Oakland Together | COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership Update • Black History Month • Business Grants


February 25, 2021

Oakland County Executive Biweekly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we approach the end of Black History Month, I’ve been deeply impacted by the stories being shared about key figures in the ongoing narrative about race relations in our country.


As a student of history, I celebrate Black History Month because telling the stories of Black people and acknowledging their successes is a vital piece of our collective story.


From Alexander Allen, who at the age of 18 became the youngest Union soldier to join 40 other Black soldiers from Oakland County to contribute to the successful battles against the Confederate Army during the Civil War, to Nellie Morton, the first Black woman to graduate from Pontiac High School in 1917, their history is compelling and worthy of commemoration.


But Black History, for me, should be so much more than a mere recitation of legends past and present during 28 days of the year. It also has to be about the ongoing discussion we must have about the continuing oppression and systemic racism that is felt by many of our residents on a daily basis.


I grew up and have lived within a mile of Eight Mile nearly my entire life, so I understand that racism is not  only about the geographical barriers that divide us, but the social, cultural and economic gulfs that continue to separate us.


I am continuously seeking knowledge on how subtle and overt racism continues to persist in all of our institutions and I am committed to reducing and ultimately erasing the physical, economic and social barriers of racism.


As a county, we are addressing systemic racism in a number of ways.


I have brought more diverse voices to the table in Oakland County by appointing former state lawmaker Rudy Hobbs as the first Black Deputy County Executive as well as Robin Carter-Cooper as the first chief Diversity Officer in the county.  As an executive team, we understand that initiatives without action or accountability will not provide substantive change for the inequities and injustices faced by people of color in the county.


We are making sure that the county’s services are being provided in an equitable manner so that all Oakland County residents have access to the services they need. We are making sure to support Black-owned businesses when awarding economic development grants. And we are upgrading our recruiting, hiring and training practices to make sure that we foster a work environment where people of color feel safe, welcome and valued.


I know we still have a long way to go. But I’m committed to leading a county that values diversity and inclusion 365 days a year, not just during the 28 days of Black History Month.


Warmest regards,

David Coulter, Oakland County Executive


Oakland County targets COVID-19 phone scam


County health officials are warning residents to be wary of a potential phone scam in which a caller tries to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for an Oakland County resident. They’ll ask for personal, financial information, like a credit card or social security number. That information is then used to either steal a person’s identity, run up credit card purchases or empty out bank accounts.


But Oakland County would NEVER ask for such information when scheduling an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination. Leigh-Anne Stafford, director of the county’s Health and Human Services department, said residents should call their local police department or the county Sheriff’s Department to report if they have gotten such a call.


Read more about safeguards you can take against COVID-19 phone scams.

Oakland County provides $6 million in small business survival grants


The county has distributed $6 million in grants to nearly 1,350 small businesses that were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority went to businesses that had not received grants in previous rounds of COVID-19 relief funding.


The grants, which ranged from $1,825 to $7,500, were provided through the state of Michigan’s Small Business Survival program. The money can be used to support payroll, utility or other expenses, including rent or mortgage payments.


Coulter provides update on COVID-19 vaccine programs and partnerships


A new partnership to expand the network of providers who can deliver COVID-19 vaccines was unveiled recently by Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter.


The partnership with Meijer, Honor Health and Henry Ford Health System will help the county to deliver the vaccine quickly and efficiently at more and more locations throughout the county once the production of vaccine doses ramps up.


While the county has the capability to deliver 20,000 doses a week, the state has only sent between 5,000 and 12,000 doses a week. Once that number increases significantly as vaccines by additional pharmaceutical companies are approved by the federal government, the network can help the county distribute the doses and reach a 70 percent vaccination rate of the county’s residents.


Watch the press conference announcing the partnership on Facebook.

Weekly coronavirus updates


The county’s Health and Human Services department provides a comprehensive, weekly newsletter that provides updates on the cases of COVID-19-19 in the county as well as information on progress being made toward vaccinating residents throughout Oakland.


Register your email address to receive news and information about Oakland County vaccination and COVID-19 resources. Or text OAKGOV COVID to 468311