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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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DevWatch Advisory Alert – Questioning the $500,000 Qfund

DevWatch Advisory Alert – Questioning the $500,000 Qfund

 “I can’t believe what you say,

because I see what you do.”

James Baldwin

 

November 16, 2017

Detroit People’s Platform

DevWatch Advisory Alert

What: Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund’s Neighbor to Neighbor Tax Foreclosure Prevention Outreach (We’ve been calling it the ‘Qfund’)

Where: In neighborhoods throughout Detroit.

When: Now, Qfund is  currently reaching out to community groups to partner in the foreclosure prevention program

Why: The Qfund says they are doing this to connect people to community resources and prevent home foreclosures.

How: The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (Qfund) is a $500,000 fund to partner with neighborhood organizations who agree to collect data through survey questions. Organizations will receive funding based on the number of households they agree to survey. Funds will be made available to pay individuals to collect survey data from their neighbors.  Individuals who collect the survey data will enter the data into their own smartphone with an app that will upload survey answers directly to Loveland Technologies database. Loveland Technologies is an online data company that creates software and applications about land parcels and property ownership.

Critical Questions

What is the purpose of this program?

A great deal of information about these properties is already available online through Loveland’s website and the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction site. Why is more data needed?

What information will be collected from neighbors who participate in the survey? In exchange for getting information to help prevent foreclosure of their home, will those who take this survey be required to turn over personal household and financial information?

Some groups have complained that the type of information that will be collected on the survey has not been shared. We recommend that potential community partners demand to see the survey questions and know the kind of information you will be collecting from your neighbors.

How many Households is the Qfund attempting to collect data from? Who will determine which households will receive assistance once the information has been turned over to the Qfund?

What other assistance programs will be made available and what ‘other services will be offered to those who participate in the survey?

Once the the data is collected, who decides who owns the data and who will be able to use the data in the future. What will happen to all the data that is being collected?

Groups have reported that there are conflicting messages between program flyers and the actual contract agreements community partners are asked to sign in order to get the funding.  The flyers state that any participating organization will have access  to the data collected. We encourage potential community partners to pay close attention to what is said about who owns and retains access to the data and to negotiate terms around their own use and ownership of the data they are collecting.

We recommend that potential community partners pay close attention to the penalties for non-compliance and what constitutes non-compliance in the agreement.

While many details about this program are still being researched, these and other questions need to be answered. Detroit People’s Platform encourages community groups to ask the tough questions and get REAL answers before signing on to the Qfund agreement.

 

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#Detroit needs a #RealCBO Press Conference and Media

#Detroit needs a #RealCBO Press Conference and Media

November 10, 2017 – Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform hosted a press conference Thursday morning announcing that they are stepping up the fight for real Community Benefits to address racial and economic inequities around development in the city.

Their announcement comes one year after Detroiters faced a confusing choice between Proposal A and Proposal B at the polls. For the past year the group has been documenting the failure of Proposal B and are demanding that City Council take action to create a Community Benefits Ordinance that is fair and equitable for all Detroiters.

More: http://www.facebook.com/equitabledetr…

http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

Media:
Shelterforce – In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew –
https://shelterforce.org/2017/11/09/in-detroit-the-fight-for-community-benefits-begins-anew/

Metrotimes – Detroit activists seek changes to ‘toothless’ community benefits law –
https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/11/09/detroit-law-asking-developers-to-provide-community-benefits-amounts-to-lip-service-activists-say

Michigan Radio – Push for stronger community benefits process in Detroit as big projects move forward –
http://michiganradio.org/post/push-stronger-community-benefits-process-detroit-big-projects-move-forward

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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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Fighting for Equity in Development Report

Fighting for Equity in Development Report

#RealCBA 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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Wealth Stripping and Race

Wealth Stripping and Race

‘Wealth Stripping and Race’ outlines how big corporations and developers transfer wealth from black and brown communities to themselves.

Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 5-7:30pm.
The Wellness Plan Building
7700 2nd Ave, Detroit Mi 48216.

Presented by Maurice Weeks. Maurice is the Co-Executive Director of ACRE. He works with community organizations and labor unions on campaigns to go on offense against Wall Street to beat back their destruction of communities of color. He was previously the Campaign Director of the ReFund America Project and worked as the Wall Street Accountability and Housing Justice campaigner at the Center for Popular Democracy before that. Maurice serves on the Advisory Council of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD). He graduated from Swarthmore College.

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Community Speak Out Against Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure

Community Speak Out Against Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure

Join Detroit families fighting to keep their homes in the face of illegal tax foreclosures!

What: Community Speak Out Against Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure
Join Detroit families fighting to keep their homes in the face of illegal foreclosures. Lunch provided.

 
When: Saturday, Oct. 28th from 12 – 1:30 PM

Where: Waye State Law School, Partrich Auditorium (471 W Palmer Ave.)
*Free parking in Lot 1 on W. Palmer directly across from law schoolWhy: According to the Michigan Constitution, no property should be assessed at more than 50% of its fair market value. A recent study shows that the City of Detroit has been unconstitutionally assessing most of its properties, and Detroiters cannot afford to pay the illegally inflated property tax bills that result. Consequently, over 100,000 working families have lost their homes, and many of Detroit’s neighborhoods have been devastated. African-Americans have been hit hardest of all.
It’s time to put an end to this injustice! Join us.
Ways you can help:
 
3. Share this invitation with friends, family, and community organizations!

The event is free and open to the public.

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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

 

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Two New Videos, Two Detroits #AmazonDetroit #MoveTheWorld

Two New Videos, Two Detroits #AmazonDetroit #MoveTheWorld

On October 19th, two new videos about Detroit dropped. One was the city’s bid for Amazon to move to Detroit, the other lifting up the need for Community Benefit Agreements around large public funded projects.

These two videos demonstrate the vast difference in experience and opinion between those Detroiters who are benefiting from the changes underway and those who are being left behind or moved along.

From the Black Bottom Archives: “The Ilitches’ choice to open their brand new, highly subsidized sports and concert venue with a Kid Rock concert has generated a lot of anger and left many Detroiters feeling disrespected. But the Ilitches’ disrespect for Detroiters began long before the first shovel hit the ground to build the new arena. It began with Olympia Development’s refusal of a real community benefits agreement that would have made them truly accountable to Detroiters whose money the developers were using for private profit.” The video has been written about in the metrotimes: https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/10/19/new-video-explains-why-kid-rock-at-the-pizzarena-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg

As we continue to work for REAL Community Benefits around projects that use public funds like Little Caesars’ Arena, the city is making a bid for the Amazon HQ2.

Questions about the Amazon Deal:
How much in the way of tax incentives and other public resources are the current city leaders willing to sacrifice to bring Amazon to Detroit? Read More:

“Members of the Detroit region’s 60-member Amazon committee have been tight-lipped all week about what the city would specifically offer Amazon in terms of tax incentives, mass transportation options for employees and filling a talent pool that dwarfs the size of any existing Detroit company (Gilbert’s family of companies employ 17,000 in downtown Detroit).” Crain’s

Amazon’s red herring

 An Open Letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Detroit People’s Platform and many of our partners have signed on to the national campaign around Jobs, Tax Incentives, Accountability and Transparency and Amazon’s new headquarters, wherever they end up. Read More about the national campaign: https://ourhq2wishlist.org/#