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Detroit’s current CBA Ordinance must be amended

Detroit’s current CBA Ordinance must be amended

A year of So-called “Community Benefits”

It’s been more than a year since Detroiters went to the polls and voted for Community Benefits. It’s now  possible to amend the current ordinance so that it becomes the powerful tool Detroiters originally created in  Proposal A.

To date, in meetings with developers the Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) are routinely denied the benefits requested for their communities. Three typical request from NACs not met by developers are for more time, greater transparency and more meaningful benefits.

“We are outraged and appalled by the City’s CBO Report. We spent a great deal of time working on our requests, speaking with neighbors, and doing research – not knowing that the entire development plan was already decided.” – NAC Member

The current CBA Ordinance has failed. Detroiters, for the most part are still being left out of the city’s revitalization.  As development expands and targets more Detroit Neighborhoods we need strong commitments to racial equity, which have been missing in revitalization efforts. We need guarantees that money coming in doesn’t mean we will be pushed out.

[bctt tweet=”There has been a total of $832 million in public funds and resources given away since the CBA Ordinance was enacted in 2016. We need to amend the current CBA Ordinance! #Detroit #AmendtheCBA”]

Detroit’s current CBA Ordinance must be amended:

  • Lower the $$$ threshold for project participation
  • Give community more voice in the development process
  • Include a conflict of interest clause
  • Result in legally binding agreements
  • Monitor and enforce clawbacks when developers fail to do what they say.

The transfer of public funds and resources from a majority-black city to white billionaires’ private economic projects is an example of Wealth Stripping. This extraction of public funds and resources without representation must stop. Join the movement to amend the CBA Ordinance.

Visit detroitpeoplesplatform.org to read the full Recommendations for Amendments and more about how a strong amended CBA Ordinance  can be a tool to protect, maintain and empower majority-black Detroit.

Download, Print and Share Equitable Detroit Coalitions Recommendations for Amendments: 

http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/EDC_CBORecommendationsJan2018.pdf

 

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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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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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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

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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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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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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.