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.
#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.
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.”