Category Archives

171 Articles

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
@DetroitCouncilPres
(313) 224-1245
bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov.

At Large – Janee Ayers
@Ayers4Detroit
(313) 224-4248
ayersj@detroitmi.gov

District 2 – Roy McCalister Jr.
@RoyMcCalisterJr
(313) 224-4535
councilmemberMcCalister@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 – Council President Pro Tempore 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

[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 http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

Dan’s Dreams on our Dine http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

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

Register Today! Detroit People’s Platform 2018 Summit

Register Today! Detroit People’s Platform 2018 Summit

 

Detroit People’s Platform 2018 Summit
Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (EDT)
SEIU Local 1
2211 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, MI 48207
View Map
Attend
Want company? Share this event!

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Eventbrite

Five years ago, in 2013, 250 Detroiters gathered at Marygrove College to create the Detroit People’s Platform. This year we will come together again for the Detroit People’s Platform’s 2018 Summit.

Majority-Black Detroit Matters

Please save the date and plan to join us on September 8th at SEIU Local 1 at 2211 East Jefferson Avenue from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The event is free, but registration is limited.

More details about the event will be shared soon.

 

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
https://www.bridgemi.com/detroit-journalism-cooperative/one-year-detroits-qline-falling-well-short-expectations

QLine has fewer riders than expected, report says
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2018/05/02/qline-first-year-report-riders/34476031/

How Detroit’s Streetcar Overlooked Real Transit Needs to Satisfy a Well-Connected Few
https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/03/14/how-detroits-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: High Concentrated Poverty and High Corporate Tax Incentives

Detroit: High Concentrated Poverty and High Corporate Tax Incentives

The Free Press covered a damning new report on poverty in Detroit and across the US.  “Metro Detroit’s poverty gets worse despite city’s comeback”.

“A new look at the poorest urban areas in America, despite economic growth and increasing prosperity, puts metro Detroit near the top of the list. The report ranks the Detroit area at No. 5 in a list of impoverished communities.” Read More: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/04/26/detroit-poverty-getting-worse/553439002/

“A study by the Brookings Institution in 2016 found metro Detroit — which was defined in that report as a six-county region: including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair, Lapeer — to have the highest rate of concentrated poverty among the most populous metro areas in America”. Read More: https://www.brookings.edu/research/u-s-concentrated-poverty-in-the-wake-of-the-great-recession/

[bctt tweet=”Our majority-black neighborhoods have the highest concentrated poverty of any large city in the US while millions in tax incentives have been given away to wealthy white developers Downtown. #Detroit” via=”no”]

Posted on

The QLine failure isn’t technical

The QLine failure isn’t technical

An article on the QLine’s low numbers by Chastity Pratt Dawsey from the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and Bridge Magazine sparked a great deal of discussion.

“After a year of constant problems, the shiny electric streetcar that hums down Detroit’s main thoroughfare has proven more troubled than trusty.

The QLine, the privately operated streetcar that launched along 3.3 miles of Woodward Avenue last May, attracted less than half of its projected riders for several months its first year, as it was beset by traffic snarls and dwindling popularity.

The train that reaches top speeds of 30 mph averaged more than five stoppages a week, a total of 267, and was frequently operating behind schedule due to parked cars on its tracks and traffic jams near the Little Caesars Arena. 

Records obtained by Bridge Magazine show the streetcar fell well short of expectations of 5,000 to 8,000 riders per day.” Read More

[bctt tweet=”The failure of the QLine isn’t technical. Most Detroiters didn’t want it in the first place and don’t use it. #Detroit ” via=”no”]

Posted on

Update: Rental Regulation Ordinance

Update: Rental Regulation Ordinance

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

Downtown, Midtown and New Center are changing rapidly. While many have called for equal investment and treatment in our neighborhoods, as the city’s develops policy to focus on  neighborhoods are they doing enough to protect those who are already living there? 

[bctt tweet=”In order to shift investment into more that just greater downtown and historic neighborhoods of affluence, areas of the city have been and are being “cleaned up” so that they are more appealing to investors and new settlers. #Detroit ” via=”no”]

The policies being developed are double-edged. The RRO process will successfully bring rentals up to code, but at what cost? The ordinance is written in such a way that it’s success could reduce already hard to find low income housing. 

Download the full pdf

Posted on

Demand Mayor Duggan #KeepTheWaterOn for Detroit’s Children

Demand Mayor Duggan #KeepTheWaterOn for Detroit’s Children

Two weeks ago, in Mayor Duggan’s State of the City address (SOTC, March 6, 2018), he emphasized his intention to make Detroit a more kid-friendly city. Yesterday, the Free Press reported that 17,461 Detroit households were at risk for water shutoffs.

In his SOTC Mayor Duggan stated “We are going to make sure our kids not only go to school but they succeed at school,” but can kids succeed at school without water at home? 

[bctt tweet=”In his SOTC @MayorMikeDuggan stated “We are going to make sure our kids not only go to school but they succeed at school,” but can kids succeed at school without water at home? #KeepTheWaterOn #Detroit” username=””]

[bctt tweet=”@MayorMikeDuggan also talked about the future and how #Detroit children have been forgotten, but how many of these children will be left without water? #KeepTheWaterOn” via=”no”]

[bctt tweet=”Local water activist worked for more than a year to urge public health officials and @MayorMikeDuggan to protect households with children from water shutoffs. Their request was rejected. #Keepthewateron #Detroit” via=”no”]

Color of Change is supporting a local petition to address the water shut offs in Brightmoor and throughout the city. We encourage Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters to sign the petition and to contact the Mayor directly or through social media.

[bctt tweet=”Demand that @MayorMikeDuggan take real action to protect our children from water shutoffs instead using them as a talking point. #KeepTheWaterOn #Detroit” via=”no”]

Read more:
Controversial water shutoffs could hit 17,461 Detroit households
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/03/26/more-than-17-000-detroit-households-risk-water-shutoffs/452801002/

Mayor Mike Duggan to Detroit children: ‘We want you to stay’
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/03/06/mayor-mike-duggan-detroit-children-state-city/400824002/

What you can do right now?

Sign the petition: Keep the water on in Brightmoor
https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/keep-the-water-on-in-brightmoor?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1522097001

Contact Mayor Duggan
(313) 224-3400 – @MayorMikeDuggan – emailmike@detroitmi.gov

Are you facing water shutoff?
Do you want to support Detroit water activists and get involved?

We the People of Detroit
http://wethepeopleofdetroit.com

People’s Water Board Coalition
https://www.peopleswaterboard.org

 

Posted on

This week’s media round up – Share these this weekend

This week’s media round up – Share these this weekend

THIS WEEK

March 22, 2018 – Michigan State Fairgrounds deal leaves Detroit picking up developer’s tab

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/03/22/the-michigan-state-fairgrounds-sale-is-a-raw-deal-for-detroit-residents-say

The Land Bank says the inflated cost for the city is the result of years of additional maintenance that had to be done on the site due to continued delays by Magic Plus, LLC. The preliminary agreement that had Magic Plus buying the full parcel for $4.65 million was struck in late 2013 with plans for the company to fulfill a series of requirements by the end of 2015 so construction could start shortly thereafter. But Magic Plus delayed the process for years — forcing the state to extend the agreement seven times as it paid about a million a year to maintain the land for possible development. Since that initial 2015 deadline, the state has paid more than $2.3 million to maintain the site — and it now plans to have Detroit pick up the cost.

“This just smacks of a sweetheart deal between the state and Magic Plus,” says Frank Hammer with the Greenacres Woodward Civic Association, a group representing the neighborhood across from the site. “The taxpayers are the ones left paying the tab for delays that were caused by the developer.”

March 22, 2018 – If Ford buys Michigan Central Station, what happens to land nearby?

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/03/22/detroit-train-station-ford-corktown/443088002/

“Over the years, there have been so many rumors about development happening in that community,” said Linda Campbell of the Equitable Detroit Coalition. “My first reaction is always, what will this development mean for residents in the community and nearby communities and the city of Detroit at large? What kind of public investment — if any — will be made? Is it something that will get taxpayers on the hook for corporate development? These are details we need to take a look at as citizens to see if this is truly a development project that is going to make a difference for the everyday Detroiter.”

How a community benefits agreement would shape any Ford deal is unclear. So far in Detroit, only six projects have been subjected to the law — four of them Dan Gilbert initiatives. The end results, according to a new report from WDET, have been a lot of talk and not many actual benefits.

 

March 19, 2018 – Detroit’s failed CBA Ordinance “Wildly Exceeds” Council Member’s Expectations

http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2018/03/detroits-failed-cba-ordinance-wildly-exceeds-council-members-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.

 

March 19, 2018 – Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance Yields Hours of Dialogue and Almost No Community Benefits

https://wdet.org/posts/2018/03/19/86319-detroits-community-benefits-ordinance-yields-hours-of-dialogue-and-almost-no-community-benefits/

WDET found the city last year conducted over 28 meetings for the community benefits ordinance process. The conversations between community members and developers resulted in mitigating the negative impacts of the new construction and in some cases developers making tweaks to their plans. But, after all was said and done, the first year of Detroit’s Community Benefits ordinance yielded almost no community benefits that the city can enforce. And there’s debate about whether the law is effectively giving voice to community concerns or resulting in tangible neighborhood amenities.

March 19, 2018 – Was the First Year of Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance Successful?

https://wdet.org/posts/2018/03/19/86542-was-the-first-year-of-detroits-community-benefits-ordinance-successful/

Amina Kirk, a legal advisor with advocacy group Detroit People’s Platform, attended many of the community benefits meetings and interviewed Neighborhood Advisory Council members about their experience. Kirk is disappointed with the lack of community benefits to come from the process and says many residents expressed not knowing what kinds of things they could ask from the developer. “One of [the Detroit People’s Platform] recommendations is that the city should provide examples of actual community benefits agreements from other cities to NACs so they can see what this looks like in real life.”

EARLIER THIS MONTH

March 13, 2018 – Dan, Mike, and the women of Detroit

https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/dan-mike-and-the-women-of-detroit/Content?oid=10111911

Petty has a practice of speaking truth to power. Shortly before catching that headline I had just watched a video of the Detroit People’s Platform People’s Response to the State of the City, led by Petty.

Duggan had delivered the State of the City speech on Tuesday, March 6 evening. The response addressed issues such as transportation, affordable housing, and water shutoffs.

“Historically and during my entire life, black women have been engaged in every aspect of struggle in Detroit,” Petty says. “There are mothers sharing water hoses through their windows for families suffering water shutoffs. There are women cooking meals for the children on their block whose parents are working double shifts to try to make ends meet. I have witnessed and experienced Detroit women opening up their homes to children and families with no other place to go. I hesitate to call these responses progressive because this has just been the way that Detroit women have showed up for each other and their city for as long as I can remember.”

March 13, 2018 – Time to reconsider Detroit’s weak community benefits ordinance

https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/03/13/detroit-development-community-benefits-ordinance/414944002/

Since Detroit is the largest majority African American city in the nation with many families at or near the poverty line, and most developers are wealthy and white, there are questions regarding race, and who gets the contracts, who gets the jobs and who gets left out.

March 13, 2018 – Spotlight on the News: The campaign to “Promote the Vote” & the future of the MI. State Fairgrounds

https://www.wxyz.com/news/political/spotlight-on-the-news/spotlight-on-the-news-the-campaign-to-promote-the-vote-the-future-of-the-mi-state-fairgrounds

WXYZ Detroit – On Sunday, March 11, Spotlight on the News will look at “Promote the Vote”, the petition drive campaign to amend the Michigan Constitution to make “voting more accessible, secure and fair,” according to its supporters.   Attorneys Kary Moss of the Michigan ACLU and Kahlilah Spencer of the NAACP will be our guests.

We’ll also look at the future of the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.  Karen & Frank Hammer will explain the role their neighborhood coalition is playing in the possible development of the 160 acres near the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Eight Mile Road.

March 7, 2018 – In State of the City, Duggan talks schools, jobs, and “building one Detroit”

http://michiganradio.org/post/state-city-duggan-talks-schools-jobs-and-building-one-detroit

But some of Duggan’s critics said his speech and policies are still disconnected from the everyday reality of most Detroiters.

Kea Mathis, a community organizer with the group Detroit People’s Platform, said Duggan’s speech left her with “a lot of questions,” and a sense that “wrongs that need to be righted” for many longtime Detroiters are still being ignored.

“Why did you demolish houses instead of putting people in houses?” said Mathis, saying questions about the propriety of past mass tax foreclosures in particular still have yet to be addressed. “He talked about more bus routes, but for people that actually ride the bus, there are problems of access, of cleanliness, a lack of bus shelters.”

“We’re tired of hearing about so-called improvements, but anything that really makes a city thrive…those things are not addressed.”

Posted on

Transit Update Public Transit A Choice or Right?

Transit Update Public Transit A Choice or Right?

[bctt tweet=”As a new Regional Transit Plan is discussed it’s vital we consider ESSENTIAL Riders. Lack of equity in bus service and planning replicates the racism that has historically plagued our transit policy.” via=”no”]

Public transit is a hot topic. The lack of adequate transit has been cited for Amazon’s rejection. Many don’t connect this failure to the race-based policies of our region. There are many recent examples of the shift toward private service and choice options rather than equity for essential riders. [bctt tweet=”Quicken Loans, Wayne State and Henry Ford could use their influence to promote a robust DDOT system rather than use private shuttles.” via=”no”] Also, Quicken and others decided to use our public tax dollars – over $70 million from state, local, and federal funds to build the QLine.  The reliance on public services and the diversion of public funds contributes to inequality.

A modern public transit system responds to the needs of a diverse population. There are as many types of riders as there are people. Here we consider two particular types of bus riders – Essential & Choice Riders…

Essential riders ride the bus for their day-to-day economic and social survival.  They use transit to get to important institutions like schools, banks or credit unions, social services, healthcare, and jobs. They endure neighborhood service that is unreliable, slow, and unavailable when needed most. Essential bus riders have various personal circumstances that make car ownership impossible.

“Choice-rider” is an industry term used by public transit providers that refers to individuals that ride the bus as an option. Choice riders may have access and the means to afford and use a car, but instead “choose” to ride the bus. More often than not They also have the option to use smartphone app-based ride-hailing services like UBER and LYFT.

Public transit authorities cater to choice riders to lure them out of cars and into public transit.  They fit buses with amenities like Wi-Fi, app-based fare and boarding technology, and offer express/commuter routes from more affluent neighborhoods to business/employment districts

Some new services only get people from around the region in and around downtown. These services often give choice riders the option to bypass the very neighborhoods where services are inadequate for Essential riders. [bctt tweet=”This lack of equity in bus service and planning replicates the racism that has historically plagued our transit policy in #Detroit and the region.  ” via=”no”]

A just and equitable  public transit system serves all types of riders. 

Here are some signs that Essential Riders suffer from transit injustice

  • Nearly flat funding has been maintained for DDOT, at $135 million with little emphasis on improving the State Fair Transit Center & little improvement for bus stops & shelters.
  • The creation of routes  that serve areas targeted for investment  with express/commuter service.
  • The expansion of night and weekend service prioritizes main roads and neighborhoods where new population increases are planned.
  • The failure to improve service in all neighborhoods forces families & individuals to ride for hours on a disconnected, under-resourced & unreliable bus system.

Transit Justice is a Civil Rights Issue

The struggle for civil rights and racial equity in public transportation is rooted in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott which successfully challenged and ended bus segregation. This gave birth to the modern Civil Rights Movement and resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VI regulations that ensure bus riders are not discriminated on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, and ability/disability status.

It’s in the City Charter!

“The people have a right to expect city government to provide for its residents, decent housing; job opportunities; 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.”

“The people have a right to know the rules and regulations governing dealings between the City and the public and to a means for review of administrative decisions.”

Download an easy to print black and white version of this Transit Update to share with your neighbors. 
[wpdm_package id=’2705′]

Take Action! Make Some Calls! Share it Out!

City Council Members

Mayor Duggan

DDOT Leadership

[bctt tweet=”We demand participatory decision-making between riders/residents and DDOT for input on routes and changes in fares and scheduling. #Detroit” via=”no”]

Bus riders must have a say!

Join the Detroit People’s
Platform Transit Justice Team!
Contact Renard Monczunski
renard@detroitpeoplesplatform.org
(313) 338-9396

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.