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Action Alert – CBA Ordinance and the Anti-Community Benefits Bill, HB5977

NEWPeoplesPlatformLogoCBAbuttonsSM

Action 1: Attend Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec 8th, 11am CAYMC
Action 2: Contact Detroit Legislative Delegation
Action 3: Contact Mayor Duggan’s Office
(details below)

Update/Summary
On Tuesday Dec 2, 2014 State Representative Earl Poleski (R) from Jackson County introduced HB 5977 as the “Local Government Employer Mandate Prohibition Act”. Testimony about the bill was heard in the Michigan Competitiveness Committee on Dec 4, 2014. The bill is on the committee’s agenda again, this coming Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 8:30 AM, Room 326, House Office Building in Lansing. People’s Platform and Equitable Detroit Coalition members will be in attendance. We will post updates through social media and summarize the results through email.

It is anticipated the committee will vote on the legislation at that time. 

At the Dec 4th committee meeting, a Detroit Regional Chamber representative spoke in support of the bill (see and please share video) and more pointedly against the CBA Ordinance that thousands of Detroiters have expressed their support for.

Read the Bill for yourself: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28vhvm0n55vf0diwj2vfpturzo%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=BillStatus&objectname=2014-HB-5977

This Anti-Community Benefit Bill would prohibit municipalities from COMMUNITY BENEFIT AGREEMENT ordinances/policies. House Bill 5977 would also prevent municipalities in Michigan from enacting their own specific minimum wage increases and from establishing “any requirement related to employee wages, or benefits, such as a minimum wage, particular benefits, a specified amount of paid or unpaid leave time, or the payment of a prevailing wage except as provided by law,”

This bill is a state violation of local control that has been introduced in direct opposition to Detroiters efforts around a CBA Ordinance that also augments and seams up “Right to Work” legislation passed in 2012.

Over the past two years, Detroit People’s Platform members, partners, supporters and allies have come together around the importance of Community Benefit Agreements, CBAs, in Detroit. CBAs have been a part of successful development projects across the US and help to insure that everyone benefits from large development projects that use public funds or resources, like land. In the last year, continuing to support the work of the Equitable Detroit Coalition and the efforts of Council President Brenda Jones we have moved to organize around a city-wide Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance.

TAKE ACTION!

Action: Attend Special Council Meeting Monday, Dec 8th, 11am CAYMC

Council President Brenda Jones has called a special meeting of Detroit City Council at 11 am on Monday, December 8th in response to the HB 5977. Join City Council President in support of the Community Benefit Agreement Ordinance and the right of local residents to participate in democracy and work for fair and just economic development for all Detroiters.

Action: Contact Detroit Legislative Delegation

Educate them about why House Bill 5977 undermines economic opportunity for Detroiters by denying access to jobs and business opportunities.  Let them know that we want to benefit directly from the investment of our tax dollars and public resources in economic development. State House Representatives– Detroit:
Alberta Talabi (District2), albertatalabi@house.mi.gov517-373-1776
John Olumba (District 3), JohnOlumba@house.mi.gov, – 517-373-0144
Fred Durhal (District 5), freddurhal@house.mi.gov517-373-0844
Rashida Tlaib (District 6), rashidatlaib@house.mi.gov517-373-0823
David Nathan (District 8), davidnathan@house.mi.gov517-373-3815
Harvey Santana (District 9), harveysantana@house.mi.gov517-373-6990

Action: Contact Mayor Duggan’s Office: 313.224.3400
We are aware that Mayor Duggan’s does not support the CBA ordinance for Detroiters. Where does the Mayor stand on HB 5977?

Media Round-Up

Video
http://youtu.be/WamEFXKM–w
1. Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams speaking in support of the bill and against the CBA Ordinance that is gaining momentum in Detroit.
2. Rep Santana calling the bill out as a block to community negotiating with developers. The CBA Ordinance will only apply to large-scale projects that use public funds (our tax $$) or resources, like land.

Metrotimes
House bill would ban Detroit from enacting Community Benefits Agreement ordinance

“Detroit City Councilmember Raquel Castañeda-López, an avid proponent of the ordinance who could not be immediately reached for comment, wrote on Facebook that the bill would “restrict cities from having a community benefits ordinance.” “Whether you supported the Community Benefits Agreement ordinance or not, what the state govt is trying to run thru today during lame duck continues to strip power & the ability to self-govern from local municipalities,” she wrote.”

http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2014/12/04/house-bill-would-ban-detroit-from-enacting-community-benefits-agreement-ordinance

FreePress
NEW! Lansing to dictate how cities do their business?

http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/nancy-kaffer/2014/12/07/community-benefits-lansing/19976917/

Lame duck? More like lame lawmakers
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/12/04/lame-duck-roads-lgbt/19916707/

ARCHIVED Links


Crain’s Detroit Business
READ! – Community Benefits Agreements would boost neighborhoods, small businesses
“While Detroit is witnessing a paradoxical resurgence between downtown and Midtown (commercial corridor), amounting to billions of dollars in investment, the city’s neighborhoods (urban corridor), which comprise more than 82.7 percent African-Americans and 32,490 black-owned businesses, have largely been ignored for any economic opportunities, resources and benefits.”
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20141109/BLOG200/311099999/community-benefits-agreements-would-boost-neighborhoods-small

WDIV

Flashpoint 10/19/14: What’s best for Detroit post-bankruptcy?

10/19/14: We ask City Council members James Tate and Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, development leaders Rodrick Miller and Arthur Jemison, and business writers Tom Walsh and Daniel Howes.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/politics/flashpoint/flashpoint-101914-whats-best-for-detroit-postbankruptcy/29222324

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Update: Community Benefit Agreement Ordinance, State Bill HB5977

NEWPeoplesPlatformLogoDetroit People’s Platform Update, Dec 5 2014

Community Benefit Agreement Ordinance
HB5977 “Local Government Employer Mandate Prohibition Act”

Stay tuned for an ACTION ALERT this weekend!

Dec 2, 2014  – HB 5977, the “Local Government Employer Mandate Prohibition Act” was introduced. The bill in the Michigan Competitiveness committee, Dec 4, 2014.

Video: http://youtu.be/WamEFXKM–w
1. Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams speaking in support of the bill and against the CBA Ordinance that is gaining momentum in Detroit.

2. Rep Santana calling the bill out as a block to community negotiating with developers. The CBA Ordinance will only apply to large-scale projects that use public funds (our tax $$) or resources, like land.

The Regional Chamber speaks for private corporate interests and big business and is supporting this bill that would not only prohibit COMMUNITY BENEFIT AGREEMENT ordinances/policies but also paid sick leave, living wage, prevailing wage, local hiring and contracting, ban the box, and possibly a host of other issues touching upon the employment relationship between a private employer and workers.

Over the past two years, Detroit People’s Platform members, partners, supporters and allies have come together around the importance of Community Benefit Agreements, CBAs, in Detroit. CBAs have been a part of successful development projects across the US and help to insure that everyone benefits from large development projects that use public funds or resources, like land. Over the last year, supporting the work of the Equitable Detroit Coalition and the efforts of Council President Brenda Jones we have moved to organize around a city-wide Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance.

Read the Bill: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/

Media
Metrotimes:
http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2014/12/04/michigan-bill-would-ban-city-specific-minimum-wage-hikes
http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2014/12/04/house-bill-would-ban-detroit-from-enacting-community-benefits-agreement-ordinance

FreePress:
Lame duck? More like lame lawmakers
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/12/04/lame-duck-roads-lgbt/19916707/

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District 6: Land Forum event

Land Forum event in District 6 Tmrw Night.

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We hope you will join us for the third Land Forum workshop tomorrowNovember 18th at Repair the World on 2701 Bagley Ave., Detroit, MI 48216 from 5:30 – 8PM. The agenda will start at 6PM with light refreshments provided at 5:30PM. Please feel free to share our flyer with your networks.

Land Forum III offers attendees to learn about and get answers to questions about how to plan for, purchase and develop vacant land in Detroit, including working with City entities to move land reuse projects forward.  To RSVP or learn more, please contact Samira Guyot at (313) 969 7204 or sguyot@mi-community.com. A more detailed overview of the program and its goals is provided below. Event flyer attached.

What Is Land Forum?

The Land Forum Workshop is an educational platform designed to de-mystify the process of buying vacant property in Detroit for residents in Detroit with the end goal of building a cohort of informed buyers from communities engaged in revitalization efforts. The workshop is offered at a public location every other month to allow time for attendees to follow up on process steps identified at the prior land forum or to conduct their own research. The Land Forum workshop is structured to guide attendees through the process of acquiring and using vacant land step by step over time.

The major steps in buying property or reusing vacant land are divided into topic areas for the attendee. Expert speakers staff resource tables focused on each major step including planning (land use and business), location scouting, acquisition (+ due diligence), and development. LF is an initiative that leverages the resources of many organizations to address vacant property reuse.  Land Forum is a partnership between the Greening of Detroit, Michigan Community Resources, the Damon J. Keith Center at Wayne State University, and the Wayne State Law School’s Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law.

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District 5: Arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

We just received this announcement about this meeting in District 5.
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Dear Arena District Community –

The Neighborhood Advisory Council will be hosting its first Community Meeting to discuss the arena and garner community input:

THIS FRIDAY, November 21, from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Wayne State University Law School – Spencer Partrich Auditorium
471 W. Palmer (on the Wayne State Campus)
 
We Look Forward to Seeing You!
 
Please contact nacdetroit@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.
Thank You,
Corridors Alliance
NAC_Community Meeting
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Action Alert: THIS FRIDAY!
 Council Meets on CBA Ordinance Nov 14th, 9am CAYMC

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More Info: http://equitabledetroit.org – http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

Detroit People’s Platform Action Alert

THIS FRIDAY!

People’s Platform Members and supporters,

IT’S TIME TO FILL THE 13TH FLOOR

Attend Council’s Committee
of the whole meeting on the
COMMUNITY BENEFITS
AGREEMENT ORDINANCE

FRIDAY NOV. 14th 
9am for a comment card
 13th Floor, CAYMC

If you cannot join us Friday please
CONTACT
COUNCIL!

District contact info below

More Info: http://equitabledetroit.org – http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

YES! CBA Ordinance!
The Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance will benefit Developers, Investors and life-long, returning and new residents by streamlining a community engagement process and increasing transparency and consistency.

The CBA Ordinance will amend the City Charter and will support meaningful community engagement and benefit into post-bankruptcy Detroit’s future.

READ: This recent Crain’s Business Detroit article by Ken Harris, president and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, supporting the CBA Ordinance:

“Community Benefits Agreements would boost neighborhoods, small businesses. More than 82.7 percent African-Americans and 32,490 black-owned businesses, have largely been ignored for any economic opportunities, resources and benefits.”

 Reasons to Support the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

  •     3000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
  •     Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
  •     When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.

COUNCIL CONTACTS

Brenda Jones, President, 313.224.1245, bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Resigned – Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

More Info: http://equitabledetroit.org – http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org

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Community Development Hearings

We apologize for the short notice on these meetings. We did not receive the information until Monday of this week.

Community Development Hearings

The City of Detroit needs your input regarding federal funds received for four programs administered by the Planning and Development Department. During November, residents are encouraged to attend one of the seven district hearings to provide comments on how these funds should be spent in your community.

On average, the City of Detroit applies for and receives $40 million per year in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding for four programs. The four HUD programs are:

•    Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
•    HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
•    Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
•    Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)

In addition, the City of Detroit is also developing Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas (NRSAs). Communities with approved NRSAs are offered en- hanced flexibility in undertaking economic development, housing, and public service activities with CDBG funds.

These programs require citizen participation. That’s You!

HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Make your voice heard regarding how these funds can be used each year in your community by coming out to a District meeting. All relevant comments and opinions will become part of a report submitted to HUD. Your comments will also be presented to the Mayor and City Council. District meeting information is shown on the back of this page.

DISTRICT HEARINGS

District 2
November 3 • 5 – 7 p.m. • Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers, Detroit, MI 48235

District 1
November 5 • 5 – 7 p.m. • Crowell Recreation Center, 16630 Lahser, Detroit, MI 48219

District 5
November 6 • 5 – 7 p.m. • Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval, Detroit, MI 48214

District 6
November 8 • Noon – 2 p.m. • Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere, Detroit, MI 48209

District 7
November 13 • 5 – 7 p.m. • Adams Butzel, 10500 Lyndon, Detroit, MI 48238

District 3
November 14 • 5 – 7 p.m. • Farwell Recreation Center, 2781 E. Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48234

District 4
November 22 • Noon – 2 p.m. • Samaritan Center, 5555 E. Conner, Detroit, MI 48213

City of Detroit Planning and Development Department
For meeting information, call (313) 628-0044

 

 

Planning & Development Community Development Hearings1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Detroit-based Businesses Call on City Leadership to Support Community Benefits Agreement

Detroit-based Businesses Call on City Leadership to Support Community Benefits Agreement

(Detroit, MI- October 30, 2014) — The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (MBCC), with access to more than 72,561 African American businesses in Michigan and 32,490 in the city of Detroit, endorses the adoption of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) ordinance into the Detroit City Charter to establish trust, reduce economic disparities and increase government and private sector accountability to Detroiters and local entrepreneurs.

Although an increase in the number of development projects in Detroit shows promise for the city’s future,it is crucial to make sure local residents and community stakeholders share in the economic benefits of these large-scale projects. CBAs are designed to do just that, according to the American Planning Association.

“CBAs ensure that large scale development provides for local hiring, procurement opportunities, neighborhood services and a qualified community voice in the development process itself,” said Ken Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.

Detroit’s proposed CBA ordinance seeks to ensure that communities affected by large, often government-subsidized developments or public-private partnerships would be guaranteed benefits in the form of contracts with local developers; these contracts would provide specific procurement goals, services or hiring obligations in the footprint or general area of the proposed development.

Despite negative opinion-driven reactions to the proposed CBAs from some of Detroit’s leadership, CBAs are not just effective in providing economic protection to local communities, but also in energizing the local economy. Detroit’s proposed CBA is designed to stimulate job growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, but most importantly, minority, under served and economically disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods. Detroit is a majority minority city with more than 80% African Americans in population and 90% ethnic minorities and women.

The MBCC believes Detroit’s proposed community benefits ordinance would also benefit developers by establishing a clear framework and expected outcomes for businesses and residents to interact.

Across the country,CBAs have proven effective in both ensuring local employment and boosting local economies that are experiencing major or large developments with a clear oversight and monitoring policy.

There are already clear models for successful CBAs in city centers nationwide. One notable success comes from Los Angeles, when major airport renovations, with the implementation of local hiring requirements, increased the local employment rate in 2006. Since then, numerous instances in the CBA movement have demonstrated that economic development works better with community members at the table. CBA models have been implemented in many other urban centers,including Baltimore, Portland and Milwaukee.

“Without a CBA, large-scale development projects do not guarantee jobs to local residents and contract opportunities for Detroit-based businesses,” Harris said.

Marathon Oil, for example, received tax abatement worth $175 million in exchange for producing only 11 jobs for Detroiters in 2012. In the future, several large-scale development projects – which will utilize public subsidies, tax abatements and the acquisition of public land– are going to take place in Detroit’s under served and impoverished communities.

“It’s time to move away from personality-driven leadership by adopting policy-driven benefits that help to foster economic development and job growth for Detroit’s local residents and small business owners,” said Harris.

Today, the MBCC calls on Mayor Duggan, the Detroit City Council,Detroit-based Businesses and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) to support the adoption of a CBA ordinance into the City Charter.

For more information please contact kharris@michiganblackchamber.com

The Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce(MBCC) is Michigan’s first statewide Black chamber of commerce with access to more than 79,000 black-owned businesses in Michigan; the MBCC has become one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in the country with local Black chambers in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Pontiac, Southfield, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Flint, MI. For more information visit http://www.michiganblackchamber.com/

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Action Alert, Call Council: Select a candidate that will fight for a CBA Ordinance

NEWPeoplesPlatformLogoCBAbuttonsSMNovember 3rd, 2014

There are numerous reasons why the Community Benefit Agreement Ordinance should be approved by Detroit City Council. This week we encourage Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters to Contact Council (again, if you’ve already done so) to share these and your own points about the CBA Ordinance.

Select a new Council Member
that will fight for a CBA Ordinance.

Contact ALL Council Members and demand that they consider candidates position on the CBA Ordinance when selecting the Council Member who will replace Saunteel Jenkins. The new council member will serve “at large”  and along with Council President Brenda Jones will represent community city-wide. Council’s selection of a candidate that prioritizes the needs of the community alongside that of private interests will help create a equitable future for all Detroiters.

Dispel the “Shake Down” Myth.

The Detroit News called the CBA Ordinance a “Shake Down” that would hinder development. Equitable Detroit Coalition Member and West Grand Boulevard Collaborative President Mildred Hunt Robbins corrected them in a printed letter:

“If the word “shakedown” is to be used, it is more appropriate to describe the millions of taxpayer dollars given to developers in the form of grants, exemptions, tax abatements, land transfers and low interest loans. A CBA, on the other hand, is an efficient means to facilitate what developers say they want, which is to be good community partners who give back to the communities whose taxpayer dollars support their investments.” read the full letter

Support small, Black and minority-owned businesses.

The current way of doing development overlooks small, minority-owned business. The CBA ordinance will allow for broader benefits which will support increased participation by small business owners, minority-owned businesses, and Detroit-based businesses as well.  Last week, in a press release Ken Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce called on Mayor Duggan, the Detroit City Council, Detroit-based Businesses and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) to support the adoption of a CBA ordinance into the City Charter.

“It’s time to move away from personality-driven leadership by adopting policy-driven benefits that help to foster economic development and job growth for Detroit’s local residents and small business owners,” said Harris. Read the full press release

#DetroitCBA

The Detroit People’s Platform is a member organization in the Equitable Detroit Coalition. Visit the EDC site for more information on the CBA Ordinance.

Update: There is a revised ordinance that the Equitable Detroit Coalition is in the process of reviewing. We will issue an opinion on this revision next week. 

Reasons to Support the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

  •     Nearly 2000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
  •     Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
  •     When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.
  •     We call on each city council member to support a strong and enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance!

COUNCIL CONTACTS

Brenda Jones, President, 313.224.1245, bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Resigned – Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

 

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Action Alert! Call Council, CBA Ordinance: Development that will benefit ALL Detroiters

CBAbuttonsSM NEWPeoplesPlatformLogoAction: Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)

Platform Members and Supporters,

On Friday, October 24th, the Detroit News published an article that expressed concern from Mayor Duggan’s office over the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance that is currently being discussed and vetted by Detroit City Council. “The local law, they (Mayor Duggan’s Team) say, would be negative for Detroit if passed, creating too many hurdles that could discourage development.” These statements from the executive office reflect a recent letter to City Council sent by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s CEO Rodrick Miller expressing that an ordinance would “undermine progress”.

This push-back and the dismissal of the need for accountability to community around development projects by the Mayor and DEGC is an attempt to keep doing development the way we have been, business as usual, where only a few benefit. With awareness of Detroit’s long history of failed urban renewal programs and the recent outpouring of tax dollars, subsidies, public land and resources to private development projects it is challenging to witness our political and business leaders push back against both their constituents and economic reality.

Last week, Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez was on Flashpoint (Video) and addressed these and other concerns over a CBA ordinance. From a October 15th Metro Times article:

“As Castaneda-Lopez puts it, cities going through a financial crisis tend to think about development in the short-term “to address the immediate crisis.” The Urban Development Agreements ordinance would change that, she says. “It creates a framework,” she says. “It’s not just a one-size fits all,” meaning it wouldn’t be all-encompassing for every project. “There are exemptions built in for different scenarios, and ultimately council can also weigh in to whether there’s a needed urban development agreement or not.”

The current way of doing development overlooks small, minority-owned business. The CBA ordinance will allow for a broader benefits which will support increased participation by small business owners, minority owned businesses, and Detroit-based businesses as well. The CBA ordinance is a good first step in the restructuring of Detroit by ensuring  meaningful participation by Detroiters in rebuilding our neighborhoods. The CBA ordinance will make sure that we as residents have that opportunity.

Corporate interests, the mainstream media, and now the Mayor, are spreading fear about the death of economic development in Detroit if a CBA Ordinance is passed. But an ordinance that benefits community will not deter equitable progress or development.  It will help to guide Detroit’s growth in a way that benefits both community and developers in the long-term rather than quick fix, trickle down, business-as-usual, development projects. Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)

Reasons to Support the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

  •     Nearly 2000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
  •     Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
  •     When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.
  •     We call on each city council member to support a strong and enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance!

COUNCIL CONTACTS

Brenda Jones, President, 313.224.1245, bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Resigned Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

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UN experts condemn Detroit water shutoffs

Posted date: October 22, 2014

Mayor’s office says UN is wrong, ‘everybody’s gotta pay’

By Curt Guyette
Special to the Michigan Citizen

During the three days she spent in Detroit investigating the water shutoff crisis, there were a number of times when Catarina de Albuquerque’s jaw literally dropped.

A United Nations human rights expert on issues involving water and sanitation, Albuquerque would sit, mouth agape, astonished by what she was hearing from residents and their advocates.

UN Special Rapporteurs

“I heard testimonies from poor, African American residents of Detroit who were forced to make impossible choices — to pay the water bills or to pay their rent,” Albuquerque said Oct. 20 during a press conference to announce what she and fellow U.N. Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha had learned while in Detroit.

“A woman whose water had been cut off explained that her teenage daughters had to wash themselves with a bottle of water during menstruation, and had to refrain from flushing the toilet to save water,” Albuquerque said.

From the woman who said she stopped cooking rice because of the amount of water it takes, to the parents who expressed fear the state would take custody of their children if it was discovered they lived in a home with no running water, Albuquerque and Farha heard testimony and, during a tour, saw firsthand the effects water shutoffs are having on Detroit’s poorest residents and their neighborhoods.

But what struck her most, Albuquerque said, is the sheer scope of the problem. Through September, according to the Detroit’s Department of Water and Sewerage, service has been cut to more than 27,000 households so far this year. Of that number, about 12,000 remain without water. READ MORE AT THE MICHIGAN CITIZEN