Category Archives: Submissions

NeighborBackInTheHood

Know Detroit Better

Sight seeing in Detroit, with some depth, is probably best accomplished by taking your interests over to the D:Hive on Woodward between State and Grand River, across from where Hudson’s downtown used to stand and is now an empty underground parking lot. Ask for some guidance and look through the assortment of information available. The staff there are regularly collecting pamphlets, flyers, and more about what is happening around Detroit. They hold tours around the cool-places and some are extended into communities. This welcome center approach is something every neighborhood in Detroit has a need to get up and running. Hopefully a central information hub in each district becomes known, Continue reading

Detroit’s Fiscal Emergency – Declared & Responses

An opinion from Stephen Boyle

Detroit’s government continues to be under pressure by the State of Michigan. A Detroit Financial Review Team was assembled January 2013.

Recollect December 27, 2011 as reported by Fox Business:

Michigan’s governor on Tuesday appointed a team to review Detroit’s finances, a move that could end in a possible state takeover of the city as it struggles with a shrinking auto industry and falling revenues.

This leading paragraph might have some believe the auto industry is heavily influencing Detroit’s financial picture. However three decades of push toward globalization, free trade agreements, and segmentation of labor into multi-tier negotiations have moved the auto industry well outside Detroit. The city has become a hallmark of corporate destitution when you drive past hundreds of abandoned assembly facilities. Today corporations in the city are awarded tax abatement to encourage “job growth”. These abated dollars show up as unfunded services such as lighting, water, transportation, and more. The infrastructure supporting new business is not being funded due to abated taxes. Continue reading

March20-FB-cover

Detroit School Board Meeting Wednesday, Student Rally Saturday

Facebook Cover Image - please share

Full Sheet Info
(click to view/print)

We stand at a point for action at this time. Our schools, our future, and our city will never be the same if the current flow of actions are left to continue. We need your presence at this crucial meeting. We need your information shared and to share information with you.

We live in revolutionary times and the message takes place at a given date, time, and location. Those involved set the stage for action.

AT THIS BOARD MEETING

- Detroit School for the Arts has a spokesperson at the event. The true story.
- The EAA has several spokespersons...the true story.
- We still need someone from the EAA gradeschools: calling all parents and students and teachers!
- The MEAP scores will be deconstructed
- The finances will be deconstructed
- The legal update will be explained
- Teachers, come talk about your contract if you wish; there will be committee assignments for all students, parents and Detroit voters and tax payers to sign up.

We will win but WE HAVE TO FIGHT
If we fight, we will win.

Where: Detroit Public Library 5201 Woodward Detroit MAIN LIBRARY
When: Starts at 5:00 p.m., end by 8:30 p.m.

STAND UP FOR Detroit STUDENTS!!




Detroit Youth Takeover March


On Saturday March 23rd at 1:00 pm help Detroit Youth Voice stand up for education and say no to incarceration! No funding for learning but there is funding for prisons?! It is time DETROIT YOUTH take over and for adults to hear solutions to stop the school to prison pipeline! All ages are welcome! Make sure you email RSVP so we can send you all the info at detroitYOUTHtakeover@gmail.com

The location is 2727 Second Ave at Cass Park! Be there at 1pm! We will march to Wayne County Jail at 1:30pm (it is a mile away).

If you're bringing a car please email DetroitYOUTHtakeover@gmail.com so that we know you're coming for parking purposes.

Message Kayla Mason if you want to help out on the day.

Facebook event link

Responses to New Detroit Emergency Financial Manager

Three significant quotes illuminate the Detroit Emergency Manager appointment of Kevyn Orr on March 14, 2013.

Michael Stampfler, former Emergency Financial Manager for the City of Pontiac

“I do not believe emergency managers can be successful — they abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period of years then return it virtually dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it. The program provides no structure for long term recovery, and that is why most communities slide back into trouble, if they experience any relief at all — a vicious cycle. The Public Act is not sufficient and the state bureaucracy isn’t up to a performance offering any significant success — as can be noted from the communities repeating.”

Butch Hollowell, General Counsel for the Detroit NAACP Chapter

“The new emergency manger comes from a firm that represents Wells Fargo, which is the leader in forecloses in our state; which participated in one of the largest fraudulent robo-calling schemes — they’ve forced people out of their homes and then don’t pay property taxes on the properties. It represents the Amway corporation, which got ‘right to work’ through the legislature. It represents Bank of America and Lehman, whose actions sunk our economy and then got billions in tax-payer TARP funds. Where’s Detroit’s TARP bailout? The new emergency manager is the ‘diversity chairman’ at his firm and it’s a virtually all-white firm. …” 
“The emergency manager statute allows for dissolving the legislative body and this unelected official enacting statutes. So my vote in Detroit, Michigan does not equal the vote of someone in Grand Rapids. This violates the Voting Rights Act.” 

John Philo,  Director of the Sugar Law Center

“It’s significant that the emergency manager was picked before March 28, because that’s the date the new law kicks in. After that date the city would have the option of choosing alternatives, such as neutral mediation or bankruptcy.” Philo noted this was ironic since the new emergency manager, in his remarks Thursday touted the possibility of the city going into bankruptcy.” 
“Over a decade of experimentation has shown that the emergency manager model is undemocratic and it hasn’t worked. Where they have been in place, those cities and school districts have gone through several emergency managers. The stated goal is to balance the books and the emergency manager model fails to deliver that in the long term. What it does do is force privatization of public resources and guts the public sector unions. But that hollows out your tax base and the city continues in a downward spiral. The people of a city need to decide how to get out of a financial mess and how to prioritize necessary sacrifices. Do they want to sell a park or eliminate a tax break for some business? These are policy choices that residents, not technocrats, should decide.”
Sugar Law Center has taken legal action against Michigan's emergency management model under Public Act 4 and is exploring legal challenges to the emergency management regimes in Detroit and elsewhere in Michigan.

Source: Accuracy.org




Ethics In Michigan is Under Attack

Butch Hollowell, John Philo, and Herb Sanders (Corporation Counsel to AFSCME) were the principal legal staff behind Stand Up For Democracy which successfully pushed the referendum to repeal Public Act 4 onto the November 6, 2012 ballot. Public Act 4 of 2011 is the

Sterling Corporation, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, or Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility - They are all under one roof working hand in hand

The referendum on Public Act 4 was opposed by Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility (CFR), a state ballot committee formed by The Sterling Corporation, a public relations firm working with Republicans. Principals in CFR include:

  • Bob Labrant - former head of Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • John Llewellyn - Vice President of Government Relations with Michigan Bankers Association
  • Larry Meyer - former CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association
At the same address for The Sterling Corporation is Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility (MCFR). a federal non-profit, that can lobby or raise money for political campaigns. According to the referenced article from Michigan Radio in speaking with Bob Lebrant "says he was unaware of the similar names when Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility was founded."

It doesn't take too bright a person to see how these two organizations CFR & MCFR working through The Sterling Corporation give the company reach to promote candidates and issues, create the public relations credentials, and raise funds for their clients and issues as well.

Inter Workings of Sterling Corporation Operatives

When the State Board of Canvassers had over 220,000 signatures delivered on petitions to put the opportunity for Public Act 4 to be repealed on the November 6, 2012 ballot a meeting to verify was needed. At this meeting the board would approve the measure and hand it over to the Secretary of State. The votes on accepting were split 2-2, one of those against was Jeffery Timmerer, Sterling Corporation employee who chose not to recuse himself from the vote. His work with Bob Labrant was the main opposition the referendum was facing in approval. They were working on a technicality questioning if the font-size on the petition was proper according to the statutes. Expert witness testimony was brought in to confirm the font was indeed 14 point bold Calibri, but the vow was to ensure this referendum was not to succeed. 


The group chose John Pirich, Esq as their attorney representing Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility. Attorney Pirich is also the chairperson on the Board of Ethics for the State of Michigan. Bob Labrant was supporting counsel. The case history runs through multiple events in the Court of Appeals, and to the Michigan Supreme Court. Time seemed to be dragging out as the case continued to be heard and the referendum was finally approved to be placed on the ballot in the final week possible.