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Fiat Chrysler, Just Buy the Land and Do the Right Thing by Detroiters

Fiat Chrysler, Just Buy the Land and Do the Right Thing by Detroiters

On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the benefits package and land transfers were moved through the Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee. There are still many questions that city council members and community need answers to. We anticipate the benefit package and land transfers will be voted on by the full council tomorrow, Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

  • Council Members have openly stated FCA needs to bring more money and benefits to the table, we all agree. Pay your way!
  • Put funds in public libraries and recreation center upgrades and renovations in the impacted are.
  • FCA should buy the land and not demand valuable land and resources from taxpayers. A solution would be for FCA to purchase the land needed for the plant expansion rather than demand the city of Detroit spend millions of dollars to purchase land and GIVE the land to this multi billion dollar corporation. Just buy the Land!
  • Not just Planning Rather than put money into actual construction and renovations, the package only puts money toward planning. FCA needs to put more money into our public Libraries and Recreation Centers.
  • There are still questions about how the Environment Great Lakes Energy (EGLE) permit requirements for additional monitoring and community benefits will be reflected in the deal. FCA have 180 days to work with residents and come up with a plan. We have recommended an Environmental Amendment to the FCA CBA. Residents must be included in the planning of the ELGE permitting requirements.

DPP and Equitable Detroit Coalition thank all Detroiters who care about this issue and for reaching out and making hundreds of calls to elected officials and making the demand for a stronger Community Benefit Agreement.  We also want to acknowledge the support of dedicated volunteers and canvassers who have outreached to more than 5k residents in FCA impact area. Thank you.

Take Action:  Continue to educate your family and friends about how unjust and how unfair this deal is for Detroiters, The benefits package and land transfers for the deal will be voted on by the full council on Tuesday, May 21 2019 at CAYMC on the 13th floor. Please continue to call council members.

A note on Tuesday’s “Committee of the Whole” meeting:
While DPP encourages participation in public comments and value the power of speaking into the public record, next Tuesday’s meeting will most likely be the crowning finale of this episode of political theater.

Let’s make a final call for city council to delay the vote until there is a bigger and better deal for Detroiters. 

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Detroit City Council hits pause on Fiat Chrysler Project

Detroit City Council hits pause on Fiat Chrysler Project

May 9, 2019 Detroit – Today, City Council Planning and Economic Development Committee took the first step toward regaining the confidence of Detroiters by putting our health and welfare first over that of large multi-national corporations like Fiat Chrysler.

As a result of 100s of phone calls to council expressing alarm around the impact of the plants expansion on the quality of the air our children and seniors need to breathe and the lack of transparency and community engagement around the land deals, the PED committee hit pause on this rushed project.

Thank you to all Detroiters who reached out the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the Planing and Economic Development Committee and Detroit City Council about the Fiat Chrysler benefits package and land transfers.

Today, both the EDC Board and the PED Committee failed to move the land transfers and benefits package forward for a final vote by the committee of the whole. 

By hitting the pause button City Council Members have an opportunity to hold FIAT Chrysler accountable around the environmental and health impacts relations to their planned expansion. 

Fiat Chrysler is a global corporation that earned $4.1 billion in 2018. They have only committed 8.8 million dollars in community benefits on a project that will use up to $280 million in public investment. 

Next steps: 

Continue to keep the pressure on Detroit City Council, demand that Fiat Chrysler not only address environmental health impacts and negotiate a bigger and better CBA. There will be opportunities for public comment around these aspects of the project:

Economic Development Corporation Regular Meeting
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 8:30AM 
DEGC, 500 Griswold, Suite 2200, Detroit 48226

Planning & Economic Development Committee
Thursday, May 16, 2019 10:00 AM
CAYMC, 2 Woodward Ave, 13th floor

Detroit City Council Contact Information

Brenda Jones, Council President, At-Large
313-224-1245 – @DetCouncilPres

Janeé L Ayers, At-Large
313-224-1027 – @Ayers4Detroit

James Tate, District 1
313-224-1027 – @CouncilmanTate

Roy McCalister Jr., District 2
313-224-4535 – @RoyMcCalisterJr

Scott Benson, District 3
313-224-1198 – @Scottinthe3rd

André Spivey, District 4
313-224-4841 – @AndreLSpivey

Mary Sheffield, President Pro Temp, District 5
313-224-4505 – @MsMarySheffield

Raquel Casteñeda-Lopez, District 6
313-224-2450 – @Raquel4Detroit

Gabe Leland, District 7
313-224-2151 – @GabeLeland

More Details: 

FCA CBA Update 2

FCA Call to Action #1

FCA EGLE Permit to Install Approval

FCA Environmental Concerns and Demands

FCA CBA Update 1

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FCA Expansion Environmental Concerns and Demands

FCA Expansion Environmental Concerns and Demands

The MDEQ has extended the public comment period through Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Details on submitting public comment and more details about the permitting process:

Fiat Chrysler Expansion Environmental Concerns

The air pollution in the FCA Impact Area is comparable to Zip Code 48217, one of the most polluted in Michigan.

Our neighbors in Southwest Detroit have been infamously impacted by poor air quality around Marathon Petroleum and other industrial facilities. Based on the EPA’s EJScreen Reports we’ve found Environmental Indicators in the FCA Impact area that are comparable in value to those in Southwest Detroit.

The population of the FCA Impact Area has some of the highest Asthma hospitalization rates in the city.

In 2016, FCA’s Jefferson North nearly doubled the tons of VOC produced by Marathon Petroleum!

Volatile Organic Compounds react with nitrogen oxides in the air to create ozone, or “smog.” Ozone can cause respiratory-related health impacts, including the aggravation of asthma.

FROM Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

4444 2nd Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 (313) 782-3372

1. Why is FCA US LLC seeking a new permit to install? 
Fiat Chrysler currently owns and operates the Mack Avenue Engine Plant complex at 11570 Warren Avenue East in Detroit. They are seeking a “permit to install” from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to modify the plant to operate a new assembly line instead of an auto engine manufacturing facility. To operate its new assembly line, FCA US LLC must repurpose the existing plant and construct a new paint shop.

2. What air emissions will be result from the FCA US LLC’s proposal? 
While it will emit other pollutants, it is estimated that the new assembly line will have the potential to emit a major amount of volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds: The new assembly plant would have the potential to emit 382.5 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) per year. VOCs are a class of chemicals, and are one of the ingredients for the formation of ozone, or “smog.” The VOC emissions from the new assembly plant would be caused by the new paint shop proposed by Fiat Chrysler.
  • Greenhouse Gases: The new assembly plant will also have the potential to emit 118,876 tons per year of greenhouse gases.

3. How do volatile organic compound emissions relate to ozone? 
Volatile organic compounds react with nitrogen oxides in the air to create ozone, or “smog.” Ozone can cause respiratory-related health impacts, including the aggravation of asthma. Wayne county, along with several other counties in southeast Michigan, were recently designated as “nonattainment” area because an air quality monitor detected levels that were above the national, health-based air quality standard for ozone.

4. What regulations does FCA US LLC have to comply with to receive their permit? 
Since the assembly line will emit a significant amount of VOCs, and is located in an area that is failing to comply with the national air quality standard for ozone, FCA US LLC must satisfy a number of regulations, including the following:

  • Must demonstrate why the proposed location and methods are superior to alternatives.
  • Emissions of VOCs from the facility must comply with the “lowest achievable emission rate” based on existing pollution control technology and methods.
  • Must offset the increase in VOC emissions with a reduction in emissions from another source in the nonattainment area.

FROM Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
4444 2nd Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 782-3372

Thank you to GLELC!

Impact Area Resident Demands

An exhaustive Health Impact Assessment of the FCA Impact Area and all related projects made available to the residents.

Residents need to have a full report on the impact of this project  on our health and well-being. 

Installation of the best filters on stacks that will help to reduce hospitalization rates based on Asthma.

With some of the highest hospitalization rates in the city, we demand the best filtration systems available. We are worth it. 

Specific targeted community health funds for vulnerable people dealing with asthma and other health impacts. We also want air filter installation in local schools, churches and community centers along with specific funding for home air HEPA filters. 

The creation of an Community Air Monitoring Project and Environmental Community Council for ongoing monitoring and advocacy around environmental impacts on community health.


Detroit People’s Platform

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Fiat Chrysler Expansion Community Benefits Update

Fiat Chrysler Expansion Community Benefits Update

In February, Mayor Duggan announced the proposed expansion of Fiat Chrysler on the city’s east side. Due to the size of the project and the use of public tax incentives there must be a Community Benefit process as defined by Detroit’s Community Benefit Ordinance,the first of it’s kind in the US. 

Where are we at in the process?
Meeting 1 Project overview and intro to CBO Process. 
Meeting 2 Resident vote on NAC.
Meeting 3 NAC appointments were announced, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation presented on local Tax Incentives only, expanded FCA presentation.
Meeting 4 NAC members presented recommendations for projects and other opportunities to be included in the CBA.

Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC)

Residents voted for
Rhonda These
Michelle Jackson
City Council Members appointed
Jerry King
Juliette Okotie-Eboh
Jay Henderson
Planning and Development appointed 
Darnell Gardner
Henry Williams
Curtis Perry
Thomas Hardiman

FCA has shown up unprepared
– FCA has failed to state to community ALL of the public incentives they have received or public incentives they have applied for including Detroit local incentives, State of Michigan, and possibly from the federal government. MEDC:
– FCA has failed to bring to the table many items that are needed like an Environmental Impact Study and a plan for traffic.

Michigan: Leader in Mega Tax Deals to Corporations
Good Jobs First considers deals that include more that $50 million in tax subsidies ‘Mega Deals’. Michigan is ranked #3 in the nation with  Mega Deals totaling $15.4 billion! Of 399 Mega Deals nationwide, FCA’s  $1.3 billion deal in 2010 for the Sterling Heights plant ranked #15.

This is why we need to know how big of a tax deal FCA is asking from the state of Michigan for this proposed expansion.

FCA’s History of Taxpayer Support
In 1977 Chrysler received a bailout with a $1.5 billion loan that the taxpayers via the US government were the co-signers on. This was a good investment and taxpayers made money on the deal. But, remember the taxpayer bailout of Chrysler in 2008?

Public Investment Borrowed $12.5 billion
Paid Back to Taxpayers $11.2 billion
Taxpayers Lost              -$1.3 billion
Date Bailout Ended May 2011

FCA, remember taxpayers invested in you when the chips were down. Now is the time for you to match our commitment. The community deserves a strong Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) with you!

Get Involved!
– Attend the weekly meetings at UAW, 2600 Connor St. Wednesday’s at 6:30pm until the end of April.
– Call for FCA to share information on ALL the public incentives they are seeking for the expansion.

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Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates demand Development without Displacement

Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates demand Development without Displacement


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.


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.

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 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
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.


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” 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.