Detroit is now a Hot Spot because it’s been a HOT MESS since Emergency Management

Ancestor Charity Hicks 🖤 referred to Emergency Management in Detroit as a Hot Mess. 7 years ago this month Democracy was suspended in our city. It was done against the will and the vote of the people and the policies that have been put into place since have hurt everyday Detroiters.

Detroit is now a COVID-19 Hot Spot because it’s been a HOT MESS since Emergency Management.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we pause to give thanks and honor to the front line workers and neighborhood volunteers who are sacrificing their lives and the lives of their families by providing food, water, counseling, housing and direct medical care and mental health support to those in need.

Although it is conventional wisdom that during a crisis we avoid the blame game,the pointing of fingers and suspend judgement about misguided public policies of the past, Detroiters must remain vigilant about how our government is showing up for us and how our democracy is responding on our behalf. Failed economic and social public policies of the recent past have no doubt contributed to the rapid rise of Detroit as one of the coronavirus hot spots. Those policies range from mass water shutoffs and home foreclosures; over investment of public resources in the downtown/midtown sports and entertainment and disinvestment in our neighborhood social and economic infrastructure.

Detroiters must demand accountability from those elected and in power who continue to make decisions everyday in the midst of the epidemic – decisions that will have life and death consequences right now and for years to come.

The aftermath of this pandemic will have far reaching consequences and shape the future of the nation’s largest majority Black city. We need to make sure that the long standing needs of our neighborhoods and communities are positioned first to receive resources that are allocated for the local corona virus recovery.

Finally, as we hold each other in care and solidarity, we invite you to join with the Detroit People’s Platform to build and exercise power in creating a sustainable and vibrant future Detroit rooted in racial and economic justice.

 

We must center RACE and RACIAL EQUITY during the COVID-19 crisis

A recent article in Bridge Magazine identifies Detroit as having one of the highest per capita coronavirus infection rates in the nation. Just in this past week, news statements have labeled Detroit as one of the coronavirus hot spots, a distinction shared by New York City as well. The article correctly points to the unique vulnerability of Detroiters to CODVID19 based on high rates of chronic and debilitating illness. We would also add exposure to environmental hazards that produce high rates of asthma and respiratory disease as major risk factors for the virus 

These conditions do not randomly occur and are not solely based on individual health behavior. Rather, these health disparities and health inequities are rooted in long standing structural and systemic racism that produces unhealthy outcomes for African Americans. Therefore, it stands to reason that Detroit, the nation’s largest majority Black city and other majority Black communities across Michigan and the nation will disproportionately bear the brunt of the coronavirus epidemic. And while we know that the virus doesn’t discriminate, many of the current systems that impact the daily lives of Black Detroiters do discriminate and produce uneven and unhealthy life circumstances.      

As leaders in Detroit and Lansing struggle to respond to this unprecedented health and economic upheaval, it is critical that our elected officials and policy makers center race and racial equity in the decision-making process.

Detroiters must demand that mitigation and containment strategies take into account the social and economic realities for majority Black Detroit including how and where we earn a living; how we feed and care for our familieshow we share our housing and living spaces across generations; how cultural and spiritual connections are essential and how our very survival historically is rooted in our togetherness in community.   

In addition to much needed and immediate material relief for individuals and families required at this time, Detroiters must also demand that our local government and elected officials be more responsive to the REAL priorities that help mitigate illness and risk to health, and promote the long term health and well being of Detroiters. We must demand an end to the inhumane policies that increase the vulnerability of Detroiters not just to the coronavirus but the sure to come future upheavals.  

We speak specifically about local policies that result in water shutoffs to thousands, loss of secure housing thru unjust foreclosures and eviction; diversion of public assets into the hands of wealthy one percenters and household poverty rates that are some of the highest in the nation.  

Many agree there will be a new normal on the other side of this epidemic. Detroiters must therefore demand a new normal where these unjust policies are not simply put on temporary pause in this moment of crisis but instead are permanently bannedWe WIN this demand by organizing and advocating for a local government that prioritizes investment in our families and neighborhoods as the pathway to a revitalized, resilient and sustainable Detroit

Media

Bridge Magazine: Coronavirus spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in United States

DETROIT — The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the poorest big city in the nation, prompting concerns about whether a municipality still recovering from bankruptcy can provide services to its most vulnerable residents.

Michigan Public Radio: Detroit is a COVID-19 hotspot. What the data do, and don’t, tell us

Metro Detroit has become one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots. And experts predict the situation will get even more dire in the next several weeks. The city of Detroit is a hotspot within the hotspot. As of Thursday, the city reported 888 COVID-19 cases, with 19 deaths so far.

Suspend the rent! Suspend mortgage payments – Take Action Today.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO PAY YOUR RENT OR MORTGAGE ON APRIL 1ST? 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Millions of us have already lost our income and are trying to figure out how we’ll stay healthy and housed. The coronavirus has swept the U.S. leaving no one’s life untouched. In a widespread act of solidarity, we are exercising physical distancing and, for those of us who have housing, our homes have become sanctuaries protecting us from illness. Yet in the next week, many of us will be unable to pay our rent, utilities or mortgages. Somehow we are still expected to pay rent as if it’s business as usual. It’s not.

That’s why on April 1st people across the country will withhold their rent, utility payments, and mortgages. Not because they want to but because they have to. That’s why NOW is the time for Universal Rent Suspension and to guarantee safe, healthy homes for all people now! 

If you’re wondering how to make ends meet or have legal or financial questions about withholding your rent: Sign up here to learn more about the movement to #CancelTheRent.

Join renters, homeowners, small businesses and more, to demand that our federal and state governments enact an immediate universal rent & mortgage suspension

#CancelTheRent with your co-workers, friends and family – share on social media!

 Detroit People’s Platform demonstrating solidarity during Covid-19

Here at Detroit People’s Platform (DPP) we are demonstrating solidarity by working with our front line social service providers to ensure access to water, housing, expanded food and paid leave for vulnerable families in our neighborhoods.

We continue to hold public officials and those in power accountable for the lack of a social contract that protects and fosters the well being of Majority Black Detroiters. We did so long before the appearance of COVID-19 and will continue to carry this vital work through this crisis and forward.

DPP continues to advance our issue campaigns under the current work circumstances imposed by the State. Please remain connected to us. And yes, we will get on the other side of this.

Peace,
The Detroit People’s Platform Team

Water Shut Off Moratorium and Restoration

Breaking – Last week, Breaking – Last week water activists and advocates penned a letter to Governor Whitmer demanding a moratorium on water shut offs and restoration of service for Detroiters. The letter cited the spread of Covid-19 and the lack of access to water needed to wash hands by thousands of Detroiters.

Today, March 9, 2020, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) announced a moratorium on water shut offs and the restoration of water service to Detroiters who have been cut off.
 
No credit or accolades should be given to Mayor Mike Duggan or DWSD Director Garry Brown as this water crisis happened on their watch and in spite of consistent and fierce advocacy.
 
We the People of Detroit, Detroit People’s Platform and Roslyn Murray Bouier of Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry want to thank everyone for signing on and standing strong in the face of this inhumane threat to low and no income Detroiters.
 
We lift up this interim win for families living under the burden of water shut offs and high water rates and carry forward the fight for the long term win of water affordability for all Detroit households.
 

“FCA “Chrysler” build a wall on the east side of Detroit” Dexter Gentry, The Wall

Thank you to Mr. Dexter Gentry for permission to publish the full statement referenced in last week’s Detroit Free Press Article.

Detroit’s hulking sound barrier prompts Berlin Wall comparisons

 

Dexter Gentry – The Wall

Dec 28, 2019

I speak these words with no love, no happiness, and much sadness, and with regret.  That they build a wall in Detroit, and build it with no respect.  A wall to keep us separate, a wall of the haves and have-nots, and Detroiters I say again, they builded it with no respect. Closing streets and destroying homes, displacing people living in houses that there families already own. Shutting down bus routes that people depend on and need. Closing their eyes and covering their ears so they  don’t see or hear our pleas. This is just blatant of corporate America, it’s all about money and greed. 

And what about safety and the emergency routes. With the police the fire department and EMS, you are putting people in doubt. 

The president Donald Trump said let’s make America great again. He said build a wall to keep them out, and America will be back again. 

This is not Mexico , China or West Berlin, this is Detroit the “MOTOR CITY”, we do not need a wall to begin. 

To the politicians and the clergyman, black, Hispanic, or white, to all ethnic groups, sisters and my brothers we must unite. FCA “Chrysler”  build a wall on the east side of Detroit and this is our stand and we must fight. Detroit is not a prison, we do not need walls to keep us right. This is our land and we must stay together and unite.  They always gave us promises but maybe it was just a dream, but when you go to the Eastside of Detroit you will see a wall standing big and strong, gray or dull white.  This is a eyesore, in my sight. Brothers and sisters this is “REALITY” this is not just a dream. Corporate America came to our homes, our land, our communities, and build a wall on the east side of Detroit and divided us, what does it really mean ???

Learn More/Media:

Detroit’s hulking sound barrier prompts Berlin Wall comparisons

#Detroit Beniteau Street homes are in line for $15K grants for repairs as part of a community benefits agreement negotiated with the company, but some residents say that falls short when many homes are so damaged. #JusticeForBeniteau #DetroitArtistPower

Detroit mural project outside FCA plant sparks concerns about ‘artwashing’

Over 150 Detroit artists have signed a petition in protest of the mural, saying it would “cover up” injustices

#Detroit Many residents feel the $15,000 grant allocated per household for home repairs is insufficient. “It’s fluff, it does nothing to fix deeper issues in this community. It’s like a bandaid over a bullet wound.” #JusticeForBeniteau #DetroitArtistPower

Just Beniteau Resident demands:  https://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2020/02/13/just-beniteau-residents-statement-and-demands/
Artist Statement:
https://forms.gle/AX8dJnjMyw8LSNti8
Artists Stand With Residents:
https://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2020/02/18/fiat-chrysler-and-the-city-announce-detroits-largest-art-project/
Just Beniteau Residents Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/justbeniteauresidents