. Gulley was not on the board at the time.
Pinkney said Lark should have abstained on this vote because Seawood is a partner in Lark's business, Lark's Bar-B-Que, 174 W. Main St.
"Anything to do with his (Seawood's) finances he should not be voting on," he said.
Because of a mistake on Momany's set A petition, Pinkney filed a fourth recall petition on Friday just against her that corrects the error. The clarity hearing on that petition will be at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 15, also in the board room of the county's administration center.
Twitter: @HPWrege