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Artists and activists gather in Southwest Detroit for water shutoff awareness

Detroit’s water shutoffs brought people together July 6 to Southwest Detroit’s Clark Park as the Raiz Up hip hop collective invited activists, poets, musicians and community members to share their knowledge and experiences of this urgent issue, in addition to the art it has inspired. Residents and visitors shared the latest news and information and possible preventative actions in response to the shutoffs, ...

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Water war heats up

For two hours July 10, approximately 50 protestors blocked Homrich employees from shutting off water to Detroit residences. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department recently contracted the Carelton, Mich.-based Homrich to execute the shutoffs at a price of $5.6 million. The protestors, individuals and those representing various activist groups — among them the Detroit People’s Water Board, the Detroit Wate ...

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Water main gushes while EM continues water shutoffs 

On July 10, nine protesters, most of them elderly, were arrested protesting the continuation of what they called "draconian" water shutoffs by the emergency manager-controlled Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Residents whose bills are more than 60 days or $150 behind, are subject to immediate shutoff. As reported in the Michigan Citizen, however, some residents have been shut off prior to their due da ...

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Buckets and balance sheets

This summer, the real estate industry celebrated as Detroit neared the tipping point for real estate prices. The downtown rental market neared $2 per square foot. At $2 a square foot, financing gets a lot easier for developers and it indicates downtown and Midtown Detroit are increasingly popular markets. Available rentals are scarce, affluent professionals and 20-somethings are finding a home in Detroit. D ...

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Legendary journalist Herb Boyd to chronicle Detroit’s Black history

Though a New York resident since 1985, Native Detroiter Herb Boyd is one of the city’s pre-eminent men of letters. The Wayne State University graduate (and former professor) has published 23 books — among them a biography of James Baldwin, Malcolm X’s diary and numerous works of Black history. Boyd helped to establish the first Black studies classes at WSU, and co-founded The Metro Times. A jazz lover and l ...

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Detroit pastors demand stop to water shutoffs

A group of Detroit pastors held a press conference July 3 calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to put a stop to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s aggressive water shutoffs in Detroit. “We have three demands,” Pastor Maurice Rudds told the Michigan Citizen. “One, create an effective affordability plan (for low-income residents); two, place a moratorium on the water shut offs; and three, restore service to those residents ...

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New app allows Detroiters to find small Black-owned businesses around them

Leaders and thinkers from Marcus Garvey to James Clingman have identified how Black neighborhoods could be transformed rapidly if billions of African American consumer dollars were spent in Black communities or with Black-owned businesses. Now a new cellphone app/website will allow Black entrepreneurs and consumers who want to keep their money in their community to find each other. The Small Black Business ...

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WATER: City officials quiet on shut-offs; DWSD dysfunction victimizes many

Although Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr promised citizens that emergency management would mean improved city services, their program of water shut offs has left thousands of residents without the most essential service: water. Citizens who lined up outside the west side DWSD payment center, July 8, told stories revealing DWSD’s dysfunction more than the customers’ delinquency. DWSD reports ...

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Beyond the bottom line

The decision by Kevyn Orr/ Gov. Rick Snyder to make the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department more marketable by shutting off water to those who cannot pay raises fundamental questions. This crude, vicious and dangerous decision reveals what happens to ordinary people when unchecked authority makes choices dictated by profits. Bottom line thinking, devoid of human and civic values, puts individual lives and ...

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