Action: Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)
Platform Members and Supporters,
On Friday, October 24th, the Detroit News published an article that expressed concern from Mayor Duggan’s office over the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance that is currently being discussed and vetted by Detroit City Council. “The local law, they (Mayor Duggan’s Team) say, would be negative for Detroit if passed, creating too many hurdles that could discourage development.” These statements from the executive office reflect a recent letter to City Council sent by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s CEO Rodrick Miller expressing that an ordinance would “undermine progress”.
This push-back and the dismissal of the need for accountability to community around development projects by the Mayor and DEGC is an attempt to keep doing development the way we have been, business as usual, where only a few benefit. With awareness of Detroit’s long history of failed urban renewal programs and the recent outpouring of tax dollars, subsidies, public land and resources to private development projects it is challenging to witness our political and business leaders push back against both their constituents and economic reality.
Last week, Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez was on Flashpoint (Video) and addressed these and other concerns over a CBA ordinance. From a October 15th Metro Times article:
“As Castaneda-Lopez puts it, cities going through a financial crisis tend to think about development in the short-term “to address the immediate crisis.” The Urban Development Agreements ordinance would change that, she says. “It creates a framework,” she says. “It’s not just a one-size fits all,” meaning it wouldn’t be all-encompassing for every project. “There are exemptions built in for different scenarios, and ultimately council can also weigh in to whether there’s a needed urban development agreement or not.”
The current way of doing development overlooks small, minority-owned business. The CBA ordinance will allow for a broader benefits which will support increased participation by small business owners, minority owned businesses, and Detroit-based businesses as well. The CBA ordinance is a good first step in the restructuring of Detroit by ensuring meaningful participation by Detroiters in rebuilding our neighborhoods. The CBA ordinance will make sure that we as residents have that opportunity.
Corporate interests, the mainstream media, and now the Mayor, are spreading fear about the death of economic development in Detroit if a CBA Ordinance is passed. But an ordinance that benefits community will not deter equitable progress or development. It will help to guide Detroit’s growth in a way that benefits both community and developers in the long-term rather than quick fix, trickle down, business-as-usual, development projects. Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)
Reasons to Support the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance
- Nearly 2000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
- Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
- When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.
- We call on each city council member to support a strong and enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance!
Brenda Jones, President, 313.224.1245, email@example.com
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, email@example.com
Resigned – Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 email@example.com
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, email@example.com
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, email@example.com