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Reminder, join us tmrw morning! Gilbert’s Icarus Moment – Q Scraper Groundbreaking

Reminder, join us tmrw morning! Gilbert’s Icarus Moment – Q Scraper Groundbreaking

Wed, December 13, 2017 Detroit.
The snow and cold won’t stop us. Even in the face of this winter weather we will be gathering tomorrow. Gilbert’s Icarus Moment, Call for a city-wide CBA Meet us at the Wellness Plan Building 7700 Second Ave. Please arrive at 8am or earlier. We will have transportation for you, in addition to coffee and donuts. Please come bundled up as it will be very cold! Signs and hand-warmers will be available!!

Reasons to join us tomorrow!

Gilbert’s Development Monopoly

Brewster Douglas: At 18 acres south of Mack Avenue and west of I-75, the property would be the largest currently under control of the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Ventures LLC who has been buying and redeveloping dozens of greater downtown properties in the past several years, both buildings and vacant land.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/2017/11/27/dan-gilbert-brewster-douglass/899415001/

From the MetroTimes:

Earlier this year, the Michigan Legislature approved $1 billion in state tax money for Dan Gilbert and other wealthy developers. The arrangement allows the rich and corporations to collect state residents’ income tax instead of the government.

On Nov. 21, the Detroit City Council approved $250 million in local tax money for Gilbert to use on four downtown projects he’s planning.

On Dec. 1, the U.S. Senate approved a 15 percent cut in the corporate tax rate and a long list of other changes to the tax code that will largely benefit the rich.

On Dec. 4, we reported that Gilbert is now seeking a total of $618 million for his downtown projects. The request includes money that should go to Detroit Public Schools.

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/12/11/freep-lets-give-michigans-rich-more-of-our-money

POSSIBLE/CONFIRMED GILBERT PROJECTS, BY ACREAGE (Crains)
Former Uniroyal Tire Co. site: 43 acres
Former Brewster-Douglass housing projects site: 18 acres
Wayne County Consolidated Jail site: 15 acres
River East (with General Motors): 10-plus acres
City Modern (with others): 8.4 acres
Monroe Blocks site: 3.5 acres
Hudson’s site: 2 acres

Total: 99.9 acres or more

CBAs are tools for racial and economic justice around the state across the country. 

Compton Mayor AJA BROWN: “Absolutely. I’m unapologetic pro-Compton, and so in my first couple of months as being mayor, we passed a local hiring ordinance and a community benefits policy that mandates any new development, any new company that moves into the City of Compton, we have to negotiate a customized benefit agreement which consists of training, of local job opportunities, 35% minimum. There’s also funding to create additional job opportunities for the community and then local procurement. For instance we just opened a new 500,000 square foot UPS facility, and that total community benefits package was about $10 million but it included local procurement over the next 10 year period. And so, it’s really about finding ways to include your community in its growth and to make that really a determining factor of whether or not they’re able to be able to partner or to be able to invest within your community.”

Grand Rapids residents shut down vote on development w/o enough community input

Shouts of “No!” and “Give him the mic!” could be heard at the AmplifyGR meeting last night at Hope Academy, a charter school near Madison and Burton.

The meeting was one in a series hosted by AmplifyGR. AmplifyGR is a non-profit being incubated within the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation. Its purpose is to engage the community regarding the development of $10 million worth of properties that Rockford Construction has purchased in the Boston Square and Cottage Grove neighborhoods.

At this meeting, the agenda set by AmplifyGR was to vote on a community ballot for planning. This ballot was generated by AmplifyGR from the last meeting, on September 7. At that meeting, attendees were put into separate breakout groups to discuss their goals regarding topics that AmplifyGR chose: education, jobs and businesses, housing, and community well-being.

http://www.therapidian.org/boston-square-residents-shut-down-amplifygr-vote

Call to Action: Gather against corporate welfare and call for a city-wide CBA.

Dan Gilbert & Bedrock are breaking ground on the “Q Scraper” this Thursday, December 14. The skyscraper will be the tallest building in Detroit. The project will extract hundreds of millions in public funds and resources.

Dan Gilbert has established a development monopoly downtown that is threatening to expand into the neighborhoods. He has done so by stripping public funds and resources, land and buildings, from our black and brown majority city and transferring them to his private projects, like the “Q Scraper”.

We have an obligation to speak out against the use of our public resources to build things that are not for us. We gather to express our lack of consent and our objection to Dan Gilbert’s family of companies monopoly.

Join with Detroit People’s Platform Thursday morning. We will meet at 8am for coffee and conversation at the Detroit People’s Platform office (7700 Second at Palliester, Free off street parking.) At 9:00am we will gather in Grand Circus Park (corner of Woodward and E. Adams.)

Thursday, December 14, 2017
8am Coffee and Conversation
7700 Second at Palliester, Free off street parking
9am Gathering at Grand Circus Park
Corner of Woodward and E. Adams

Bring signs and dress warm!
https://www.facebook.com/events/136226957050435/

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Gilbert’s Icarus Moment, Call for a City-Wide CBA

Gilbert’s Icarus Moment, Call for a City-Wide CBA

Call to Action: Gather against corporate welfare and call for a city-wide CBA.

Dan Gilbert & Bedrock are breaking ground on the “Q Scraper” this Thursday, December 14. The skyscraper will be the tallest building in Detroit. The project will extract hundreds of millions in public funds and resources.

Dan Gilbert has established a development monopoly downtown that is threatening to expand into the neighborhoods. He has done so by stripping public funds and resources, land and buildings, from our black and brown majority city and transferring them to his private projects, like the “Q Scraper”.

We have an obligation to speak out against the use of our public resources to build things that are not for us. We gather to express our lack of consent and our objection to Dan Gilbert’s family of companies monopoly.

Join with Detroit People’s Platform Thursday morning. We will meet at 8am for coffee and conversation at the Detroit People’s Platform office (7700 Second at Palliester, Free off street parking.) At 9:00am we will gather in Grand Circus Park (corner of Woodward and E. Adams.)

Thursday, December 14, 2017
8am Coffee and Conversation
7700 Second at Palliester, Free off street parking
9am Gathering at Grand Circus Park
Corner of Woodward and E. Adams

Bring signs and dress warm!
https://www.facebook.com/events/136226957050435/

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Detroit City Council approves $250M in taxpayer money for Dan Gilbert

https://www.metrotimes.com/table-and-bar/archives/2017/11/21/detroit-city-council-approves-250m-in-taxpayer-money-for-dan-gilbert

Detroit City Council approves $250M in taxpayer money for Dan Gilbert

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Michigan’s richest resident will take home $250 million in state taxpayer funds to help finance four new developments in downtown Detroit.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit City Council approved the money for Bedrock, Dan Gilbert’s development company, over the objections of residents who questioned the need to provide a billionaire with taxpayer money. Gilbert’s net worth is estimated at $5.6 billion.

The proposal was held up in committee last week after residents expressed similar concerns to council’s planning and economic development committee. While some stakeholders once again voiced opposition to the proposal during public comment at Tuesday’s full council meeting, only council member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez questioned it at the council table. She said she believes a stronger community benefits ordinance needs to be in place.

“I believe the community benefits ordinance should also be transformational. [The current ordinance] doesn’t lead to systemic change for the community,” she said.

As she spoke, council member Scott Benson shut her down on a point of order.

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Gilbert Project Approval moves to full Council Today – Tues, Nov 21 10am CAYMC

Gilbert Project Approval moves to full Council Today – Tues, Nov 21 10am CAYMC

DevWatch Detroit – On Monday, November 20, 2017 the Planning and Economic Development Committee moved Bedrock/Dan Gilbert’s latest downtown development projects onto the full council for a vote this morning.

Detroit City Council Formal Session, Tuesday November 21, 10am Watch Live

Earlier this year state legislators passed, and the governor signed into law what they called the Transformational Brownfield Law. This law makes it possible for Dan Gilbert and other developers across the state access to up to $1 billion in tax incentives.

Now, in order for Gilbert to ask for the first $250 million from the State, Detroit City Council must first approve the project. Again, the vote will be this morning, Tuesday November 21, 10am on the 13th floor of CAYMC.

Yesterday’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting was nothing more than political theater, with council members making accolades and feigning strength while, in the end, just rolling over to the developers.

It appears many of these decisions and votes are premeditated and that our voices are lost to money and outside influence.

We also know that if we do not speak out they will move more quickly.

If we do not speak out we will get even less benefits than we’re getting now.

The reality is that the token concessions offered by local developers pales in comparison to what communities across the country are able to win when developers rely on public monies to help finance their private projects.

•Why is it okay that majority white developers are allowed to siphon off millions in public resources from Detroit’s majority African American population?

•Why is there is no outcry about the injustice?

•Why don’t our elected officials fight for us as hard as they fight for the developers?

The system is broken and we must find a way to fix it and make it more responsive to the residents of this city. In the meantime we continue to organize, fight for change and hold each and every council person accountable for their vote. We will continue to fight for racial and economic justice and a real CBA. Watch for details in January 2018.

While we encourage people to attend City Council and Mayoral meetings, Detroit People’s Platform has decided to stop asking members and supporters to take on the many risks and cost involved in going Downtown these days.

Please call, email or tweet your Council Members.

Detroit City Council Contact Info 2017

At Large – Council President Brenda Jones
@DetroitCouncilPres
(313) 224-1245
bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov.

At Large – Janee Ayers
@Ayers4Detroit
(313) 224-4248
ayersj@detroitmi.gov

District 2 – Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr.
@gcush
(313) 224-4535
cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov

District 1 – James Tate
@CouncilmanTate
(313) 224-1027
councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

District 3 – Scott Benson
@Scottinthe3rd
(313) 224-1198
BensonS@detroitmi.gov

District 4 – Andre L. Spivey
@CouncilmnSpivey
(313) 224-4841
CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

District 5 – Mary Sheffield
@MsMarySheffield
(313) 224-4505
CouncilMemberSheffield@detroitmi.gov

District 6 – Raquel Castaneda-Lopez
@Raquel4Detroit
(313) 224-2450
councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov

District 7 – Gabe Leland
@gabeleland
(313) 224-2151
LelandG@detroitmi.gov

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Call to Action: Gilbert’s New Downtown Development Project Approval

Call to Action: Gilbert’s New Downtown Development Project Approval

November 17, 2017
Detroit People’s Platform
DevWatch Action Alert

Gilbert’s New Downtown Development Project Approval – Action: Video Public Comments to Council

Artist Rendering of the Hudson’s site. Source: Metrotimes https://media2.fdncms.com/metrotimes/imager/u/original/7060072/hudsons-site-render-full.jpg

Details
On Monday, November 20, 2017 the Planning and Economic Development Committee will meet and decide whether or not to pass Dan Gilbert’s latest downtown development projects onto the full council for a vote.

The Projects: a skyscraper on the former Hudson’s site; the Monroe Block; the Book Tower and Building; and an expansion of the Campus Martius building.

The Failure of the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) Process

Both the Hudson’s site and the Monroe Block projects have been part of the Community Benefits process laid out by the Community Benefits Ordinance formally known as Proposal B. This process creates a Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) that meet with developers. Multiple NAC members have expressed that at the end of the CBO process under Prop B, they feel the community benefits that are presented have already been decided upon before the NAC was ever created.

What they are building isn’t for everyday Detroiters to live, work or play in. Why are they using and diverting OUR tax dollars for these projects?

Dan Gilbert has an estimated net worth of $5.6 billion.

Earlier this year state legislators passed, and the governor signed into law what they called the Transformational Brownfield Law. This law makes it possible for Dan Gilbert and other developers across the state access to up to $1 billion in tax incentives. Now, in order for Gilbert to ask for the first $250 million from the State, Detroit City Council must first approve the project.

Next Tuesday will be the last regular City Council meeting before they break for the year. We assume that Gilbert wants to get this project approved before the break so that he can shift his focus to getting approval in Lansing.

Call to Action:

While we encourage people to attend City Council and Mayoral meetings, Detroit People’s Platform has decided to stop asking members and supporters to take on the many risk and costs involved in going Downtown these days. Due to this, this is a ‘virtual’ call.

We are requesting support in getting 100 messages to Council by next Tuesday morning.

In addition to calling and emailing, if possible, we are asking members and supporters to use their phone or another device to record a public comment. In your video please ask other Detroiters to make their own video to share with council and other Detroiters.

Please post your public comment videos to your social media pages, tag Detroit People’s Platform @detroitpeoples, send them to Planning and Economic Development members Benson, Sheffield and Leland, your District Council Member and both ‘At Large’ Council Members. Contact Info below.

News/Media – Learn More:

Dan Gilbert requested $250M more in public money and Detroit City Council is hesitating to hand it over

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/11/13/dan-gilbert-requested-250m-more-in-public-money-and-detroit-city-council-is-hesitating-to-hand-it-over

Push for stronger community benefits process in Detroit as big projects move forward

http://michiganradio.org/post/push-stronger-community-benefits-process-detroit-big-projects-move-forward

Detroit City Council Contact Info – 2017

Who is your city councilperson? Check the map to find your district.

At Large – Council President Brenda Jones
@DetroitCouncilPres
(313) 224-1245
bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov.

At Large – Janee Ayers
@Ayers4Detroit
(313) 224-4248
ayersj@detroitmi.gov

District 2 – Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr.
@gcush
(313) 224-4535
cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov

District 1 – James Tate
@CouncilmanTate
(313) 224-1027
councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

District 3 – Scott Benson
@Scottinthe3rd
(313) 224-1198
BensonS@detroitmi.gov

District 4 – André L. Spivey
@CouncilmnSpivey
(313) 224-4841
CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

District 5 – Mary Sheffield
@MsMarySheffield
(313) 224-4505
CouncilMemberSheffield@detroitmi.gov

District 6 – Raquel Castaneda-Lopez
@Raquel4Detroit
(313) 224-2450
councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov

District 7 – Gabe Leland
@gabeleland
(313) 224-2151
LelandG@detroitmi.gov

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DevWatch Advisory Alert – Questioning the $500,000 Qfund

DevWatch Advisory Alert – Questioning the $500,000 Qfund

 “I can’t believe what you say,

because I see what you do.”

James Baldwin

 

November 16, 2017

Detroit People’s Platform

DevWatch Advisory Alert

What: Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund’s Neighbor to Neighbor Tax Foreclosure Prevention Outreach (We’ve been calling it the ‘Qfund’)

Where: In neighborhoods throughout Detroit.

When: Now, Qfund is  currently reaching out to community groups to partner in the foreclosure prevention program

Why: The Qfund says they are doing this to connect people to community resources and prevent home foreclosures.

How: The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (Qfund) is a $500,000 fund to partner with neighborhood organizations who agree to collect data through survey questions. Organizations will receive funding based on the number of households they agree to survey. Funds will be made available to pay individuals to collect survey data from their neighbors.  Individuals who collect the survey data will enter the data into their own smartphone with an app that will upload survey answers directly to Loveland Technologies database. Loveland Technologies is an online data company that creates software and applications about land parcels and property ownership.

Critical Questions

What is the purpose of this program?

A great deal of information about these properties is already available online through Loveland’s website and the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction site. Why is more data needed?

What information will be collected from neighbors who participate in the survey? In exchange for getting information to help prevent foreclosure of their home, will those who take this survey be required to turn over personal household and financial information?

Some groups have complained that the type of information that will be collected on the survey has not been shared. We recommend that potential community partners demand to see the survey questions and know the kind of information you will be collecting from your neighbors.

How many Households is the Qfund attempting to collect data from? Who will determine which households will receive assistance once the information has been turned over to the Qfund?

What other assistance programs will be made available and what ‘other services will be offered to those who participate in the survey?

Once the the data is collected, who decides who owns the data and who will be able to use the data in the future. What will happen to all the data that is being collected?

Groups have reported that there are conflicting messages between program flyers and the actual contract agreements community partners are asked to sign in order to get the funding.  The flyers state that any participating organization will have access  to the data collected. We encourage potential community partners to pay close attention to what is said about who owns and retains access to the data and to negotiate terms around their own use and ownership of the data they are collecting.

We recommend that potential community partners pay close attention to the penalties for non-compliance and what constitutes non-compliance in the agreement.

While many details about this program are still being researched, these and other questions need to be answered. Detroit People’s Platform encourages community groups to ask the tough questions and get REAL answers before signing on to the Qfund agreement.

 

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#Detroit needs a #RealCBO Press Conference and Media

#Detroit needs a #RealCBO Press Conference and Media

November 10, 2017 – Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform hosted a press conference Thursday morning announcing that they are stepping up the fight for real Community Benefits to address racial and economic inequities around development in the city.

Their announcement comes one year after Detroiters faced a confusing choice between Proposal A and Proposal B at the polls. For the past year the group has been documenting the failure of Proposal B and are demanding that City Council take action to create a Community Benefits Ordinance that is fair and equitable for all Detroiters.

More: http://www.facebook.com/equitabledetr…

http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

Media:
Shelterforce – In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew –
https://shelterforce.org/2017/11/09/in-detroit-the-fight-for-community-benefits-begins-anew/

Metrotimes – Detroit activists seek changes to ‘toothless’ community benefits law –
https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/11/09/detroit-law-asking-developers-to-provide-community-benefits-amounts-to-lip-service-activists-say

Michigan Radio – Push for stronger community benefits process in Detroit as big projects move forward –
http://michiganradio.org/post/push-stronger-community-benefits-process-detroit-big-projects-move-forward

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One Year of Prop B Prompts Call for Racial and Economic Justice

One Year of Prop B Prompts Call for Racial and Economic Justice

DETROIT – This Thursday, the Equitable Detroit Coalition will hold a press conference announcing that they are stepping up the fight for real Community Benefits to address racial and economic inequities around development in the city. Their announcement comes one year after Detroiters faced a confusing choice between Proposal A and Proposal B at the polls. For the past year the group has been documenting the failure of Proposal B and are demanding that City Council take action to create a Community Benefits Ordinance that is fair and equitable for all Detroiters.

The group will also release a report, “Fighting for Equity in Development,” chronicling last year’s grassroots campaign for racial and economic justice through Proposal A. The report tells the story of how a massively outspent campaign got Proposal A onto the ballot with 5,000 signatures and garnered nearly 100,000 votes. The press conference and release of the report will take place Thursday, November 9, 9:00 a.m. in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue on Woodward at Jefferson.

It’s been one year since Proposal B was passed via a massive corporate media campaign and the deeply flawed ordinance can now be repaired. As it as been implemented, it provides only token community input for resident’s involvement in development. With developers receiving millions in public funds and resources to subsidize their projects Detroiters deserve legally binding agreements that hold developers accountable. Equitable Detroit Coalition and the group’s supporters are fighting for Detroit’s African American majority to truly have a seat at the table as billionaire developers converge on the city.

The Report:
#RealCBO One year ago Detroiters voted on two versions of a Community Benefits Ordinance. To commemorate this anniversary Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform with support from our national partners Building Movement Project have produced a new report “Fighting for Equity in Development, The Story of Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance“.

As communities across the country organize around Community Benefits Agreements and consider ordinances and ballot proposals as a means to hold developers accountable, this deep dive into the CBA movement in Detroit is timely.

Download and print “Fighting for Equity” to share with your community.

FROM THE REPORT

“In recent decades, city leaders have spent or conceded more and more public resources for ambitious projects to fulfill their economic agendas. In response, community groups across the nation have turned to CBAs to prevent such projects from benefiting new high-income residents at the expense of services and amenities for high-poverty communities that remain, often just blocks away.”

“By relying on tireless grassroots organizing and community outreach, Equitable Detroit planted seeds for a broader movement for equitable development—one that they hope will extend beyond one policy and one city. “If we are as successful as we want to be,” says Angy Webb, an Equitable Detroit member and leader of Joy Community Association, “we will be a model for everyone.””

“This report documents the national model on which Equitable Detroit is building, the inequalities that it aims to address, and the way in which the CBO can further propel the community benefits model. It details Equitable Detroit’s campaign and strategies to date and offers some lessons that its members have learned or reinforced in the process, which they will use to move forward and which community leaders in other cities may find useful in pursuing their own CBO campaigns.”

Posted on

Fighting for Equity in Development Report

Fighting for Equity in Development Report

#RealCBA One year ago Detroiters voted on two versions of a Community Benefits Ordinance. To commemorate this anniversary Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform with support from our national partners Building Movement Project have produced a new report “Fighting for Equity in Development, The Story of Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance“.

As communities across the country organize around Community Benefits Agreements and consider ordinances and ballot proposals as a means to hold developers accountable, this deep dive into the CBA movement in Detroit is timely.

Download and print “Fighting for Equity” to share with your community.

FROM THE REPORT

“In recent decades, city leaders have spent or conceded more and more public resources for ambitious projects to fulfill their economic agendas. In response, community groups across the nation have turned to CBAs to prevent such projects from benefiting new high-income residents at the expense of services and amenities for high-poverty communities that remain, often just blocks away.”

“By relying on tireless grassroots organizing and community outreach, Equitable Detroit planted seeds for a broader movement for equitable development—one that they hope will extend beyond one policy and one city. “If we are as successful as we want to be,” says Angy Webb, an Equitable Detroit member and leader of Joy Community Association, “we will be a model for everyone.””

“This report documents the national model on which Equitable Detroit is building, the inequalities that it aims to address, and the way in which the CBO can further propel the community benefits model. It details Equitable Detroit’s campaign and strategies to date and offers some lessons that its members have learned or reinforced in the process, which they will use to move forward and which community leaders in other cities may find useful in pursuing their own CBO campaigns.”

Posted on

Wealth Stripping and Race

Wealth Stripping and Race

‘Wealth Stripping and Race’ outlines how big corporations and developers transfer wealth from black and brown communities to themselves.

Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 5-7:30pm.
The Wellness Plan Building
7700 2nd Ave, Detroit Mi 48216.

Presented by Maurice Weeks. Maurice is the Co-Executive Director of ACRE. He works with community organizations and labor unions on campaigns to go on offense against Wall Street to beat back their destruction of communities of color. He was previously the Campaign Director of the ReFund America Project and worked as the Wall Street Accountability and Housing Justice campaigner at the Center for Popular Democracy before that. Maurice serves on the Advisory Council of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD). He graduated from Swarthmore College.