City Council Blight Bond Meeting, Monday Nov. 18

Last Tuesday, November 12, 2019 Detroit City Council pushed back a vote on the Blight Bond and set a Committee of the Whole meeting on the bond. 

Read More: 

What is the Blight Bond?

Media: 
Bankole: Council should stand up to mayor, reject bond
Detroit City Council postpones $250M bond vote, citing serious concerns
Duggan’s Blight Bond Actually Would Raise Detroit Taxes, ‘In A Sense’
Eggs, Biscuits And Blight: Duggan ‘Crosses Line’ In Detroit Bond Push

Actions: 

  • Fill out the Legislative Engagement Form and document your comments on the Blight Bond. 
  • Continue to contact City Council Members and share your comments on the Blight Bond.
  • Share this and other information about the Blight Bond with your friends, family and neighbors.
  • If possible, attend Monday evening’s City Council Committee of the Whole meeting on the 250 Million Blight. Bond. The meeting will be on the 13th Floor of CAYMC, 5 – 8 pm in the Erma Henderson Auditorium. 

Detroit City Council could vote to move the Blight Bond to the March 2020 ballot on Tuesday, Nov.19 2019 at their regular Committee of the Whole meeting, 10 a.m.

What is the Blight Bond?

Note: City Council is expected to vote on this issue Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Today is a holiday, please make a call, email or tweet Council Members so they receive your message before tmrw’s 10 am session. Thank you!

What is the Blight Bond?

Detroit City Council has been asked by the administration to vote to place a $250 Million Bond on the ballot in March 2020.

What is a Municipal Bond?
A municipal bond is a way that city’s pay for important things that improve our community like schools, roads and public transit. These are investments that need to be paid back and that payback includes interest.

How does the city pay back the investment? Typically these investments are paid back by the city through a millage. A millage is a tax rate on the value of property.

Detroit People’s Platform encourage members and supporters to contact their council representatives and demand that they vote “No” on placing the bond on the ballot. Why?

The bond is for $250 million but the interest on the loan may be up to $170 million. The total cost will be up to $420 million!

Detroiters don’t need more debt!

Banks and property speculators who have created the blight through neglect but typically receive a pass should be made to pay instead of Detroiters.

This tax will disproportionately impact Detroit home owners and they will feel the brunt of this increase.

Take Action!
Contact City Council and demand they protect Detroiters from another mortgage on our city’s future.

Detroit City Council Contact Information

Brenda Jones, Council President, At-Large
313-224-1245 – @DetCouncilPres
bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov

Janeé L Ayers, At-Large
313-224-1027 – @Ayers4Detroit
ayersj@detroitmi.gov

James Tate, District 1
313-224-1027 – @CouncilmanTate
councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

Roy McCalister Jr., District 2
313-224-4535 – @RoyMcCalisterJr
councilmemberMcCalister@detroitmi.gov

Scott Benson, District 3
313-224-1198 – @Scottinthe3rd
bensons@detroitmi.gov

André Spivey, District 4
313-224-4505 – @AndreLSpivey
councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov

Mary Sheffield, President Pro Temp, District 5
313-224-4505 – @MsMarySheffield
councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov

Raquel Casteñeda-Lopez, District 6
313-224-2450 – @Raquel4Detroit
councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov

Gabe Leland, District 7
313-224-2151 – @GabeLeland
lelandg@detroitmi.gov

Fiat Chrysler Call to Action – Contact Michigan Dept. EGLE

Call to Action: 
Detroit People’s Platform Members and Supporters

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) must take action to protect Detroit residents. 

For the last month Eastside residents collected nearly 1,000 signatures on an Air Quality petition with recommendations for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). EGLE will be considering Fiat Chrysler’s Environmental Community Benefits Plan for their new assembly line and paint plant.

The People’s Air Quality Petition recommends: 
✅ $12.5 M into the public health fund
✅ air monitors @ schools, senior bldgs, Head Starts
✅ air filtration @ schools, senior bldgs, Head Starts
✅ vegetative buffers designed with experts
✅ truck routing based on residents’ input 
✅ regular community mtgs
 
Since Chrysler will receive up to $400 million dollars in public tax support, we believe this is the least of what they owe our community.  Black residents should not be forced to choose between their health and possible jobs. Due to the fact that Fiat Chrysler is decreasing pollution in Warren so that they can increase it in our back yards. EGLE has required that Fiat Chrysler create this plan for additional monitoring and community benefits. 

Fiat Chrysler has not been open or transparent with their environmental plan.  They have been selective about who they talk with in the community and they have been disrespectful to those who express the legitimate need for additional protections.

Residents deserve to be protected by our government – We call on EGLE to require FCA produce an environmental community benefit plan that includes state of the art air quality filters and monitoring systems placed throughout the impact areas.

We are asking you to make a phone call to EGLE. Ask them to share Fiat Chrysler’s Environmental Benefits Plan with the community once they receive it and for EGLE to conduct a public hearing or public comment process on the FCA environmental benefit plan before EGLE approves the plan. 
 
Take Action
Call EGLE Director Liesl Eichler Clark

  1. Demand that EGLE release the FCA Environmental Plan to the community when it is submitted for approval and
  2. Demand a public hearing or comment process before approving the plan.

Contact 
Liesl Eichler Clark
EGLE Director
517-284-6712
ClarkL20@michigan.gov

Thank you 

Important Points:   

Detroit and all of Wayne County are currently out of federal compliance with sulfur dioxide and ozone standards. The Fiat Chrysler assembly line and paint plant will increase VOC emissions which contribute to respiratory and other health issues. 

The immediate area surrounding the plant is 94% Black. FCA will be “offsetting” increased emissions in the “impact area” by reducing emissions from a plant in Warren, a predominantly white suburb. This is textbook environmental racism.

7.3% of annual deaths in Wayne County are due to criteria pollutants and air toxics. 11.3% of our children countywide have asthma, and the numbers are worse in our most polluted neighborhoods near heavy industry. The Zip Codes in the FCA impact have some of the highest Asthma hospitalization rates in the city.   

 

Press Coverage:

Analysis:
Fiat Chrysler (FCA) Community Benefits Agreement

 

Community Benefits Agreement Outcomes:
The CBA includes $5.8 million for Workforce Education, $1.8 million for Housing, $1.1 million in an Impact Neighborhood Fund and $0.1 million for Construction Impacts totaling only $8.8 million from FCA.

The most recent dollar amount of public funding and tax incentives that have been request by FCA are now up to $400 million.
 

Conclusion: The Fiat Chrysler Community Benefits Agreement and the process through which it was created were monumental failures.

 

The points below are not exhaustive but highlight and explain the strong dissent and disdain over this deal.

$8.8 Million is not enough Fiat Chrysler is a global corporation that earned $4.1 billion in 2018. Taxpayers have historically invested in FCA through multiple bailouts; one in which citizen lost $1.3 billion. Offering only $8.8 million dollars in community benefits from projects that will use up to $400 million in public investment is shameful. It is economic injustice. 

Environmental Racism We are in what the Environmental Protection Agency calls a “non-attainment” area for certain pollutants. That means our air is so toxic that FCA has to reduce emissions elsewhere to increase them here. FCA will be increasing emissions in our 94% black community with high poverty and asthma rates while reducing emissions from a suburban plant in Warren.

Lack of Time, Transparency + Respect 
While the process replicated some aspects of previous CBO projects, the city was more heavy-handed in this deal. There was a greater presence of white residents in the Ford NAC than the FCA NAC, which was predominantly black. The Ford NAC was given greater self-determination and consideration than the FCA NAC.The FCA CBA process lasted only 7 weeks while the Ford CBA took 10. Multiple times in the process FCA threatened they would take the project elsewhere.

Land Swaps The FCA project’s associated land “swaps”, like the full extent of public investment, were not revealed until after the NAC signed off on the deal. In addition to the land, the city sold a downtown parking garage to cover costs. The full value of the land swaps  connected to the deal is unknown. The transfer of land without community input is unacceptable.* https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2019/05/20/speculators-moroun-detroit-land-swap-fca-jobs/3664661002/ 

30-year Tax Capture From Schools + The FCA expansion takes advantage of Michigan’s Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act that was lobbied for by Dan Gilbert and utilized on the Hudson’s site. After completion of the project FCA will pay themselves back for the cost of redeveloping the site by pocketing $93 Million from their employees’ paychecks over 30 years. $34 Million of that would have gone to school funding*. * https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/2019/07/23/fiat-chrysler-mack-avenue-plant-detroit/1803696001/ 

Due to the failures of Fiat Chrysler CBA we encourage residents to take a stand around the additional environmental community benefits included in Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) permitting process.