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We’re all losers after the Supreme Court’s decision in Schuette

There are many individuals and groups in Michigan who lost as a result of the United States Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. Schuette is widely misunderstood as being a case about affirmative action. It is not. In fact, it leaves in place Supreme Court law recognizing diversity as a compelling governmental interest and permitting carefully constructed affirmative ...

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Two Detroits? Gentrification.

Mostly, gentrification has to do with displacement. Wealthier residents move into a community, changing property values and culture. The changes push out residents who have lived and invested for years and generations. Some believe gentrification is — by definition — violent, and, undoubtedly in some cities, gentrification has been ruthless. San Francisco, Harlem, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. are gentrifyi ...

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A lawless Detroit and Michigan

Detroit is not safe. And we don’t say that to mean criminals are at every turn of the corner waiting to prey on their next victim. While that may be the case in some instances, the real harm is done by those who are in positions that are supposed to provide a secure and decent quality of life for residents — those that are entrusted with the public good do just the opposite. ...

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Selling our city for a paycheck

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 r ...

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Mass Water Shutoffs

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is waging an “aggressive” water shut-off effort. DWSD warned Detroit residents and commercial property owners that if you owe more than $150 or are at least 60 days late on a water bill — expect to be shutoff. Property owners who do not or cannot pay will have a lien placed on their property and face foreclosure. This mass shutoff effort represents a second wave of ...

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Set your state reps straight

Two Detroit representatives are not doing their job in Lansing. They need citizens to take corrective action. Harvey Santana and John Olumba are on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the school question and on the worst side for children. They are preparing to join Gov. Rick Snyder, the Republican corporate “school reform” movement and vote yes to expand the Education Achievement Authority. ...

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Inequity is not race neutral

New Detroit just released its Detroit Race Equity report and the findings are staggering. African Americans and Latinos are last in every significant economic category in all three southeastern Michigan counties. Detroit’s per capita income is the lowest in the region and African Americans and Latinos in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are doing poorly by any income measurement. The per capita income for ...

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Trickle-down urbanism, no future at all

The concept of trickle-down urbanism is key to understanding the regional discussion of Detroit’s bankruptcy and current state of affairs. Trickle-down urbanism is a failing policy-directive, according to University of Pennsylvania’s history and sociology Professor Thomas Sugrue. Trickle-down urbanism is a take-off of President Ronald Reagan’s 1980s economic policy, which directed tax benefits and other inc ...

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Much given; little gained

The Emergency Manager-led bankruptcy offers a poor financial plan, which fails to grow city revenue and represents a continued violation of civil rights and democracy. EM Kevyn Orr released his Chapter 9 plan to the bankruptcy court last week and it is the first reveal of the EM’s blueprint for Detroit’s ailing finances. Within the grassroots community, the plan fell with a thud. ...

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State of Black Detroit: Where do we go from here?

In 1973, a more hopeful time for African Americans, Coleman Young became the city’s first Black mayor and the outlook for Black political and economic empowerment appeared to be sure. Forty years later, Detroit is in the process of an emergency manager-led bankruptcy — the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Under emergency management, democratic values and practices are gone. The mostly Black cit ...

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