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Housing Update – Rental Registration Ordinance

In October of 2017, Detroit City Council voted unanimously on an ordinance to toughen rental regulations. The ordinance will greatly impact Detroit’s most vulnerable renters and increase displacement. The city is implementing the ordinance through the neighborhoods by zip code starting with 48215 on the East Side February 1st. 

The schedule for the first six ZIP codes is as follows:

ZIP Code Launch Date Registration Date Compliance Date
48215 February 1, 2018 May 1, 2018 August 1, 2018
48224 March 1, 2018 June 1, 2018 September 1, 2018
48223 May 1, 2018 August 1, 2018 November 1, 2018
48219 June 1, 2018 September 1, 2018 December 1, 2018
48209 July 1, 2018 October 1, 2018 January 1, 2018
49210 August 1, 2018 November 1, 2018 February 1, 2018

MORE: http://www.detroitmi.gov/News/ArticleID/2061/Citywide-Effort-to-Bring-All-Rental-Properties-into-Compliance-Begins-Feb-1-in-ZIP-Code-48215

What does the Rental Registration Ordinance mean for Detroit renters?

  • The Rental Registration Ordinance potentially creates conflict between tenants and landlords while protecting neither.
  • The ordinance mandates renters continue to pay rent into an escrow account without providing clarity around the liability of living in non-compliant buildings.
  • All landlords need to be held accountable, but the Rental Registration Ordinance has the potential to target good landlords that have provided housing to low income Detroiters for decades.
  • Decrease in places for low-income Detroiters to live.
  • Disproportionately impacts small independent landlords and further diminishes black home and property ownership.

Major issues that threaten housing stability for Detroiters:

  • Limited affordable and desirable housing, escalating rent.
  • Utility shutoffs, including water
  • Lack of home maintenance and other support programs for small landlords.

 

More on the Rental Regulation Ordinance:

Rental companies sue over Detroit inspection ordinance

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2018/01/15/rental-firms-sue-detroit-inspection-ordinance/109494578/

Crains is behind a subscription firewall, but if you have on here is their recent reporting on the ordinance.  http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20180122/news/650786/detroit-launches-broad-plan-to-bring-rental-properties-up-to-code#

 

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Amazon HQ2 drops Detroit

Amazon HQ2 drops Detroit
 
 
In Mayor Mike Duggan‘s widely circulated response to Detroit being dropped from Amazon’s HQ2 shortlist, he states “he’s going right back to work.” Since he’s going back to work, here’s OUR SHORTLIST of projects the city needs to get on right away:
  • Stop the Water Shutoffs NOW!
  • Build a Detroit-centric transit system that works for all.
  • Invest in neighborhoods in ways that support current residents and are welcoming to an economically diverse population.
  • Build truly affordable housing that answers real Detroiters needs.
  • Bring living wage jobs to the city.
  • Invest in the commons; schools, parks, libraries, and places of culture.
Now that we know Detroit didn’t make the cut for Amazon’s HQ2. We need to remember just how much of our resources those in power are willing to give away to attract projects. Based on their willingness to give it away, we know community must continue to organize to protect, maintain and empower #MajorityBlackDetroit.
 
More:
http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2018/01/dear-amazon/
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Detroit People’s Platform NEWS 12, MLK Day Edition 2018

Detroit People’s Platform NEWS 12, MLK Day Edition 2018

“In the first century BC, Cicero said: “Freedom is participation in power.” Negroes should never want all power because they would deprive others of their freedom. By the same token, Negroes can never be content without participation in power. America must be a nation in which its multiracial people are  partners in power. This is the essence of democracy toward which all Negro struggles have been directed since the distant past when he was transplanted here in chains.”

– Dr. Martin Luther  King, Jr. Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community?

The new Detroit People’s Platform NEWS hits the streets today! #MajorityBlackDetroit



Download the full paper:

http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PeoplesPlatformNews12.pdf

 

Read the articles online:

Majority Black Detroit – Why Black Cities Matter

Housing Update – Rental Registration Ordinance

2017 in Review

Amend the CBO!

Transit Update

DEAR AMAZON

Upcoming Statewide Ballot Proposals

“The cause of a demonstration is the existence of some form of exploitation or oppression that has made it necessary for men of courage and goodwill to protest the evil.”  

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community?

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DEAR AMAZON

UPDATED: Now that we know Detroit didn’t make the cut for Amazon’s HQ2. We need to remember just how much of our resources those in power are willing to give away to attract projects. Based on their willingness to give it away, we know community must continue to organize to protect, maintain and empower majority-black Detroit.

Last year, Detroit was one of hundreds of cities that submitted ‘bids’ for the second Amazon headquarters.

Detroit People’s Platform and many of our partners have signed on to the national campaign around Jobs, Tax Incentives, Accountability and Transparency for Amazon’s new headquarters, wherever they end up. Read More about the national campaign: www.ourhq2wishlist.org

The bid, authored by Dan Gilbert, city officials and others, was kept confidential until the Detroit Free Press uncovered a copy in December.

We don’t know Detroit’s chances for being chosen as the location for Amazon’s HQ2, but we’ve seen how much of our resources those in power are willing to give away to attract this and other projects. We also know that, no matter where Amazon lands, community must organize to leverage benefits and, if they end up in Detroit, to protect, maintain and empower majority-black Detroit.

From “10 things Amazon would get if it chooses Detroit for its second headquarters”

  • “One campus in two countries on a busy international border.”
  • A new Detroit River ferry between the cities.
  • A big tax break package. The total value of the tax breaks and subsidies was blacked out in the version of the documents given to media organizations, but the offer includes breaks on personal income taxes, property taxes, corporate income taxes and a utility users tax. For just Windsor, the incentives total $106 million in U.S. dollars.
  • Cheaper rent. Class A office space in downtown Detroit goes for $22 per square foot. That’s half the rate of other major cities.
  • Cheaper labor. Software developers make an average salary of $88,000 in Detroit, lower than the $113,000 average in the top 15 metropolitan areas.
  • DTE Energy and EnWin in Windsor could supply Amazon with “100% wind power.” (No word on what happens on non-windy days).
  • A trained tech workforce, bolstered by the state’s commitment to make a new $120-million investment in training.
  • First dibs on the 200-plus-acre site containing Southfield’s shuttered Northland Center mall.
  • A potential partnership with Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans “to put Echo/Alexa into the homes of millions of Quicken Loans Mortgage clients.”
  • More public transportation, including a new commuter bus linking downtown Detroit with Ann Arbor.

source: www.freep.com/story/money/business/Michigan/2017/12/20/amazon-detroit-second-headquarters/971050001/

 

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #DetroitPeoples

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Transit Update

Transit Update

Recent developments such as the Qline and now the Amazon HQ2 proposal have suddenly heightened the need for reliable public transportation.

The belated reaction and urgency from decision-makers to provide reliable bus service is an insult to majority-black bus riders and speaks to the long standing racist policies that have led to the decline of the Detroit Public Transit System.

Where was the urgency in 2012 and years after, when the city severely cut funding to the Detroit Department of Transportation? Bus riders in Detroit, who are mostly black had to endure long waits, often with no-show buses, lack of seating at bus stops, and sometimes being stranded.

This new urgency to provide decent public transportation is the result of policy shift and public resources being redirected for the benefit of developers and wealthy individuals that use our public funding for their own private gain.

The Qline is a prime example with the redirection of our public tax dollars, over $70 million, used to create a streetcar that only serves Downtown Detroit, which is increasingly white and wealthy. This new urgency reveals that transit-dependent riders, individuals that use the bus as their sole means of transportation, majority-black and low-income bus riders, were never and are not now a priority.

As newcomers are moving into Detroit, their right to “reliable, convenient and comfortable transportation” as stated in the City Charter of Detroit suddenly becomes a mandate. Public transportation in Detroit has shifted from a service that barely met the needs of bus riders in Detroit to now fitting the needs of choice-riders, many that have private vehicles but opt to use public transit.

How Public Transit is shifting to the benefit of choice riders:

  • Transit-dependent riders in Detroit still have to take more time out of their day riding the bus to ensure they are on time for work, school, and medical appointments. Riders often have to leave 1-2 hours early, to make up for the fact that commutes within the city take over ½ to 1 hour to reach their destination. Whereas new bus lines like SMART FAST and REFLEX feature faster and frequent buses that have limited stops.

 

  • Since 2016, DDOT has created several new “express and direct” routes: #95 Ryan Express, #96 Joy Express, #80 Villages Express, #89 Southwest Direct, #92 Rosedale Express. These routes are one-way, twice-a-day lines that commute people between neighborhoods in SW Detroit, Grandmont-Rosedale, East Outer Drive and Ryan, West Village to Midtown and Downtown Detroit. These new lines take buses from the existing fleet to provide this service. However, many routes within the city still have long wait times and are unreliable, for example: Schoolcraft #43, Conant #12, Russell, and Southfield.

 

  • The new SMART, FAST (“Frequent, Affordable, Safe Transit”) bus service is a high-frequency, bus service with lines on Woodward, Gratiot, and Michigan Avenue that extend from Downtown Detroit to the suburbs. This service has on-board WI-FI Internet access, seven-day and late-night service. Eventually, SMART shelters will feature LCD-screens that show the wait-time and an emergency button connected to customer service and local police. Currently DDOT has no such amenities on their buses and bus shelters.

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #BlackMajorityDetroit

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Amend the CBO!

“In the first century BC, Cicero said: “Freedom is participation in power.” Negroes should never want all power because they would deprive others of their freedom. By the same token, Negroes can never be content without participation in power. America must be a nation in which its multiracial people are partners in power. This is the essence of democracy toward which all Negro struggles have been directed since the distant past when he was transplanted here in chains.”  – Dr. Martin Luther  King, Jr. Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community?

 

The current Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO) has failed Detroiters with an inadequate process that denies residents true power and prevents them from obtaining genuine community benefits. Authentic community power is the highest level of community participation, and it is necessary for equity in the community development process and the creation of a REAL Community Benefit Agreement.

Without community power, community engagement is an empty ritual. Meaningful negotiation allows community members to utilize their power as decision makers to influence development projects in ways that work best for them. Through an equitable partnership, negotiations result in benefits that meet the needs of both the developer and the community.

The developments that have gone through the current CBO process have involved no negotiation between Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) members and developers. The current process provides no accountability regarding the use of public money, because community needs are not required to be addressed in exchange for the incentives and resources developers are receiving.

The CBO Reports produced by Planning and Development for each project do not accurately reflect a negotiated agreement between the NAC and the developer, and therefore are not genuine community benefit agreements.

Under the current ordinance developers are receiving a windfall, and community is receiving nothing. Detroit’s current CBO is in need of amendment to facilitate truly negotiated agreements between residents and developers.

Amendment Recommendations:
Legally Binding Community Benefits Report:
The result of the CBO process must be a legally binding contractual agreement between the NAC and the Developer.

Require Authentic Negotiations between Developer & NAC: The developer should be required to receive NAC approval before the CBO Report is presented to Council. This would incentivize the developer to negotiate and compromise with the NAC regarding the community concerns they present. This requirement would also provide a method for the NAC to secure genuine community benefits in exchange for the developer’s receipt of public funds.

Penalty for Non-compliance: Developers who do not participate in the CBO process in good faith should be restricted from receiving public funds and benefits from their projects, or subject to suspension or revocation of public funds and benefits.

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #DetroitPeoples

 

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Upcoming Statewide Ballot Proposals

Upcoming Statewide Ballot Proposals

Redistricting

With a simple majority vote the voters of Michigan can create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission in charge of redistricting, ensuring that voters will choose their politicians, not the other way around. www.votersnotpoliticians.com

One Fair Wage

One Fair Wage of Michigan is proposing gradually increasing the minimum wage to $12 by 2022, and for workers who receive tips, the minimum wage would get to $12 per hour by 2024. One Fair Wage has 180 days to gather valid signatures of Michigan voters statewide to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. www.onefairwage.com

Earned Paid Sick Leave

Earned Paid Sick Leave will ensure that all Michigan workers have the ability to earn paid sick days to use when they are ill or need to take care of a family member. Time to Care Coalition will collect signatures statewide in an effort to bring the question to the voters in Nov. 2018. www.mitimetocare.org

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #DetroitPeoples

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2017 in Review

2017 in Review

2017 in Review
It was one helluva of a year! 

“The cause of a demonstration is the existence of some form of exploitation or oppression that has made it necessary for men of courage and goodwill to protest the evil.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community?

These are just a few of the many events we organized and participated in last year. 

2017 Candidate Nights – People’s Platform hosted 7 well-attended opportunities for voters to meet with and educate candidates.

WhyLine Action – In June the Qline opened. Over 100 People’s Platform members and supporters gathered to express their dissent and demand REAL CBAs when public funds are used for private projects.

Tax Foreclosure Protest – Called by the Coalition to End Illegal Tax Foreclosures, we gathered in front of the house of Wayne County Treasurer, Eric Sabree.

Little Caesar’s Arena Protest – Protesting the lack of real community benefits for everyday Detroiters and the insult of opening a public funded arena in a majority-black city with six Kid Rock shows. Hundreds of Detroiters marched on Woodward. Counter protesters displayed the confederate flag.

Wealth Stripping and Race – We were honored to host this powerful workshop presented by Maurice Weeks the Co-Executive Director of ACRE.

Housing Trust Fund Established – In November, the Affordable Housing Ordinance was passed and a Housing Trust Fund was established.

Hudson’s Site Ground Breaking Protest – A small group of Detroiters gathered in the freezing cold to disrupt Dan Gilbert/Bedrock’s ground-breaking celebration.

Thank you to everyone who joined with us and supported our efforts in 2017! In Solidarity!

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #BlackMajorityDetroit

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Majority Black Detroit – Why Black Cities Matter

Majority Black Detroit – Why Black Cities Matter

“The road to social justice will be paved on neighborhood streets.”

Why Black Cities Matter

In October of last year, The Brookings Institute released a report on research by David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Andre M. Perry. The research focuses in on 1200 majority-black cities in the US and looks at the connection between the treatment of black and brown individuals and the policies that impact majority-black cities. The report asserts that “if black lives matter, then black cities must matter too”.

Majority-black Detroit, like most majority black cities and towns in the US, has been shaped by racist policies and economic practices. Since the creation of the Detroit People’s Platform in 2013 Detroit has been subject to a number of policies that have set the stage for revitalization and “rebirth” in one hand, while displacing black people and diverting black political and economic power with the other.

Listen to the PODCAST! 
https://www.brookings.edu/podcast-episode/why-black-cities-matter/

“Benevolent gentrification as a means to improve neighborhoods whether called revitalization, renaissance and revival, only shift neighborhood neglect to other places”

Detroiters have been subject to Consent Agreement, Emergency Management, Bankruptcy, Illegal Foreclosures, Water Shutoffs and other racist policies that were enacted to “save” or “turn around” the city. Many of these policies have resulted in the removal and replacement of certain segments of Detroit’s black population.

“Improvement by replacement is not real.  It’s hard to seek improvement for a city when it’s residents aren’t authentically respected. Black leadership, labor, intellectualism and culture that have been used to combat racism are assets worth preserving. If not valued “solutions” will inevitably end up making the city less black. A community’s right to existence is what the discourse around equity and social justice for cities can learn from Black Lives Matter movement.”

The report also centers the importance of anti-racist organizing in the face of these policies and the values of these efforts. Detroiters have been on the front lines, not only fighting racist policy, but also building movement around policies that engender racial and economic justice. The issues and struggles touched upon in this issue of the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS document these efforts. Our work for REAL Community Benefit Agreements, advocacy for truly affordable housing and public transit that responds to the needs of Detroiters strives to protect, maintain and empower majority-black Detroit in the face of the city and corporate power brokers relentless effort to re-engineer the nation’s largest Black city.

READ MORE:
www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2017/10/04/recognizing-majority-black-cities-when-their-existence-is-being-questioned/

Detroit Diverted Diversion of public funds into private projects has become an organized and managed process in Detroit that is now being replicated throughout the city.

  • Federal Hardest Hit funds diverted from keeping Detroiter in homes to home demolition.
  • Public Transit funds diverted to the Qline, see Transit Gentrification.
  • Public education funds diverted through tax capture to fund private projects.
  • City owned, public land and resources diverted to private projects/ownership.

From Detroit People’s Platform NEWS #12, MLK Day edition, January 15, 2018. Download the Detroit People’s Platform NEWS at http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org and learn more about our work in REAL Community Benefits, truly affordable housing and transit that meets the needs of everyday Detroiters. Join the conversation #DetroitPeoples