Detroit City Council unanimously approve FY20/21 Budget

Today, Tuesday May 5. 2020, Detroit City Council unanimously approved budget cuts for the next fiscal year proposed by Mayor Duggan. These cuts are in response to anticipated revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We want to thank everyone who engaged in this process, made calls and emails, virtually attended and participated in meetings and raised awareness through their networks and social media. Thank you for joining our Budget Action Week

We will continue to challenge the members of City Council to acknowledge that these are extraordinary times and that we need extraordinary leadership to make bold decisions that buck the status quo.

Detroit People’s Platform and Equitable Detroit, the citywide Community Benefits Coalition, will continue this budget fight as the Mayor’s proposed cuts to the current year’s budget will be discussed and voted on in the coming weeks.

We continue to advocate for and take action on budgeting for the common good through the lens of Racial Equity.

1. We demand the process and decision making be transparent. These decisions will impact Detroiters for generations to come.

2. We demand the allocation of the budget and relief funds be centered in racial equity that produces economic and social well-being for Majority Black Detroit.

3. We demand a process that holds elected officials and decision makers accountable to Detroiters.

We continue to encourage all Detroiters to call City Council and demand that they challenge the Mayor on these cuts and other decisions that do not put Detroiters first. Continue to join Detroit People’s Platform as we exercise our political muscles and flex our power.

More:
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2020/05/05/detroit-council-oks-budget-cuts-cope-covid-19-induced-deficit/3083991001/

2020

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
councilmemberayers@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

Charter Commission expected to present budget to City Council

Breaking: Detroit City Charter Commission will present their budget to City Council.

We believe The Charter Commission will submit their budget today and possibly present it during Friday’s Executive Sessions. We will keep this page updated. 

Just in from Charter Commissioner Nicole Small: Detroit Charter Commission Budget and Finance Committee will meet April 30, 2020 at 12pm to discuss amending our proposed FY 20-21 budget for City Council’s approval. We will work to appeal to Council not to support Councilman Scott Benson’s proposal to slash our current budget by 70% and replace the Charters independent Counsel with the City’s attorney’s appointed by the Mayor.

Our goal is to consider any potential budget amendments without compromising the work needed to ensure the Citizens have a voice in the revised Charter and that the people will still have access to the revision process. Please join us Thursday, April 30th at 12pm if you have any questions ⬇️

Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/dmp-rugr-vio Join by phone +1 318-814-8301 (PIN: 339959281)

As part of our ongoing monitoring of Detroit City Council and this week’s Executive Sessions we strive to keep our members and supporters aware of important aspect of the Budget Process.

On Monday, Council Member Scott Benson presented proposed revisions to the City Charter Revision Commission’s budget.

Yesterday, Wednesday April 29th, Charter Commission members Carol Weaver, Barbara Wynder and Nicole Small and the Commission’s Corporate Council joined the Executive Session at 10 am.

The Charter Commissioners are expected to return today with their own budget proposal for City Council to discuss and consider.

We at Detroit People’s Platform are concerned about maintaining the separation between the City and the Charter Commission’s mandate to revise the Detroit City Charter.  We do not want the democratic process and the Charter Commissioners  elected by Detroiters undermined with the current COVID-19 crisis used as cover.

We will continue to monitor the City Charter Revision process and Detroit City Council.

“Attend” TODAY’s Detroit City Council Executive Sessions at 10 am and 1 pm on your phone or computer and give public comment

Visit the City Web Page for more details

Detroit City Council will be meeting virtually using a videoconference on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for Executive Sessions.

COVID-19 Housing Recommendations

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT: COVID-19 Policy Recommendations- Detroit People’s Platform

Detroit is a 53% majority renter city. The city residents must be protected during the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, and the aftermath. Low and median income Detroit renters and homeowners have been working hard to avoid displacement for years. Citizens have been able to hold onto their rental properties and maintain their homes with hard work and dedication. Now, they face losing their homes despite all their efforts. The money provided in the CARES Act must be thoughtfully distributed to meet urgent needs such as protecting housing for Detroit’s longtime residents who are likely to experience permanent displacement. Detroit People’s Platform(DPP) is offering the following recommendations centered in racial and economic equity with the aim of contributing to the Detroit’s future prosperity. We prioritize the importance of secure and quality housing for our low and median income families in achieving that goal.

HOUSING STABILITY

  • Rent Moratorium: Keep the majority of Detroit’s residents housed and protect and preserve the city’s affordable housing.
    ○  Renters who are cost burdened and/or unemployed or under-employed are not required to pay rent until 90 days after the end of the Michigan State of Emergency Declaration associated with the CODVI -19 pandemic.
    ○  Rent Payments will be issued directly to landlords by the city.
    ○  All tenant past due rent payments, penalties, and late fees for 2020 must be cancelled by the landlord in order to receive rental payments from the city.
  • Rent Payment Extension for 2020: Provide tenants time to recover financially to preserve their homes.
    ○  Tenants will have 6 months after the expiration of the MI State of Emergency Declaration to pay any past due rent, fees, or tenant debt owed to landlords.
    ○  Landlords may issue a written “Notice of Overdue Rent” once rent becomes 30 days past due.
    ○  Tenants and landlords must create a payment plan to outline the amount of past due rent that tenants can realistically repay along with a an agreed upon payment schedule.
    ○  If an eviction is initiated for a tenant that has signed a payment plan, the Tenant/Landlord Payment Plan signed by both parties must be reviewed prior to initiating eviction proceedings.
    ○  If a payment plan cannot be agreed upon, or the payment plan is not adhered to, tenants will retain the 6 month timeframe after the end of the Michigan State of Emergency Declaration to pay past due rents before landlords can begin the eviction process.
  • Housing Affordability: Property owners preserve affordability in rental housing properties in exchange for public financial assistance.
    ○  Rent is frozen at current rates for all tenancies until 120 days after the end of the Michigan State of Emergency Declaration. Rents may not be increased during lease renewals from now until 120 days after the end of the MI State of Emergency Declaration.
    ○  Landlords must maintain rent affordability for a period of 3 years after the Michigan State of Emergency Declaration has ended in order to participate in any city program or receive any funding that is related to the COVID-19 global health pandemic and the Michigan State of Emergency.
    ○  Landlords must agree to annual rent increases not to exceed the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Cost of Living Adjustment, whichever is less.
  • Utility Assistance: Preserve the health and safety of Detroit’s vulnerable residents by preserving Water, Gas, and Electrical services in homes.
    ○  All utilities will be paid for cost burdened renters from now until 90 days after the end of the Michigan State of Emergency Declaration. Cost burdened renters are renters paying 30% or more of their monthly income towards rent each month.
    ○  Utilities include water, electricity, and gas.
    ○  Payments will be made directly to utility companies at a negotiated rate that is lower full billed amount (in exchange for the savings generated by receiving all payments on time).
    ○  All past due utility debts for 2020 must be waived by the utility company.
    ○  Renters will not be assessed any administrative fees related to utility operations (shutoffs/reconnection fees, late fees, etc. until 90 days after the end of the MI State of Emergency).
  • Grants and Loans to Small Landlords for Property Maintenance: Provide landlords financial assistance to maintain their low and median income properties.
    ○  Small Landlords are defined as owning no more than 15 leased units total.
    ○  Provide grant and loan funding to low and median income landlords with rents that are affordable to residents earning 60% AMI or less. This funding must be used to cover the cost of emergency maintenance and to increase the accessibility of rental properties. Availability of grants vs. loan funding should be based on need.
    ○  Provide grant and loan funding for Property Tax Payment Assistance to low and median income landlords. Availability of grants vs. loan funding should be based on need.

COVID-19 ENVIRONMENTAL & HOUSING IMPACTS

  • Local Safe Housing Programs Expanded:
    ○ Funding to expand Bridging Neighborhoods Program to include communities throughout the city impacted by industrial development and operations. Programs will be available to all residents earning 60% AMI and below.
  • Increased Environmental Hazard Monitoring in High Risk Areas:
    ○ Funding to institute state of the art air quality monitoring for communities with poor air quality, high exposure to PM2 , or a history of disparate respiratory health outcomes.

Submitted by: Amina Kirk- Senior Legal & Policy Analyst
Detroit People’s Platform
April 20, 2020

Detroit’s Cash on Hand and Duggan’s Proposed Budget Cuts

The Mayor anticipates that the City will have a $358 Million Budget deficit spread between fiscal years 20 and 21. In order to offset this deficit he has proposed staff reductions, budget cuts, use of the rainy day fund, and re-prioritizing budget spending for next year to create $358 Million in savings. These cuts will have a disproportionate impact on some city workers.

The city’s cash position totals $468.8 Million!

Many city workers will take a 90% pay cut  while the Mayor’s top staff will only take a 5% cut.

Why is a $58 Million cut to city employees being proposed?