Detroit – Today the Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates visited Detroit City Council to present signatures from over 300 households from their ongoing “Development without Displacement” campaign. The petition is in support of 12 demands that have been put together based on citizen led organizing and surveying.
In December 2017, a group of long time residents in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood came together to discuss the plans the city is making for redevelopment in their neighborhood. Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates began to engage residents in face to face conversations about community needs while at the same time collecting important survey data.
The group has been focused on responding to the Strategic Framework Plan that the city is currently hosting community engagement meetings on. They have also met with their Council representative, Council Member André L. Spivey. Due to lack of adequate response the city Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates have prepared, collected and are now presenting these petitions.
Petition by the People of Jefferson Chalmers
We, the undersigned residents acknowledge that the Declaration of Rights included in the Charter of the City of Detroit states “The people have a right to expect city government to provide for its residents, decent housing; job opportunities; reliable, convenient and comfortable transportation; recreational facilities and activities; cultural enrichment, including libraries and art and historical museums; clean air and waterways, safe drinking water and a sanitary, environmentally sound city.” Therefore, as residents we demand a more equitable and inclusive planning and economic development process that prioritizes the voice and recommendations of our residents and honors the community’s historical and current priorities as cited:
- Provide home repair grants for fixed low-income residents (owner occupied) who have been residing in the home for 1 year or more.
- Retain property tax levels at current rates for the life of the homeowner and any surviving heirs who remain in the home.
- Ensure that only homes that cannot be rehabbed will be demolished after assessment is made by a third party not affiliated with the Land Bank.
- Assure that once a home has been demolished a comparable home is built in its place within a 12-24 month period.
- Community Residents will be given first priority to purchase Land Bank owned property.
- Offer incentives to reopen a mixed-use community center, specifically Maheras-Gentry.
- All waterfront parks will remain public.
- Make sure there are separate buildings for elementary and middle schools for students in the Jeff Chalmers area.
- The city office of General Services will create jobs for community residents to perform park maintenance and park patrols.
- Upon the recommendation of an independent party demolish all Land Bank/city-owned buildings along the Jefferson Corridor that cannot be rehabbed. Offer incentives to have the demolished buildings replaced with businesses needed in the community as noted in the community survey.
- Create an enterprise zone within the Jefferson Chalmers Community and a Workforce Development Office.
- Remove bike lanes from main thoroughfares, i.e. Jefferson Avenue.