Focus and Coordination Are Name of the Game For Muskegon County’s New Social Justice Commission

Andrew Trzaska | June 15, 2011

Pastor Samuel Greer of Queen Esther Missionary Baptist Church spent a lot of time at local government meetings this week, including Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.

Pastor Greer presented to government officials details on his new organization, the Social Justice Commission, and asked local cities and the county to pass resolutions of support of the group’s plans.

From a press release, the Commission is described as “the united efforts of the faith community the education, criminal justice and social agencies of Greater Muskegon County.”

In large part, the Commission was billed at Tuesday’s meeting (as well as the Muskegon Heights City Council meeting the night before) as a way to coordinate all the plans to better Muskegon County in lieu of its mounting problems, which reached a climax with last summer’s violence.

Development of the Social Justice Commission last September, when Greer began working with local law enforcement on the idea.

Now, the Commission is looking for local government cooperation as it looks to focus all community efforts to improve Muskegon County.

“We can be the beginning of the answer… to regain a sense of belonging, regain a sense of hope, and finally, regain a sense of peace,” said Greer.

The Commission’s emphasis on focused and not scattered endeavors appears to have deep support among community leaders and local law enforcement already.

The Commission’s membership includes Muskegon Heights Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bryant, Melvin Lars, head of the local NAACP, and Ed Garner, head of the local Urban League

It also includes Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynn Gill, City of Muskegon Public Safety Director Anthony Kliebecker, and County Sheriff Dean Roesler.

Furthermore, County Prosecutor Tony Tague and multiple local pastors are on the commission as well.

Greer indicated at Tuesday’s meeting that the representatives tied together the Commission’s three goals:

1) Unite individuals and groups together against violence, but support that which helps Muskegon County.

2) Have the community and law enforcement bridge the gap between them and “talk the same language”.

3) Aid local educational systems of the community

Introducing Pastor Greer at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, County Prosecutor Tony Tague endorsed the Social Justice Commission and its plans.

“I believe this is one of the biggest steps forward we can take dealing with the issues that law enforcement deals with,” said Tague.

The focus of Greer’s message to the county board as well as the other government meetings he attended this week was one of being organized and focused.

Tague said that the Social Justice Commission has the benefit of serious dedication and organization:

“This will set us on an agenda which is clear cut, which is focused”

Greer went on to say at Tuesday’s meeting that the Commission is in the process of contacting neighborhood association leaders to further unify leadership in the community.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst