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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

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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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Detroit City Council approves $250M in taxpayer money for Dan Gilbert

https://www.metrotimes.com/table-and-bar/archives/2017/11/21/detroit-city-council-approves-250m-in-taxpayer-money-for-dan-gilbert

Detroit City Council approves $250M in taxpayer money for Dan Gilbert

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Michigan’s richest resident will take home $250 million in state taxpayer funds to help finance four new developments in downtown Detroit.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit City Council approved the money for Bedrock, Dan Gilbert’s development company, over the objections of residents who questioned the need to provide a billionaire with taxpayer money. Gilbert’s net worth is estimated at $5.6 billion.

The proposal was held up in committee last week after residents expressed similar concerns to council’s planning and economic development committee. While some stakeholders once again voiced opposition to the proposal during public comment at Tuesday’s full council meeting, only council member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez questioned it at the council table. She said she believes a stronger community benefits ordinance needs to be in place.

“I believe the community benefits ordinance should also be transformational. [The current ordinance] doesn’t lead to systemic change for the community,” she said.

As she spoke, council member Scott Benson shut her down on a point of order.

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Gilbert Project Approval moves to full Council Today – Tues, Nov 21 10am CAYMC

Gilbert Project Approval moves to full Council Today – Tues, Nov 21 10am CAYMC

DevWatch Detroit – On Monday, November 20, 2017 the Planning and Economic Development Committee moved Bedrock/Dan Gilbert’s latest downtown development projects onto the full council for a vote this morning.

Detroit City Council Formal Session, Tuesday November 21, 10am Watch Live

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. Again, the vote will be this morning, Tuesday November 21, 10am on the 13th floor of CAYMC.

Yesterday’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting was nothing more than political theater, with council members making accolades and feigning strength while, in the end, just rolling over to the developers.

It appears many of these decisions and votes are premeditated and that our voices are lost to money and outside influence.

We also know that if we do not speak out they will move more quickly.

If we do not speak out we will get even less benefits than we’re getting now.

The reality is that the token concessions offered by local developers pales in comparison to what communities across the country are able to win when developers rely on public monies to help finance their private projects.

•Why is it okay that majority white developers are allowed to siphon off millions in public resources from Detroit’s majority African American population?

•Why is there is no outcry about the injustice?

•Why don’t our elected officials fight for us as hard as they fight for the developers?

The system is broken and we must find a way to fix it and make it more responsive to the residents of this city. In the meantime we continue to organize, fight for change and hold each and every council person accountable for their vote. We will continue to fight for racial and economic justice and a real CBA. Watch for details in January 2018.

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 risks and cost involved in going Downtown these days.

Please call, email or tweet your Council Members.

Detroit City Council Contact Info 2017

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 – Andre 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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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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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.”

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New Video: I Dream Detroit: The Voice and Vision of Women of Color on Detroit’s Future

New Video: I Dream Detroit: The Voice and Vision of Women of Color on Detroit’s Future

Rev. Roslyn Bouier and Monica Lewis Patrick on Black American Journal

Women of color say they feel left out of Detroit’s resurgence. In a report titled “I Dream Detroit: The Voice and Vision of Women of Color on Detroit’s Future.” Nearly 500 Black, Latina, Arab, American Indian, and Asian women were surveyed and 71% felt left out of the city’s revival. Stephen talks to Ed Egnatios, Reverend Roslyn Bouier, and Monica Lewis Patrick about this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit News: “Women of color absent in Detroit‘s recovery”

 
Michigan Chronicle: ” ‘I Dream Detroit‘ brings women of color into Detroit‘s economic dialogue”
https://michronicleonline.com/2017/10/10/idreamdetroit-brings-women-of-color-into-detroits-economic-dialogue/
I Dream Detroit website