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Call To Action: Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

Community Benefits Ordinance Update: Currently special interest groups and mainstream media are mounting a full court press to bury the proposed Community Benefit Agreement ordinance that is making its way through city council. The CBA ordinance is one way to ensure that the average Detroiter will benefit from the billions of dollars, including public tax benefits, will be included in the economic development plans for this city.

•    Corporate interests and the mainstream media are spreading fear about the death of economic development if a Community Benefit Agreement ordinance is passed by Detroit City Council. A ordinance that benefits community will not deter equitable progress or development, but will help to guide Detroit’s growth in a more humane and sustainable direction.

•    The Detroit News referred to the proposed ordinance as a “Shakedown tax” (http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/10/11/benefits-agreement-detroit-development/17056019/) but without an ordinance not only protecting but benefiting community is a means to stop billion dollar corporations and big businesses from bullying and shaking down Detroit citizens by using their tax dollars for personal profit without any accountability to the communities their projects effect.

•    The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) CEO Rodrick Miller, in a letter to City Council referred to the ordinance as a “damaging piece of legislation” sighting frustration with past deals that “went awry” but for the last 30 years in Detroit “trickle down” development deals have benefited only a few and negatively effected many.

•    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.

Take Action NOW!  Call your council member and let them know that you:

•    Support a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement that promotes fair and just development here in Detroit.

•    That 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.

Detroit People’s Platform members and allies please 1.) attend City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday, October 16 at CAYMC. Arrive at 10am for the meeting on the 13th floor. 2.) Call Detroit City Council members and demand they support and vote in favor of the ordinance.

COUNCIL CONTACTS
Brenda Jones, President: bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov