People’s Platform Action Alert: Council Hearing on a NEW ARENA and Detroit Development Authority expansion
Tomorrow, Friday December 20th at 9am Detroit City Council will meet to hear public comments and vote on the expansion of the Downtown Development Authority.
The expansion of the DDA, across I-75 and into the long contested land between Downtown and “Midtown”, will facilitate, authorize and make way for the construction of a new hockey arena and, according to recent reports, the state supported demolition of Joe Louis Arena.
City Council has delayed their vote until the last business day of the calendar year waiting for the DDA and the developer, Olympia Development, to present the Concession Agreement (executive summary attached) which they agreed upon and presented to Council last Friday, December 13th.
We encourage citizen participation in this decision and request that Detroiters contact City Council members, attend the public hearing if possible, and
1.) demand that Council oppose the expansion of the DDA, and
2.) that if it is approved, they amend the Concession Management Agreement between the DDA and Olympia Development to include a Community Steering Committee that truly reflects community. NOT the committee structure recommended by the Corridor Alliance group.
Members and supporters of the People’s Platform will be meeting at 8:30 AM in the hallway outside of Council chambers on the 13th Floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center to organize before the hearing starts at 9:00 AM. If you are unable to join us in person we encourage you to contact council by email or phone to express your opinion. Council Member contact info is below.
Suggested Talking Points:
- Across the country new stadiums and arena projects similar to the one being proposed, especially those funded with public money, have driven municipalities deeper into debt without providing any benefit to the existing residents and businesses. (reference: http://www.psmag.com/business-
- The Concession Management Agreement that frames the arena development and the expansion of the DDA allows the Ilitches, who already owe Detroit millions in tax dollars from Joe Louis Arena, to withhold that money until the new area is built. (Ref: http://www.freep.com/article/20131219/NEWS01/312190121/Ilitches-Red-Wings-Joe-Louis-settlement “City officials say the Ilitches could owe the bankrupt city up to $80 million in payments tied to cable TV revenues”) (also see attached CMA page 4 – Arena_CMA_Brief)
- In the same month that a federal judge has determined that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, the proposal for this development, which uses $300 million in public funding encourages separate and unequal development that benefits only the developer and not the community and flies in the face of pensioners and others impacted by the bankruptcy.
- This project will negatively impact current residents and businesses by making the downtown and midtown areas more difficult to navigate for the vast majority of Detroiters, cutting off access needed services, like the DMC for example.
- The Ilitches already own acres of blighted property WITHIN the existing DDA that could be utilized and put to use for this project.
The Community Steering Committee shall consist of ten members to be selected as follows:
2 members designated by City Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez for District 6
2 members designated by City Council Member Mary Sheffield for District 5
2 members designated by existing and active community groups, WRD6 and the Detroit People’s Platform Leadership Caucus
2 members designated by the Corridors Alliance
1 member designated by Doing Development Differently in Detroit
1 member designated by the Developer
The Corridor Alliance proposed membership:
(from their letter to Council President Jenkins)
The Community Steering Committee shall consist of ten (10) individual members to be selected as follows: the Council Member for District 6 shall have the right to designate three (3) members, the Corridors Alliance shall have the right to designate four (4) members, the board of Directors of Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4) shall have the right to designate two (2) members, and the Developer shall have the right to designate one (1) member. ref: CA_Council_December 12
Call/email City Council
Council President Saunteel Jenkins, (313) 224-4248 (office), E-mail: councilmemberjenkins@
Council President Pro Tem André L. Spivey, (313) 224-4841 (office), E-mail: CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov
Council Member Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr, (313) 224-4505 (office), E-mail: Kenneth.Cockrel@detroitmi.gov
Council Member Brenda Jones, (313) 224-1245 (office), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member James Tate, (313) 224-1027 (office), E-mail: councilmembertate@detroitmi.
Council Member JoAnn Watson, (313) 224-4535 (office), E-mail: WatsonJ@detroitmi.gov