Open Letter to Rep. Tim Brown

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Robert L. Buggs Sr.

Dear Representative Brown:

You recently proposed legislation via HB 1315 that would:

  1. Apply to the Gary Community School Corporation ONLY
  2. Eliminate my right to vote for whom I choose to represent me
  3. Cause the GCSC Board Trustees to meet once every 3 months with no pay
  4. Deny them the right to have input in the governance of OUR School District that OUR children attend
  5. Relegate the GCSC to an Advisory Committee as opposed to a governing body
  6. Allow the hiring of a teacher in July, to start work in August, who could be terminated after September 30 without due process
  7. Equate to taxation without representation

These are just a few of the racist discriminatory actions you, Representative Brown, and the supporters of HB 1315, want to make law.

Let me introduce myself. I am a 76-year-old Black male presently residing in Gary, IN.  I am a Christian; a disabled veteran; an avid volunteer of nonprofit organizations; a board member of the Urban League NWI; Vice President of the Gary NAACP, Vice President of the GCSC Board of Trustees; member of The Gideon, Frontiers International; former adjunct professor at Indiana University Northwest; presently a mentor for the Kimbrough Transition Court and Mental Health Court.

Fifty years ago I took an oath swearing that I would give my life for this country; that included you and your family. My life has been purposed to love my fellow man and to improve the quality of life for those in need.

I was elected to the GCSC Board in January 2017 along with three others. I am highly offended by your accusation of my not paying payroll taxes, mismanaging funds, and other false allegations.

The population of Gary, Indiana according to the 2010 Census is about 80,000 with approximately 95% Black and minorities, The GCSC Board is 100% Black and minorities. For you to propose this unconstitutional legislation that applies to the Gary Community School Corporation only, is racist and discriminatory.

I was advised that you watched a videotaped Gary School Board meeting, and determined that I was being too critical of the Emergency Manager, Dr. Peggy Hinckley. For your information, I questioned her non-compliance of SEA 567. I am allowed, per SEA 567, to make recommendations. Some of the issues I addressed to Dr. Hinckley were:

  1. Whether she had a contingency plan for the end of her tenure if DUAB did not forgive the 115 million dollar debt, and the vendors could not be paid in full, and a 5 year sustainability plan not be in place per the sole purpose of SEA 567
  2. Why she would not utilize local minority contractors for materials and supplies
  3. My recommendation in writing that she notify the Board of any requests from Maico LLC or its subsidiaries to purchase or receive any GCSC property or real estate.

The CITIZENS WHO ELECTED ME deserve to know her response.

I don’t know what your intent was or the message you were sending. What I perceived was that you objected to Black men questioning a white woman, and for that you were going to punish the board member.

For example, you first proposed that GCSC meet twice a year with no pay. You also stated in HB 1315 to other School Communities / Districts that “…These provisions / changes apply to the Gary Community School Corporation only.”

To further insult me, you proposed that a white woman residing in Schererville, IN APPOINT someone to represent Robert L. Buggs Sr., a male Black in the 6th District. One of the reasons I was willing to give my life for the USA was the freedom of free will that included voting my choice.

As you see from my capsule resume, my purpose in life is to do God’s work by making a positive difference for those in need. Why punish me for being elected to the School Board by approximately 4,890 Gary citizens?

I hail from the small town of Madison, Mississippi. We have an old saying, “No matter how thin the pancake is, it still has two sides.”  This is my side.

Thank you and the supporters of HB 1315, for reminding us that racism, bigotry and racial discrimination are alive, and well in 2018.

This applies to Representative Tim Brown and supporters of HB 1315 ONLY.

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