Thomas Says He Won’t Back Medical Center
The Washtenaw County Black Contractors and Tradesmen Association will consider working with the Inter-Faith Coalition of Congregations (IFCC) to build a medical center in Superior Township if two conditions are met.
The contractors, in a letter to Keith Raney, chairman of the IFCC, and the Rev. William Hart, a director in the proposed medical center, stated the conditions: complete community support for the center and the endorsement of Charles Thomas, president of the Black Economic Development League (BEDL).
David R. Byrd, county commissioner from Ann Arbor and adviser to the association, says the contractors want evidence of community support because, "This location is a location of high vandalism. We must have the full cooperation of everyone concerned.”
According to Byrd, who organized the black contractors three years ago, the association is requiring the endorsement of Thomas because the money being donated by the IFCC comes as a result of work done by Thomas.
The IFCC was organized eight months ago after demands were made on various local churches by BEDL and the Welfare Rights Organization.
Thomas says at this time he would not endorse the project for two reasons. The president of BEDL says he believes plans for the medical center should be expanded to include a communications center, publishing house and food and clothing cooperative.
Thomas adds he will not cooperate with the IFCC Plans until individual churches within the coalition drop injunctions against him and BEDL.
Raney, chairman of the coalition, says he welcomes the opportunity to determine if there is community support for the medical center.
"It’s our intent to unify the community,” Raney says. If the community is split over the project, Haney says the IFCC , would reconsider other possible projects.
He says written material will be circulated and there will be public meetings sponsored by persons in the community, including Rev. Hart to determine if the neighborhood is interested in the medical center.
Black American Businesses
Black American Community
Ann Arbor City Council
Black Contractors & Tradesmen Association
Interfaith Coalition Of Congregations (IFCC)
Black Economic Development League
Welfare Rights Organization
Ann Arbor News
Charles Thomas Jr
David R. Byrd