We received a tweet requesting a follow and support for the Save Detroit Project, which is aiming to launch on April 1, 2014. Looking through the string of promotional tweets we found this one…
— Save Detroit Project (@SaveDetroit1) March 13, 2014
Critique on WSS
Can we have someone sit down with the organizers of this project and spell out a few things?
- You don’t represent the face which long-term Detroiters recognize.
- Most Detroiters would prefer seeing houses DECONSTRUCTED rather than DEMOLISHED. Reclaim Detroit has the right idea! 
- The key is identifying where in the process of deterioration the property sits …
- minor repairs (possibly owner doesn’t want/can’t afford),
- major repairs,
- structural problems (possible deconstruction),
- beyond repair but holding resources to be deployed elsewhere (deconstruction), and lastly
- demolition required
- Informed owners can make responsible choices between deconstruction and demolition .
Eradicating the culture of the city effectively white-washes the city leaving no texture or soul in that which replaces it.
- Repair of houses is needed to prevent their demise.
- Sometimes putting a custodial resident into the property with the intent for community repair is best.
- Potentially move the property through quit claim into a community land trust as an asset in the commons.
- A moratorium on foreclosures is needed, holding banks as responsible for derelict houses.
Occupy Detroit has been around a few years and some of those whom have been there longest have some advice to offer. For those wishing to “Save Detroit” is for you to first understand the various neighborhoods. Interview people and find out who they are and the stories that have happened in the neighborhood.
Also realize Detroit is “fixed” – those whom have influence and power are using it to change the city in their favor. Often they fail to dedicate moving forward as an opportunity to provide memory to the good times and beauty which have happened across the city. These are the capitalist “occupiers” of Detroit set forth to make it what they desire. Its the same colonizing spirit that European settlers in the new world had when encountering first nations before there was an incorporation of the United States of America.
White-washing the memories of the city isn’t working and just creates more resentment and division when you occupy spaces and claim/colonize using outside wealth.
Cost of Snyderholes is Not Being Addressed and It is Rising
Excerpt from the Eclectablog article:
The cost of bad roads for the average driver is well over $300 a year:
Driving on rough roads costs the average Detroit urban area motorist $536 annually in extra vehicle operating costs, while the average driver in the Grand Rapids urban area loses $327 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. In the Lansing urban area, the average motorist loses $305 annually due to driving on rough roads.
It’s gotten so bad that an astonishing array of different groups has banded together to demand lawmakers fix our roads. They have a website called JustFixTheRoads.com. The Michigan Association for Justice has set up a website called FixYourRide.org where you can report vehicle damage for reimbursement by the state. “We are trying to provide an easy place for drivers to report a pothole, get information on how to get money from the state if they qualify, and let the legislature know their frustration with the current road situation,” said Steve Pontoni, Director of Communications at MAJ.
(via As Michigan roads disintegrate, Republicans push for tax cuts – Don’t call them potholes, call them “Snyderholes” | Eclectablog)
The campaign to “Save Detroit—Save Our Homes” (flyer attached) will soon have a chance to put our case directly before Mel Watt, the new director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac– the federally operated mortgage giants that own two-thirds of all mortgages in the United States.
Watt was nominated by President Obama and confirmed over Republican opposition last December. Under his predecessor, Fannie and Freddie foreclosed on thousands of Detroit families who should have gotten assistance to keep them in their homes. Fannie and Freddie have declared moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions in areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and we need the same emergency assistance here, where a “Hurricane Without Water” has devastated Detroit’s tax base and forced the city into bankruptcy.
Attorney Vanessa Fluker – foreclosure/eviction legal defense
Our call for a moratorium on foreclosures and principal reduction to keep people in their homes has been endorsed by 70 organizations from across the city, including community groups, unions, faith-based organizations, and 30 neighborhood associations (list of endorsers attached). The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is arranging for a meeting with Watt, and our coalition will be represented at the upcoming gathering in Washington.
In the meantime, we’ll be taking our case to Detroit’s Congressional representatives this coming Wednesday, March 12, 11am – noon, as part of a national effort coordinated by the Home Defenders League and Occupy Our Homes. If you want to join our delegation or add your organization’s name to our list of endorsers, contact us via UAW Local 600 at 313-429-5009, or email email@example.com. For background info, go to http://detroitevictiondefense.org/
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