Category Archives

89 Articles

Posted on

Civility Detroit Style

Civility Detroit Style

“Civil discussions with people who themselves may have already breached the bounds of civility are difficult.”(1)
– Vann R. Newkirk II

This started out as a response to the Detroit Regional Chamber’s tone-deaf call to “Create a Culture of Civility” earlier in the year.  Since that time, calls for civility have been issued from the national stage. Those in power and those in denial have called for civility in answer to righteous outrage over the upsurge of white policing of black living, of court decisions that uphold racist immigration policy and legitimize  bigotry, and over kids in cages. These offensive and strategic calls for civility resonate with Detroiters because they have heard them  repeatedly since Emergency Management and for decades prior. ~ ed.

Last year, we recognized the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion and many in the city dove deep into discussions of its meaning and impact. This year, we continue to recognize 50th anniversaries associated with the civil rights movement, most recently Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination and the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Here at Detroit People’s Platform our attention also shifts to the fact that 2018 marks the 5th anniversary of Emergency Management and Bankruptcy in Detroit.

These anniversaries also remind us that transformational changes were not easily won and certainly not won by being polite or civil. These anniversaries are also important and vital to Detroiters as they represent touchstones of our history that denote the emergence of Black political, economic and cultural power in the largest majority-black city in the US. The changes that came from movement work in our city and across the country were in part sparked by the interruption of civility, most famously and powerfully, through nonviolent direct action. 

Nationally, there has been a renewed interest in improving civil discourse due to the Trump presidency and the complete breakdown of bipartisanship in our political and civic life. However, we must not confuse the legitimate push back against the President’s divisive rhetoric with the growing chorus of Detroiters demanding our equity stake in the city’s current revitalization. 

In March, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted it’s 2018 Detroit Policy Conference. This year’s focus was on “Creating a Culture of Civility.”  The conference referenced the widely heralded example of the relationship between Mayor Duggan and members of City Council. In the Mayor’s recent State of the City he touted the difference in their relationship between now and the past. Perhaps he, and the Chamber fail to recognize the historically oppositional stance by some Council Members in the past was due to their protection and defense of their constituents. Some council members could be counted on to challenge the administration. While a new age of civility at CAYMC bodes well for the administration and corporate interests, it does NOT for everyday Detroiters. 

Let’s Count some of the ways government and corporate leadership have targeted Detroiters:

1. Public School Takeover by the State of Michigan

2. Consent Agreement/Emergency Management

3. Municipal Bankruptcy

4. Hijacking of Worker Pension and Healthcare

5. Privatization of Services like Lights and Trash Removal

6. Loss of governance of the Water System

7. Taking public funds and using them for private projects like the Qline and LCA (Little Caesars Arena) 

8. Creating legislation and a well funded campaign to defeat a  community-led CBA ballot  initiative 

9. Refusal to stop Water Shutoffs that harm Detroit children and senior citizens. 

10. Calling housing “affordable” when it isn’t affordable to the majority of Detroiters.

11. Using hardest hit funds intended to keep Detroiters in their homes to demolish homes.

12. Threatening and inappropriate physical handling of citizens in meetings by city appointees, staff and designees. 

13. Huge transfers of public funds and resources to wealthy white billionaires.

The list goes on.

It is an insult that in an 80+% majority-black city, both corporate and government representatives feel completely comfortable disrespecting community members. When leaders and their representatives are allowed to roll their eyes, make racist and condescending comments and negate the ability of Detroiters to engage in serious and thoughtful discussions they are replicating tactics used to silence opposition.  The levels disrespect shown when Detroiters speak out or show up and protest peacefully against injustices creates a culture of incivility across all of our institutions.

Don’t lecture Detroiters on Civility. The solution is to actually listen to Detroiters and meet us where we are, whether we fit into the plans or not.




Posted on

What is Proposal R?

What is Proposal R?

On Tuesday, August 7 2018 there will be one proposal on the primary ballot. Proposal R asks Detroiters if they favor a “general revision” of the City Charter. The City Charter is an important document and there is a great deal of information to consider before voting on Proposal R. If R passes, voters will select candidates for the Charter Revision Commission in November, and have an opportunity to engage in the Charter Revision process. 

What is Proposal R?

Proposal R is on the Detroit Primary Election Ballot this year. The Primary Election is Tuesday, August 7th, 2018.

Proposal R asks Detroiters: “Do you favor a general revision of the 2012 Detroit City Charter by a charter revision commission? Yes or No”

What is the City Charter?

The City Charter can be likened to the US and Michigan Constitutions. It is the law that mandates how the City works on a day to day basis.

The 2012 City Charter supported the shift from an “at large” City Council to the current Council By District system.

The 2012 City Charter also provides for a level of community power and oversight.

The Police Commission and it’s District-based structure being one important example of community oversight.

Why is the City Charter up for a vote now?

A previous version of the City Charter mandates that a question about charter revision is placed on the ballot and voted on every 16 years.

This is the case for Proposal R; it is on the ballot to meet legal requirements.

The last time the Charter was opened it was through an independent ballot initiative regarding proposed changes to the structure of city council  i.e. shift to Council by District.

The current City Charter became the official charter for the city of Detroit in January 2012.

What about the Candidates for City Charter Revision Commission?

If Proposal R passes, individuals who were successful in having their petition signatures certified by the city Clerk’s office, will then become candidates for the City Charter Revision Commission.

They will appear as candidates on the ballot in the November 2018 General Election

As in any other election, the candidates will campaign for their seat on the revision commission and it will be up to the voters to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice. The Detroit People’s Platform does not endorse candidates

The top nine (9) vote getters will serve as members of the nine (9) member Charter Revision Commission.

There is a process for write-in candidates as well. The deadline for write-in candidates to file Declaration of Intent forms is 4:00 p.m. on July 27th.

The 9 candidates elected in November will be seated on the City Charter Revision Commission for three years.

What is the charter revision process?

The last charter revision process took three years and spent nearly a million dollars.(1)

Though the process includes public hearings and other opportunities for community engagement, the Commissioners themselves have a great deal of influence in determining what the revision process and final charter document will look like.

After the revision process, the Commission’s proposed Charter goes to the State’s Attorney General who has the power to change and edit it before approval by the Governor. The Detroiters must vote on it. 

Are there alternatives to revision?

There are other, less time consuming and expensive alternatives that allow for changes to be made to the city charter without opening it up for the full scale revision process.

The charter can be amended by a 3/5 majority vote of City Council or a ballot initiative that would put the amendment to a vote by Detroiters.

What’s good about the current City Charter?

The roll out of the 2012 City Charter was interrupted by Emergency Management and the Municipal Bankruptcy process.

Since the end of Emergency Management, the City Council and Mayor’s office have not fully implemented, or fully adhered to, the City Charter.

Citizens should be given an opportunity to both learn about and use the current charter.

The current city charter approved in 2012, includes strong citizen and community engagement aspects that could be of great benefit to the community.


Reference Links
2012 City Charter Revision Page:

Michigan Radio 2012 Charter Revision timeline

Charter Revision Budget:

There is a great deal of information in this education document about the Charter Revision Process.


Posted on

Vote No on Proposal R

Vote No on Proposal R

On Tuesday, August 7 2018 there will be one proposal on your primary ballot. Proposal R asks Detroiters if they favor a “general revision” of the City Charter. If opened, the Charter could be changed in many ways. Proposal R, if passed, could; restrict community power and oversight, reduce government accountability and ruin our chances to fully restore democracy in Detroit.

Detroit People’s Platform encourages our members, supporters and all Detroiters to Vote NO on Proposal R!

Posted on

City of Detroit Report: Dan’s Dreams on our Dime

City of Detroit Report: Dan’s Dreams on our Dime

Detroit – On May 21st the city of Detroit’s Legislative Policy Division released their “Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report”. This report finally puts a total dollar amount on the tax abatements and tax capture our public officials have given away to Dan Gilbert’s companies. All without a real Community Benefits Agreement. Though this report hasn’t been covered in the media, it is important information that Detroiters need to know about.

READ, download, print and share the city’s Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report

Contact Detroit City Council!

Detroit City Council Contact Info 2017

At Large – Council President Brenda Jones
(313) 224-1245

At Large – Janee Ayers
(313) 224-4248

District 2 – Roy McCalister Jr.
(313) 224-4535

District 1 – James Tate
(313) 224-1027

District 3 – Scott Benson
(313) 224-1198

District 4 – Andre L. Spivey
(313) 224-4841

District 5 – Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield
(313) 224-4505

District 6 – Raquel Castaneda-Lopez
(313) 224-2450

District 7 – Gabe Leland
(313) 224-2151

[bctt tweet=”On May 21st the city of Detroit’s Legislative Policy Division released their “Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report” #Detroit Read the report.” username=””]

“In a memo to the Legislative Policy Division (LPD), Council member Castaneda-Lopez requested that LPD provide a report to Council which compiles all tax credits, tax abatements and other public subsidies sought and received by the Quicken Family of Companies from the City of Detroit. In addition, LPD was also requested provide inormation on each subsidiary and building/project, as well as the aggregate totals for each subsidy type and the total value of public support. This report is our response to this inquiry.”

“Overall, our research has revealed that under the umbrella of the Quicken Family of Companies,’ There are fifteen (15) projects that have received or Quicken is requesting tax abatements or incentives from the City of Detroit. The overall number of tax abatements or incentives Quicken has received or reguested from the City of Detroit is 27, as detailed below:”

READ, download, print and share the city’s Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report

Dan's Dreams on our Dine

Dan’s Dreams on our Dine

READ, download, print and share the city’s Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report

READ, download, print and share the city’s Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report

READ, download, print and share the city’s Quicken Loans/Bedrock Subsidiary Public Subsidies Report


Posted on

The QLine opened a year ago. We want our money back!

The QLine opened a year ago. We want our money back!

This weekend marks a year since the QLine’s grand opening. 

The total cost of the project was around $144 million, with almost $75 million coming from public funds. When the QLine opened on May 12th of 2017, Detroit Peoples Platform organized the WhyLine Action with over 100 people participating.

We gathered at multiple QLine stops and asked the important questions that no one else was asking.

Why does this development project use almost $75 million in public funds without a Community Benefit Agreement?

Why doesn’t the rest of the city have reliable public transit?

Why does the QLine exclude most Detroiters?

It’s been a year and now we’re not the only ones asking why.

More and more people recognize the injustice of using our public dollars without real public benefit. Based on an article in Bridge Magazine about the failure of the QLine to meet its numbers the press and media have become more critical of this example of transit gentrification.

One year in, Detroit’s QLine falling well short of expectations

QLine has fewer riders than expected, report says

How Detroit’s Streetcar Overlooked Real Transit Needs to Satisfy a Well-Connected Few

[bctt tweet=”With nearly $75 million in public funds spent on this proven failure Detroiters have every right to demand our money back! #Detroit #QLine #WhyLine #Transit” via=”no”]


Register today for our 2018 Summit!

Majority-Black Detroit Matters

Saturday, September 8, 2018
SEIU Local 1, 2211 East Jefferson Avenue


Posted on

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. 


Posted on

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 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:


Posted on

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”]

Posted on

Redistricting 101 Where You Live Matters

Redistricting 101 Where You Live Matters

Redistricting 101 shares important information about the way voting districts are created, what that looks like in Detroit and across the state of Michigan, their impact on you and your community, and how you can have your voice heard in the process!

Download Print and Share

[bctt tweet=”Redistricting 101 shares important information about the way voting districts are created, what that looks like in Detroit and across the state of Michigan, their impact on you and your community, and how you can have your voice heard in the process!” via=”no”]


Posted on

Housing Update – Rental Registration Ordinance

In October of 2017, Detroit City Council voted unanimously on an ordinance to toughen rental regulations. The ordinance will greatly impact Detroit’s most vulnerable renters and increase displacement. The city is implementing the ordinance through the neighborhoods by zip code starting with 48215 on the East Side February 1st. 

The schedule for the first six ZIP codes is as follows:

ZIP Code Launch Date Registration Date Compliance Date
48215 February 1, 2018 May 1, 2018 August 1, 2018
48224 March 1, 2018 June 1, 2018 September 1, 2018
48223 May 1, 2018 August 1, 2018 November 1, 2018
48219 June 1, 2018 September 1, 2018 December 1, 2018
48209 July 1, 2018 October 1, 2018 January 1, 2018
49210 August 1, 2018 November 1, 2018 February 1, 2018


What does the Rental Registration Ordinance mean for Detroit renters?

  • The Rental Registration Ordinance potentially creates conflict between tenants and landlords while protecting neither.
  • The ordinance mandates renters continue to pay rent into an escrow account without providing clarity around the liability of living in non-compliant buildings.
  • All landlords need to be held accountable, but the Rental Registration Ordinance has the potential to target good landlords that have provided housing to low income Detroiters for decades.
  • Decrease in places for low-income Detroiters to live.
  • Disproportionately impacts small independent landlords and further diminishes black home and property ownership.

Major issues that threaten housing stability for Detroiters:

  • Limited affordable and desirable housing, escalating rent.
  • Utility shutoffs, including water
  • Lack of home maintenance and other support programs for small landlords.


More on the Rental Regulation Ordinance:

Rental companies sue over Detroit inspection ordinance

Crains is behind a subscription firewall, but if you have on here is their recent reporting on the ordinance.