Category Archives: Submissions

Petitioners MUST VOTE NO on Bankruptcy Plan of Adjustments

It is important for this decision to be thrown back on the bankruptcy court to issue a ruling on the unconstitutional process of handling your pension. If the rank and file vote to approve the plan of adjustment then you have removed the protections afforded by the Michigan Constitution. The pension board members are working with the offerings of the Emergency Manager and State of Michigan. The media is painting a picture of the proceedings without fully informing the public. The media will make it appear that there is nothing the rank and file can do, however pushing it back on the court to rule would reveal the unconstitutionality of the bankruptcy plans.

Phone Line For Q&A

Our voicemail greeting is:
Thank you for calling Detroit Concerned Citizens and Retirees. We are urging petitioners to vote no on the plan of adjustments. It is important the unconstitutional decision is thrown back on the court.
Objections to the bankruptcy plan of distribution can be filed by anyone up till May 30th. Our website has printable forms to file objections to the Bankruptcy Court, and offers next steps. The office of the bankruptcy court is at 211 Fort St and Washington on the 17th floor, open weekdays 8:30 until 4pm. Please leave a message with your name so we can call you back to answer any questions you may have. 

Your Constitutional Rights Sacrificed By A Vote? 

The manner of takeovers which have been occurring is to have the legislative body of the public - whether that is the Detroit City Council, or the union, or the general retiree pension board offer their APPROVAL of the takeover. By voting yes along with them you would be absolving the bankruptcy court from their responsibility to uphold the law.

There are protections in our laws but if the people and their elected representatives continue to sacrifice those protections then we are left with the desired results of those wishing to control the masses. This is how non-elected appointed dictators come to power, by allowing rights and protections to be GIVEN AWAY.

What does the Michigan Constitution say? 

The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.
Financial benefits arising on account of service rendered in each fiscal year shall be funded during that year and such funding shall not be used for financing unfunded accrued liabilities. -- Public Pension Plans and Retirement Systems, Obligations

The Deals Made By Pensioner Boards 

Under the accord, general retirees will see their pensions cut by 4.5 per cent, far less than the 26 per cent cut the city had earlier proposed, and lose their annual cost-of-living increases. Retired police and fire fighters would keep their full pensions, and see their cost-of-living allowances fall from around 2 per cent to 1 per cent. --- Financial Times

Why is this insufficient? 

If you look at the two indented quotes above you'll find the phrase from the Constitution says "shall not be diminished or impaired" by the state. The results of any negotiating includes diminished benefits.

Things To Know About Bankruptcy 

  1. Only a municipality's elected official can legally file for bankruptcy. 11 USC 109(c) Bankruptcy Code and Public Act 436
  2. A municipality may not bind any creditor that does not consent to such composition. A judgement entered under such a law may not bind a creditor that does not consent to such composition. 11 USC 903(1) and (2) Bankruptcy Code
  3. The Bankruptcy Code requires a notice to be given of the commencement of the case. 11 USC 923 Bankruptcy Code
  4. Magistrate Steven Rhodes is not an Article III judge and has limited jurisdiction to hear and render a decision in Bankruptcy cases.

Two Years Under State Rule

Gary Brown - 2012 Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem
Today the Michigan Citizen ran a significant article worth reading... "Selling Our City for a Paycheck", it begins:
There’s one group in Detroit city government that has been exempt from all the austerity measures leveled at others. This group has kept its salary intact; the auto is still free; the health insurance paid for; those two months a year of vacation waiting to be taken; the pension protected. Yes, their pension is protected. In fact, name any cut that has hit any other sector of city government and one group remains untouched: the city council.
Two years ago today (April 4, 2012) Detroit City Council voted to approve a Consent Agreement that gave the city over to fascist rule by the State of Michigan. A sufficient number of elected officials (6 vs 3) chose to allow SELECTED officials to run the city. They abdicated democratic rule.

Sadly three of those that voted in this manner won re-(s)election in November 2013. Detroit - you need to read the history book being created daily. If you blink you might not see the depth of matters.

When did it become OK to give large plots (or quantities) of land over for development without that land value being assessed?

  • Hantz Woodlands - holding the lands for future real estate sale?
  • New Red Wings Hockey Arena - the land baron has destroyed more than built and owes the city debts

Large corporations continue to request tax abatement in a system that desperately needs taxes paid by businesses. Who approves these requests? The legislative body of the City of Detroit, the City Council. Here are some of the practices of these corporate tax dodgers.

  • Their promises are half baked of employing residents. Most import talent into the city - setting them up in sculpted corporate-managed neighborhoods. Then these new Detroiters can claim their resident life.
  • Preferential land buying, lease arrangements, and insurance practices continue to squeeze long-term residents out of the city and out of Michigan. If that doesn’t work, then a reduced value buyout will transform ownership. Or maybe even condemn the place.
  • Our public parks become watched over by private security forces. All part of the tax abatement “giving back” to the city program of wresting public commons into corporate control.
  • Failing to put taxes into public government leaves the roads, utilities, and mass transit systems languish to be picked over for privatized service providers.

Who enables this system? Detroit’s legislative body, the city council.

Addressing White Savior Syndrome

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

White-Savior-SyndromeCan we have someone sit down with the organizers of this project and spell out a few things?

  1. You don’t represent the face which long-term Detroiters recognize.
  2. Most Detroiters would prefer seeing houses DECONSTRUCTED rather than DEMOLISHED. Reclaim Detroit has the right idea! [1]
    • 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 [1][2][3].
  3. Eradicating the culture of the city effectively white-washes the city leaving no texture or soul in that which replaces it.

  4. 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.
  5. 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…

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 The Michigan Association for Justice has set up a website called 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)