Category Archives

44 Articles

Posted on

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?

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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/

Posted on

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/

Posted on

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

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.

Posted on

Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference, October 27-29, 2017

Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference, October 27-29, 2017

Join us for the 13th Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference, October 27-29 @ Marygrove College. Conference program enclosed. Registration: www.glbd.org or call (313) 717-6151.

GLBD CONFERENCE, October 27-29, 2017

Bioneers (biological pioneers) is an annual conference, a movement and a way of life! National BIONEERS is in its 28th year and Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit in its 13th year! We are grateful for the ongoing growth of our relationships as Bioneers, inspired by your commitment and deeply appreciate the support of all who make this conference possible. Each year we welcome you to a weekend together celebrating and affirming the transformative work of so many in Detroit and SE Michigan.

When people come together as a learning community that contributes to discover new sustainable ways of being and share transformative ideas for the sake of the Commons, everyone benefits. Sharing your values, vision and actions to the new story can indeed change our future. The Thirteenth Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference will be a Bioneers Resilient Communities Network Event in which you can connect with engaged individuals making a real difference.

Register Today! http://www.glbd.org/conference.html

Posted on

Tonight’s Arena Protest – Real Detroiters Demand Real Community Benefits

Tonight’s Arena Protest – Real Detroiters Demand Real Community Benefits

Tonight, Tuesday, September 12 the Detroit National Action Network and others have called a protest of the Little Caesars Arena and Kid Rock. More details on the protest can be found on this facebook page. 

The decision by Olympia Entertainment to open a publicly funded arena with 6 shows by a performer who has been at the center of racial conflict for the majority of his career is more than tone deaf. It is an example of the disconnect between developers, the administration and community. The arena development has also failed Detroiters in a more profound way – the absence of a legally binding community benefit agreement (CBA) attached to the multi million dollar public investment. It is another reason why we need REAL CBAs in Detroit. REAL CBAs are tools for Racial and Economic Justice.

Nothing prohibits Olympia Entertainment, The Pistons or any other developer from entering voluntarily into legally binding CBAs with community.

In solidarity with tonight’s protests we are calling for Detroiters and those who support racial and economic justice to contact Olympia Entertainment (313) 471-3200 @LCA_Detroit and the Detroit Pistons (248) 377-0100, ext #1 @DetroitPistons to DEMAND A CBA.

Demand that they engage with community and enter into a legally binding Community Benefits Agreement. Please make calls to those headquarters and share on social media as part of our week long action around Little Caesars Arena.

Click to Tweet:

Tweet: Detroiters demand that @LCA_Detroit voluntarily enter into a legally biding Community Benefit Agreement with community. #Detroit https://ctt.ec/BqcMd+Detroiters demand that @LCA_Detroit voluntarily enter into a legally biding Community Benefit Agreement with community. #Detroit https://ctt.ec/BqcMd+

Tweet: Detroiters demand that @DetroitPistons voluntarily enter into a legally biding Community Benefit Agreement with community. #Detroit https://ctt.ec/bzEb1+Detroiters demand that @DetroitPistons voluntarily enter into a legally biding Community Benefit Agreement with community. #Detroit https://ctt.ec/bzEb1+

Tweet: We need REAL CBAs in #Detroit. REAL CBAs are tools for Racial and Economic Justice. https://ctt.ec/B2abd+We need REAL CBAs in #Detroit. REAL CBAs are tools for Racial and Economic Justice. https://ctt.ec/B2abd+

 

“The $324-million public contribution to the arena’s construction represents the bulk of taxpayers’ commitment to the project. The only other public support for the District Detroit — the 50-block section of the city including the arena and other new office, retail and residential spaces — is a $74-million payment the Ilitches’ development firm receives if it causes at least $200 million in new development near the arena.” http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/2017/09/06/little-caesars-arena-detroit-cost/616890001/

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/mHWYK5Ta2aM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Read More:

Stephen Henderson: Kid Rock opener at Little Caesars Arena is middle finger to Detroiters
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/stephen-henderson/2017/09/02/kid-rock-caesars-ilitch-arena/623154001/
When the Ilitch family’s Olympia Entertainment division chose divisive performer Kid Rock to christen Little Caesars Arena with six shows and a new restaurant, it sent a message to the Detroiters who made the project possible and who have yet to see the benefits promised.

What Detroit Stadiums Cost
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20170910/news/638651/what-detroits-stadiums-cost

Posted on

Racial Equity, a missing strategy from Detroit’s revitalization effort

Racial Equity, a missing strategy from Detroit’s revitalization effort

Racial Equity, a missing strategy from Detroit’s revitalization effort

There ARE 2 Detroits!

The new Detroit People’s Platform NEWS (v.11) documents our work in Affordable Housing, Transit and Equitable Development. While each of these issue areas present unique challenges, structural racism are foundational to all three. The disparity between the neighborhoods and the 7.2 mile Downtown/Midtown area, branded as “Greater Downtown”, is largely based upon creating opportunity for some while blocking access to basic needs for others. While the media spins myths of “One Detroit” our work intends to spin it back around to reality; there ARE 2 Detroits.

Until we create, empower and enforce policies that intentionally address the harsh lines of difference that plague Detroit’s redevelopment the divide will continue to increase.

The 7.2 mile “Greater Downtown” area is sucking up all of the resources and pouring what they don’t use down the drain. During 2017 it is estimated 18,000+ households will have their water shut off. (27,000 in 2016) The United Nations has recognized this humanitarian/public health crisis.

Why do the majority of Detroiters have to put up with bus stops with no shelter or seating while the QLine stations in the 7.2 mile “Greater Downtown/Midtown” area have real-time wait displays, seating, protection from the elements, lighting, and security? All bus riders deserve the same access to shelters with schedule information, seating, and protection from the elements!