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Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates demand Development without Displacement

Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates demand Development without Displacement

#DevelopmentWithoutDisplacement

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.
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Dear Ford, If you want to create tomorrow together, let’s get real today with a legitimate CBA.

Dear Ford, If you want to create tomorrow together, let’s get real today with a legitimate CBA.

October 14, 2018
Detroit – The Equitable Detroit Coalition has released an open letter to Ford Motor Co. This letter challenges Ford to go further and agree to a CBA worthy of a $17 billion multinational corporation.

Ford Motor Co. has a net worth of nearly $17 billion. They want $239 million in tax breaks for their $740 million project in Corktown. They want to “fast track” an abatement of $104 million in city taxes over 35 years to catch another $18.7 million in tax breaks from the state by the end of October.

CALL TO ACTION:

Monday – Call Council

On Monday, October 15th, we are asking Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters to call their District Council Member and their ‘at large’ Council Members, Council President Brenda Jones and Council Member Janee Ayers. 

Tuesday – Attend Council Meeting and make Public Comment

On Tuesday, October 16th, Detroit City Council will vote on the Community Benefits Agreement for the Ford Corktown project. The meeting will begin at 10am. We advise people to arrive early to locate parking, get a seat and a public comment card.

Share the “Dear Ford” video

Please use #DearFord to share on social media.

Share the “Dear Ford” letter

Dear Ford Motor Co.,

We are the Equitable Detroit Coalition (EDC) the city-wide Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) coalition representing a constituency of nearly 100,000 Detroiters who voted “YES” on Proposal A. Proposal A mandated strong and legally binding Community Benefit Agreements on large projects that receive public subsidy.

To begin, we acknowledge the hard work of community members and the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) with the Ford Motor Company’s Corktown Project. We also recognize the pressure on the NAC and the community to cooperate and not offend Ford given the unique role the corporation has played in Detroit and Southeast Michigan for the previous 100 years. Yet, we would be remiss not to lift up the fact that the fortunes of Ford Motor Company and the intergenerational wealth of the Ford family were, in part. built on the backs of labor and Detroit workers.

The tensions that many Detroiters hold regarding corporate incentives is well known and documented. In a perfect world these incentives would not exist. Sadly, the political reality is that you, Ford Motor Company, will prevail in your request for $240 million dollars in public tax subsidies successfully diverting millions of dollars from much needed community improvements for decades to come. The community asked for up to $75 million in funds to support a broad array of community benefits including affordable housing for the most vulnerable, neighborhood and infrastructure improvements, workforce training, scholarships and other benefits. Your response was to offer a package of $10 million. This doesn’t go far enough.

Further, we want to remind you that while Ford is preparing for a successful future, many residents live in present day Detroit, where real people are being negatively impacted as part of the changes this and other private economic development projects bring with them. Less than a mile away from your project there are households where families with children exist without water, are threatened with housing displacement, and possibly face forced removal from their community. The median income around the project area is only $23,160.

On behalf of our constituent base, we urge Ford representatives to return to the table and renegotiate a real and legally-binding CBA with community. We challenge Ford Motor Co. to go further and agree to a CBA that is worthy of a $17 billion, multinational corporation. If Ford wants to create tomorrow together, let’s get real today with a legitimate CBA.

Sincerely,
The Equitable Detroit Coalition

Download the letterDearFord

 

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Call to Action Rally with SEIU for good jobs

Call to Action Rally with SEIU for good jobs

Call to Action!

We are calling on Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters to join us Thursday June 14th at 11:30 a.m. at the Spirit of Detroit to rally with SEIU Local 1. Detroit People’s Platform will gather under the banner of our Majority-Black Detroit Matters campaign.

Free Parking and Buses/Shuttles (Leaving at 11am) are available from the SEIU Local 1 office on Jefferson at Chene.  2211 E Jefferson Ave Detroit, MI 48207 Please RSVP with SEIU and list Detroit People’s Platform as your organization.

Also, please send an email to info@detroitpeoplesplatform.org with “SEIU”  in the subject to let us know you are coming so we have enough signs and materials to share.

Look for the Detroit People’s Platform delegation at the Spirit of Detroit!

From SEIU Local 1
It’s amazing to see downtown Detroit bustling with new investment, new buildings and new people.

We are the janitors and custodians who keep the “resurgence” clean. Every day we see two Detroits. One is in our communities where we are struggling to raise our families and make ends meet, and the other is the downtown and arena district bustling with new investment, buildings and people.

On June 14 we will launch our campaign for One Detroit where everyone can prosper from this resurgence everyone is talking about.

All of this development is subsidized by tax dollars and public money. We just ask that the jobs that are created are good jobs.

Stand with us as we campaign for our employers and private and public leadership to create good jobs for Detroiters where everyone can make at least $15 and have a union.

 

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Detroit’s failed CBA Ordinance “Wildly Exceeds” Council Member’s Expectations

Detroit’s failed CBA Ordinance “Wildly Exceeds” Council Member’s Expectations

This morning, Monday March 19, WDET ran a report on Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance. During the report Council Member Scott Benson stated that the CBA Ordinance had “wildly exceeded” his expectations. Please take a moment and call or reach out through social media to let Council Member Benson know that the CBA Ordinance is NOT working for Detroiters. 

In spite of hours of meeting and talking with developers Detroiters have not seen one legitimate benefit.

 

Learn more about why Detroiters need REAL community benefits and why we are calling for Detroit City Council to amend the CBA Ordinance. 

 

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People’s Response to the State of the City #PeoplesSOTC

People’s Response to the State of the City #PeoplesSOTC

What are the REAL Issues in the nation’s largest Majority-Black City?

On March 6th, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will deliver this year’s State of the City address. We are coming together online and in community to offer a People’s Response.

Tuesday, March 6th, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Join our efforts on social media
#PeoplesSOTC
or come together in community at
7700 Second Ave. at Pallister
free, secure parking

6 p.m. – Food/Social Media Strategy
7 p.m. – Viewing SOTC on a Big Screen/Social Media Action
8 p.m. – People’s Response Press Conference

We’ll view the Mayor’s State of The City address and respond through social media. After the address we’ll host and broadcast the People’s Response Press Conference and hear from people who are living through the REAL state of the city.

FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/201945927058296/

Promote the People’s Response:
[bctt tweet=”On Tues March 6th, #Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will deliver this year’s State of the City address. We are coming together online and in community to offer a People’s Response. Join us #PeoplesSOTC http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2018/02/peoples-response-to-the-state-of-the-city-peoplessotc/” username=”Detroitpeoples”]

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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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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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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