If Detroit is in the midst of a recovery then why aren’t more Detroiters moving out of poverty?
Learn more about the invisible economic policies driving the reality of life for the average Detroiter.
Lack of Affordable Housing Escalating Water Rates Low-Wage Employment Poor Public Transportation
What are the tools we need to organize and educate with our community to fight inequality and poverty in our city?
Presented by Radhika Balakrishnan Faculty Director Center for Women’s Global Leadership Professor Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
Radhika is the co-author of Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: The radical potential of human rights with James Heintz and Diane Elson. She is the co-editor with Diane Elson of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account
Join us as we map global economic policies and trends that show up in the lives of everyday Detroiters.
Dinner and Conversation Wednesday, March 27 5:30 – 8:00pm Dinner provided.
Interactive Training Day Thursday, March 28 9:00am – 3:00pm Lunch provided.
Both days at The Wellness Plan Building 7700 Second Ave. @Pallister
This training is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP: call 313.338.9396 or email@example.com
In 1967, Dr. King spoke; “There can be no gainsaying of the fact that racism is still alive all over America. Racial injustice is still the Negro’s burden and America’s shame. And we must face the hard fact that many Americans would like to have a nation which is a democracy for white Americans but simultaneously a dictatorship over black Americans. We must face the fact that we still have much to do in the area of race relations.” Dr. King shared these words as part of his explanation of what he called “the three evils”; racism, poverty and war in ‘America’s Chief Moral Dilemma’.
In 2019, in the majority black city of Detroit, as we read Dr. King’s words it is obvious that, even with the great changes 50 years has wrought, many things remain problematic for African Americans. Dr. King calls out many American’s desire for a race-based selective “democratic” process, wherein whites have decision making power, while the black vote and voice is suppressed, silenced or supplanted.
Today, as we survey the economic and political landscape of Detroit we bear witness to the evolution of the racist desire Dr. King addressed. Emergency Management and the Bankruptcy, as intended, dismantled a great deal of black political and economic power.
Now, those power structures have been divided and their control and management distributed to white-led or corporate-influenced authorities, boards and organizations.
Now, vast amounts of public resources have been stripped from the commons in the form of huge tax abatements and redistributed to wealthy white billionaires.
Now, money that could have been used to address human rights issues like water shutoffs and affordable housing will be given away for decades to ease the financial burdens developers.
Dr. King stated that in order to address the issues of racism, poverty and war a redistribution of wealth and power is required, but we are moving in the wrong direction.
The data indicates that significant and persistent inequities exist in Detroit’s majority black population. Until we implement public policies that reflect an intentional strategy to achieve racial equity across all social and economic indicators, the inequities will continue.
To that end, this year and moving forward, we will organize and advocate for A New Social Contract for Detroiters.
In May of 2018, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative NESRI (www.nesri.org), launched a campaign for A New Social Contract. Their intersectional approach to address inequity and injustice offers community-centered solutions and tools, many advanced by DPP and our allies
NESRI’s A New Social Contract integrates:
PUBLIC GOODS FOR ALL Tools/Solutions: Universal Social Insurance and Free Public Services and a Just Tax Policy
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LANDTools/Solutions: Green Energy Democracy and Community Control of Land and Housing
HOW WE LABOR Tools/Solutions: Worker-Driven Enforcement Models and Cooperatives
FINANCING DIGNITY Tools/Solutions: Finance for Social Change and Public and Postal Banking
FROM EXCLUSION TO EQUITY AND PARTICIPATIONTools/Solutions: Restorative Justice and People-Centered Democracy
In 2019, Detroit People’s Platform will also integrate the Just Transition Principles into our Housing and Equitable Development work:
Climate Justice Alliance – Just Transition Principles
A Just Transition moves us toward Buen Vivir – Buen Vivir means that we can live well without living better at the expense of others.
A Just Transition creates Meaningful Work
A Just Transition upholds Self Determination
A Just Transition equitably redistributes Resources and Power
A Just Transition requires Regenerative Ecological Economics
A Just Transition retains Culture and Tradition
A Just Transition embodies Local, Regional, National and International Solidarity
A Just Transition must be liberatory and transformative.
Detroit – Today the Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates visited Detroit City Council to present signatures from over 300 households from their ongoing “Development without Displacement” campaign. The petition is in support of 12 demands that have been put together based on citizen led organizing and surveying.
In December 2017, a group of long time residents in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood came together to discuss the plans the city is making for redevelopment in their neighborhood.Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates began to engage residents in face to face conversations about community needs while at the same time collecting important survey data.
The group has been focused on responding to the Strategic Framework Plan that the city is currently hosting community engagement meetings on. They have also met with their Council representative, Council Member André L. Spivey. Due to lack of adequate response the city Jefferson Chalmers Community Advocates have prepared, collected and are now presenting these petitions.
Petition by the People of Jefferson Chalmers
We, the undersigned residents acknowledge that the Declaration of Rights included in the Charter of the City of Detroit states “The people have a right to expect city government to provide for its residents, decent housing; job opportunities; reliable, convenient and comfortable transportation; recreational facilities and activities; cultural enrichment, including libraries and art and historical museums; clean air and waterways, safe drinking water and a sanitary, environmentally sound city.” Therefore, as residents we demand a more equitable and inclusive planning and economic development process that prioritizes the voice and recommendations of our residents and honors the community’s historical and current priorities as cited:
Provide home repair grants for fixed low-income residents (owner occupied) who have been residing in the home for 1 year or more.
Retain property tax levels at current rates for the life of the homeowner and any surviving heirs who remain in the home.
Ensure that only homes that cannot be rehabbed will be demolished after assessment is made by a third party not affiliated with the Land Bank.
Assure that once a home has been demolished a comparable home is built in its place within a 12-24 month period.
Community Residents will be given first priority to purchase Land Bank owned property.
Offer incentives to reopen a mixed-use community center, specifically Maheras-Gentry.
All waterfront parks will remain public.
Make sure there are separate buildings for elementary and middle schools for students in the Jeff Chalmers area.
The city office of General Services will create jobs for community residents to perform park maintenance and park patrols.
Upon the recommendation of an independent party demolish all Land Bank/city-owned buildings along the Jefferson Corridor that cannot be rehabbed. Offer incentives to have the demolished buildings replaced with businesses needed in the community as noted in the community survey.
Create an enterprise zone within the Jefferson Chalmers Community and aWorkforce Development Office.
Remove bike lanes from main thoroughfares, i.e. Jefferson Avenue.
October 14, 2018
Detroit – The Equitable Detroit Coalition has released an open letter to Ford Motor Co. This letter challenges Ford to go further and agree to a CBA worthy of a $17 billion multinational corporation.
Ford Motor Co. has a net worth of nearly $17 billion. They want $239 million in tax breaks for their $740 million project in Corktown. They want to “fast track” an abatement of $104 million in city taxes over 35 years to catch another $18.7 million in tax breaks from the state by the end of October.
CALL TO ACTION:
Monday – Call Council
On Monday, October 15th, we are asking Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters to call their District Council Member and their ‘at large’ Council Members, Council President Brenda Jones and Council Member Janee Ayers.
Tuesday – Attend Council Meeting and make Public Comment
On Tuesday, October 16th, Detroit City Council will vote on the Community Benefits Agreement for the Ford Corktown project. The meeting will begin at 10am. We advise people to arrive early to locate parking, get a seat and a public comment card.
Share the “Dear Ford” video
Please use #DearFord to share on social media.
Share the “Dear Ford” letter
Dear Ford Motor Co.,
We are the Equitable Detroit Coalition (EDC) the city-wide Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) coalition representing a constituency of nearly 100,000 Detroiters who voted “YES” on Proposal A. Proposal A mandated strong and legally binding Community Benefit Agreements on large projects that receive public subsidy.
To begin, we acknowledge the hard work of community members and the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) with the Ford Motor Company’s Corktown Project. We also recognize the pressure on the NAC and the community to cooperate and not offend Ford given the unique role the corporation has played in Detroit and Southeast Michigan for the previous 100 years. Yet, we would be remiss not to lift up the fact that the fortunes of Ford Motor Company and the intergenerational wealth of the Ford family were, in part. built on the backs of labor and Detroit workers.
The tensions that many Detroiters hold regarding corporate incentives is well known and documented. In a perfect world these incentives would not exist. Sadly, the political reality is that you, Ford Motor Company, will prevail in your request for $240 million dollars in public tax subsidies successfully diverting millions of dollars from much needed community improvements for decades to come. The community asked for up to $75 million in funds to support a broad array of community benefits including affordable housing for the most vulnerable, neighborhood and infrastructure improvements, workforce training, scholarships and other benefits. Your response was to offer a package of $10 million. This doesn’t go far enough.
Further, we want to remind you that while Ford is preparing for a successful future, many residents live in present day Detroit, where real people are being negatively impacted as part of the changes this and other private economic development projects bring with them. Less than a mile away from your project there are households where families with children exist without water, are threatened with housing displacement, and possibly face forced removal from their community. The median income around the project area is only $23,160.
On behalf of our constituent base, we urge Ford representatives to return to the table and renegotiate a real and legally-binding CBA with community. We challenge Ford Motor Co. to go further and agree to a CBA that is worthy of a $17 billion, multinational corporation. If Ford wants to create tomorrow together, let’s get real today with a legitimate CBA.
[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”]
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 detroitpeoplesplatform.org 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:
What are the REAL Issuesin 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 http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2018/02/peoples-response-to-the-state-of-the-city-peoplessotc/” username=”Detroitpeoples”]
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!
[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”]
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:
“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