Board of Commissioners Breakdown
June 2023
Commissioner Monteze Morales and members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated outside the Board Chambers.
Commissioner Monteze Morales and members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated of Kalamazoo County after reading a proclamation honoring their organization at the June 20 meeting.

Embracing Unity, Advocacy, and Celebration 


This month gave us the opportunity to recognize a multitude of significant occasions that exemplify the spirit of inclusivity, resilience, and progress that defines us. For Pride Month, we acknowledged the profound contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout history, as well as within our own community. While in honor of Gun Violence Awareness Month, we reflected upon the devastating impact of gun violence and affirmed our commitment to preventing community violence through targeted interventions and strengthened collaborations. As we reflect upon these milestones and collective endeavors, we invite each and every one of you to join us in fostering a community that is inclusive, compassionate, and forward-thinking. Together, let us continue to build bridges, uplift one another, and create a brighter future that celebrates the unity, progress, and empowerment we hold dear. 


Additionally, we are pleased to share that nearly all of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have been awarded at this time, and those dollars are being put to good work in Kalamazoo County. With careful consideration of the urgent needs within our community, the Board of Commissioners recently approved $636,000 in ARPA funding for the Crooked & Eagle Lake lake-level projects. These vital initiatives aim to address the ongoing flooding issues that have adversely affected our community, resulting in the loss of homes and financial hardship for many. The collective efforts of our community leaders, organizations, and dedicated individuals have made this achievement possible, showcasing the strength and unity that defines us. By investing in these projects, we are actively working towards the well-being and security of our residents.

  • Approved the addition of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected classes to the County's EEO Policy and Anti-Harassment Policy to align with the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. 
  • Approved a proclamation recognizing June 12 as the 75th anniversary of Women Veterans Recognition Day to honor approximately 1,500 women veterans residing in Kalamazoo County.
  • Approved a proclamation recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth, with events taking place June 15-19 to celebrate Black culture, amplifying the legacy of Black families, leaders and historical figures, Black-owned businesses, and Black organizations and institutions who have contributed to the vitality, visibility and vibrance of Kalamazoo.
  • Approved a project agreement with Western Michigan University to examine equity and inclusion within the Kalamazoo County child welfare system specific to Family Treatment Court.
  • Approved a project agreement with the Western Michigan University Kercher Center for Social Research for an annual program evaluation of Family Treatment Court.
  • Approved a proclamation honoring Timothy Stevens for 25 years of service in the Circuit Court - Family Division. 
  • Approved a proclamation recognizing July 20 as Summer Learning Day to reflect on the importance of keeping youth learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed. 
  • Approved a proclamation honoring the 50th anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated of Kalamazoo County. 
  • Approved additional allocations of the 2023 Housing Millage funding for Multi-Family projects at $650,000 and Supportive Service projects at $560,515. 
A Message From the Administrator
Administrator/Controller Kevin Catlin in a gray suit smiling for the camera in front of a professional photographer's blue backdrop.

Unity has been at the core of our journey. We have fostered connections that transcend differences, weaving together the fabric of our community with threads of compassion, empathy, and respect. It is through our unity that we find strength, resilience, and the collective power to champion equality, justice, and dignity for all.


As Pride Month draws to a close, let us carry forward the spirit of unity that has been ignited within us. Let us continue to support and uplift our LGBTQ+ friends, neighbors, and loved ones, not just during this celebratory month but every day of the year. Together, we can create a future where every individual can live authentically, free from discrimination and prejudice.


Looking ahead, the 4th of July is fast approaching. It is a time to commemorate the founding principles that define our nation and honor the sacrifices of those who have fought for our freedoms. While enjoying the festivities, I urge you all to prioritize safety and responsibility. Let us come together to celebrate, but also remember the importance of firework safety, responsible alcohol consumption, and respectful behavior towards our neighbors and the environment. 


I encourage you all to participate in local events, engage in constructive conversations, and explore opportunities for collaboration within our community. Let us come together to create lasting change, celebrate our shared values, and build a brighter future for all our residents.

Around the County
The Kalamazoo Blueprint for Peace

Two years ago, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and community leaders joined The Gun Violence Prevention Network. Shortly thereafter, the city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County both issued resolutions declaring gun violence a public health crisis.


The GVPN group connected with Bronson and held listening sessions all over the County for months. After attending learning sessions and gathering all the data from the community, the Kalamazoo Blueprint for Peace was created. With the data-gathering phase complete, the GVPN officially ended in December 2022.


At the start of this year, Reggie Moore, the head of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention when its blueprint was created, became an advisor to the process. His training kicked off the action planning phase, spurring trained facilitators to meet with groups of community members to sort and wordsmith all proposed action steps from community listening sessions and surveys.


With the goals, strategies and actions in place, the work now turns to communication, relationship-building, and plans for implementation.

6 Goals
Vetted by community members
93 Actions
Created by community members and cleaned up by folks on the ground
146 Contributors
From individuals to grassroots groups to public safety to institutions
28 Strategies
Vetted by community members
80 hours (at least)
Convening community members — that's just Phase II
215 Programs and Organizations
Named by community members
Violence Prevention Plan Goals
  1. Stop the Shooting, Stop the Violence
  2. Increase Access and Build Capacity for Healing and Community Restoration
  3. Support Children, Youth & Families
  4. Cultivate Economic Stability
  5. Foster Safe and Strong Neighborhoods
  6. Strengthen Capacity and Coordination
Next Steps
  1. Communication and evaluation
  2. Building capacity
  3. Implementation
  4. Share, prioritize, build inventory
  5. Hire, create, coordinate
  6. Year 1, Year 2, Year 3
Contact Jennifer Heymoss at
Advisory Boards & Committees
We want to thank our residents for engaging with us as we continue our work on behalf of everyone who lives in this great community! This month, we:
  • Appointed Kellie Cody and reappointed Toni Kennedy to the Veterans Affairs Committee;
  • Appointed Shardae Chambers to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee;
  • Appointed Cody Dunten to the Public Housing Commission; and
  • Reappointed Patricia Guenther, Sharon Spears, and Eric Krogh to the Integrated Services of Kalamazoo Board.
We're grateful to have such an engaged community of residents as we continue working toward a brighter future. If you're interested in serving on an Advisory Board or Committee, view our current open positions here.
Want to get involved with your local government in another way? Check out our current openings and apply today.
Questions or comments? Please contact our Public Information Officer. If you were forwarded this email, sign up to receive future emails.
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