The New Year is officially underway, and the United Way of Washtenaw County has now kicked off its 21-Day Equity Challenge. Ann Arbor YMCA President/CEO Toni Kayumi and Ypsilanti Township trustee Monica Ross-Williams talk to WEMU's David Fair about how they hope to improve equity, particularly on the Eastern side of the county, through partnership, development and increased opportunity.
WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area. And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services. It is a community voice. It is 'Washtenaw United.'
ABOUT THE GUESTS
In January 2016, Ann Arbor YMCA CEO Toni Kayumi and Grand Rapids YMCA CEO Scott Lewis simultaneously became the first YMCA CEOs of color in the state of Michigan. Toni Kayumi is the Chair of YMCA of the USA’s Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Network Employee Resource Group and the Chair of YMCA of the USA’s Diversity, Inclusion and Global Leadership Council. In 2019, Toni Kayumi also received YMCA of the USA’s Carlos Sanvee Diversity, Inclusion & Global Legacy Award.
Monica Ross-Williams has lived in Ypsilanti Township since 2001. She is starting her first elected term on the Board of Trustees and was previously an Ypsilanti Township Park Commissioner from 2011 - 2016.
Monica enjoys walking in our Township parks, specifically to enjoy the nature perspective of our parks landscape and the community's beautiful neighborhoods.
She received a Masters in Organizational Leadership (M.B.A.) from Cleary University, Bachelors of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from the same institution, and graduate of former Ypsilanti Public Schools. In addition, to being small business owner, Monica serves as a Senior Business Development Executive for a K-12 international education service provider.
Resolution of Intent for the Charter Township of Ypsilanti to Convey 24.975 Acres Located at 1500
S. Huron Road to the Ann Arbor YMCA Conditioned Upon the YMCA to Construct and Operate a Recreational Facility Contingent Upon the Completion of YMCA’s Due Diligent Investigations Including the Completion of a Feasibility Study and the Approval by the Parties of a Mutually Acceptable “Memorandum of Understanding” Setting Forth the Rights and Responsibilities of the Township and the Ann Arbor YMCA
WHEREAS, on November 18, 2003 the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees approved Resolution Number 2003-13 wherein the Township Board authorized its professional consultants to proceed with the acquisition of the “Seaver Farm Property” located on the west side of Whittaker Road, south of I-94 which comprises approximately 163.382 acres of land, and
WHEREAS, Resolution 2003-13 specifically stated that one of the purposes of the acquisition of the “Seaver Farm Property” by the Township was to “…not only provide a location for future governmental and recreational services needed by the Township’s residents, but would also enable the Township Board to exercise much greater control over the future development in this portion of the Township while also preserving open space and woodlands so as to enhance the quality of life for all of the Township’s residents,” (emphasis supplied) and
WHEREAS, in 2004 the Township Board pursuant to Township Resolution 2004-49 acquired the “Seaver Farm Property” after conducting all of its due diligent investigations which included but was not limited to the following “Due Diligence Investigation Reports.”
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, dated June 18, 2004 (received July 2, 2004)
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Addendum, dated July 5, 2004 (received July 7, 2004)
- Phase II Subsurface Investigation Report, dated August 10, 2004 (received August 12, 2004)
- Preliminary Wetlands Assessment and Delineation Report, dated June 30, 2004 (received August 5, 2004); and
- Preliminary Wetlands Assessment and Delineation Report, dated October 22, 2004, for the eastern portion of the Seaver Farm Property; and
WHEREAS, at a regular meeting of the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees held on July 16, 2019 the Township Board approved the “Memorandum” from Supervisor Brenda L. Stumbo, Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe and Treasurer Larry Doe (a copy of which is attached hereto and labeled Exhibit A), which Memorandum authorized inter alia for the Township’s “…legal counsel, engineers and departments to assist in gathering information on the Seaver Farm Property as a potential site for a YMCA state of the art programming and recreational facility,” and
WHEREAS, subsequent to the July 16, 2019 Township Board meeting, the Township’s designated representatives delivered to the Ann Arbor YMCA President and CEO Toni Kayumi copies of all of the “Due Diligent Investigation Reports” that were obtained by the Township in 2004 so as to allow the Ann Arbor YMCA to commence its own “Due Diligence Investigations” given that the YMCA had identified a portion of the Seaver Farm Property as a potential site for a new “State of the Art Facility,” and
WHEREAS, on August 20, 2019 Ann Arbor YMCA President and CEO Kayumi appeared before the Township Board to reaffirm the YMCA’s interest in constructing and operating a new state of the art YMCA Recreation Facility on a portion of the Seaver Farm Property that would include a number of amenities other than recreation including, but not limited to, “…preschool and after school programming, a summer camp for kids, youth sports, a focus on the educational recreational and socialization aspect of what every child would need, with a commitment to provide service from infants all the way to senior citizens.” President and CEO Kayumi also stated that the new YMCA would also “…provide programs for chronic disease prevention and management and explained the many different programs the YMCA would provide for seniors so as to fulfill their mission statement that focuses on ‘Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility,’” and
WHEREAS, during the August 20, 2019 Township Board Work Session, President and CEO Kayumi emphasized that the future success of a new YMCA to be located on a portion of the Seaver Farm Property would depend upon a “Public-Private Partnership” as evident by Ypsilanti Township conveying a portion of the Seaver Farm Property (24.975 acres) with further contributions being made by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation ($30,000) and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to provide “in kind services of $45,000.” These commitments would allow the Ann Arbor YMCA to conduct the necessary Feasibility Study for the proposed location which in turn will allow the Ann Arbor YMCA to commence with its fundraising campaign for this new state of the art recreational facility, and
WHEREAS President and CEO Kayumi requested the Township Board to commence with the necessary process to commit to the conveyance of approximately 24.95 acres of property located on the Seaver Farm Property which will ultimately result in a “Mutually Acceptable Memorandum of Understanding between the Township and the YMCA” wherein it will be the sole responsibility of the YMCA to construct the new facility as well as to be solely responsible for the operation and maintenance of said facility and
WHEREAS the Township Board, on August 20, 2019, authorized Township legal counsel to commence preparing the appropriate documents so as to allow the Ann Arbor YMCA to commence with the necessary “Feasibility Study” as referenced herein while also insuring the Township’s legal interests in said property are protected, and
WHEREAS Township legal counsel acting in concert with the Assessing Office obtained a professional survey and legal description for the property identified by the YMCA as the best location for the new state of the art recreational facility to be located on a portion of the Seaver Farm Property which survey and legal description was performed by Atwell on October 16, 2019, a copy of the survey and legal description being attached hereto and labeled Exhibit B, and
WHEREAS it is the professional opinion of the Township’s Assessor Linda Gosselin and Deputy Assessor Brian McCleery that the value of the 24.975 acres located on the Seaver Farm Property that is the subject of this resolution has a true cash value of 5.4 million dollars, and
WHEREAS on October 30, 2019 Deputy Assessor Brian McCleery prepared the necessary land division application for a portion of the Seaver Farm Property resulting in a new Parcel Identification Number and address for the 24.975 acres for the Ann Arbor YMCA, a copy of Deputy Assessor McCleery’s letter being attached hereto along with a copy of the aerial map depicting the 24.975 acres being labeled Exhibit C, and
WHEREAS on December 2, 2019 an internal meeting was held with President and CEO Kayumi wherein we discussed the proposed property that was under consideration by the Township Board to be conveyed to YMCA subject to a number of conditions including but not limited to the completion of a Feasibility Study, the financial commitments of other public partners to the new Eastern Washtenaw County YMCA, the completion of Ann Arbor YMCA’s due diligent investigations as well as the drafting and approval by the Township Board of a mutually acceptable “Memorandum of Understanding Setting Forth the Rights and Responsibilities of the Township and YMCA.”
NOW, THEREFORE THE YPSILANTI CHARTER TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
1. That the Ypsilanti Township Board approves Resolution
2019-60 for the express purpose of conveying 24.975 acres of property located at 1500 S. Huron Road to the Ann Arbor YMCA and conditioned upon the YMCA constructing and operating a new state of the art recreational facility for the benefit of Eastern Washtenaw County.
2. That the Ann Arbor YMCA complete all necessary due diligence investigations including the “Feasibility Study” and provide a copy of the Feasibility Study to the Township Board and legal counsel as soon as said Study has been completed.
3. That once the Feasibility Study has been completed that the Ann Arbor YMCA proceed with its Fundraising Campaign that will include a number of stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
4. That Resolution 2019-60 entitled “Resolution of Intent” shall remain in full force and effect for a period of one year so as to allow the Township and the Ann Arbor YMCA to prepare and submit for approval to the Township Board and the YMCA Board of Directors a mutually acceptable “Memorandum of Understanding” setting forth the rights and responsibilities of the Township and YMCA as it pertains to the construction and operation of the new facility located on the 24.975 acres of the former Seaver Farm Property.
5. That this Resolution of Intent may be extended for an additional period of time (if necessary) upon approval by the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees otherwise said Resolution shall be rendered null and void in the event the parties do not approve a “Memorandum of Understanding” within one year from the date of Resolution 2019-60 as it pertains to the construction and operation of the new YMCA facility.
A - July 8, 2019 Memorandum from Supervisor Brenda L. Stumbo, Clerk Karen Lovejoy Roe and Treasurer Larry Doe addressed to the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees
B - October 16, 2019 Survey and Legal Description of the Seaver Farm Property performed by Atwell which depicts the new legal description for the proposed YMCA
C - October 30, 2019 Letter from Deputy Assessor Brian McCleery addressed to Supervisor Stumbo confirming the new Parcel Identification Number for the proposed YMCA property located at 1500 S. Huron Road comprising 24.975 acres along with a copy of the aerial photograph depicting the property
Inequities hurt everyone, United Way of Washtenaw County is focusing on removing barriers and increasing access so all people have the opportunity to thrive.
To that end, we are inviting the whole community to join us on a 21-Day Equity Challenge kicking-off on Jan 6. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our systems, to connect with one another, to identify ways to dismantle racism and become better leaders for a more just, equitable community. Sign-up online now: uwgive.org/equity or by texting UWWCEQUITY" to 22828.
In 2017, we committed to equity as a core value and practice to advance our mission. We define equity as the presence of justice and fairness within our procedures, processes, and distribution of resources.
In all our roles we will consciously work to eliminate injustice and inequity. We aspire to live in a community where:
- Community members seek understanding and awareness using their own power and privilege and actively working to end poverty in our County;
- Your zip code no longer determines your opportunity in life;
- The academic achievement gap is eliminated;
- Everyone in our community has a home;
- Life expectancy is the same across all populations and communities in our County;
- Poverty is not generational. If it exists, it is intermittent and brief;
- Everyone in our County is able to thrive and meet their needs-- housing, food, transportation, education, health expenses, and childcare.
Right now in Washtenaw County, the data show:
- The life expectancy of African-Americans is 13 years shorter than that of white residents, and it is 20 years shorter for Latinx folks. (Source: MDHHS)
- The Infant Mortality Rate varies widely between white and black babies: black babies under one year still die at almost twice the rate of white babies in Washtenaw County. (Source: MDHHS)
- While Washtenaw County boasts an average graduation rate higher than the state average (87%), economically disadvantaged youth graduate at a significantly lower rate: 72% (Source: WACY 2015 report card)
- Good social-emotional and mental health is a key component of children’s healthy development. Poverty, trauma, and inadequate treatment are three factors that have been shown to have a sustained, negative impact on children’s social, emotional, and mental health. Recent surveys of Washtenaw County students revealed that 29% of middle school students reported being bullied on school property in the past year, while 68% of African-American students witnessed in-school physical abuse. (Source: WACY 2017 report card)
- More data about opportunity and equity in Washtenaw County can be found on the Washtenaw Opportunity Index and Health for All websites.
We invite you to join us on this journey, learn more about Equity: uwgive.org/equity
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