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A worthless Council, a damaged city

If anyone had any doubts about what the financial stability agreement means for Detroit, self-determination or local leadership, watch how City Council was reminded of their insignificance during this week’s talks over employee cuts. Earlier this week, Mayor Dave Bing announced a 10 percent pay cut and numerous other health care and benefit reductions for city employees. The cuts, in an effort to restructur ...

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Stay vigilant

Despite rosy predictions of Detroit’s rise and improved student achievement, we are doubtful and wary of state intervention. In 1999, Detroit Public Schools had more than a $1.5 billion budget and a functioning school board. Today, we have nearly half that in funding and state efforts to end what is remaining of the once largest district in Michigan. The state took over the schools in the late ‘90s with the ...

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Got your tax bill? Escrow it!

The Republican leadership in the state has launched a full frontal attack on Detroit, specifically, and Black communities around the state. As Rev. D. Alexander Bullock says, emergency management appears to be Gov. Rick Snyder’s urban agenda. Last week, the governor walked out of a meeting with pastors, refusing to answer the question: Are you going to put the question of Public Act 4 (PA4), the emergency m ...

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When in the course …

“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the fourth of July and this nation marks its birth as a nation. African Americans — with few exceptions — were never included ...

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Many lost minds — and hearts

“I think the mayor has lost his mind.” That assessment by Council President Charles Pugh of Mayor Dave Bing is one widely held by Detroiters of not only the mayor, but the Council Five as well. The five — Pugh, with fellow Council members James Tate, Saunteel Jenkins, Ken Cockrel, Jr., and Gary Brown — approved the Consent Agreement (CA)with the state of Michigan that has added millions in expense to the ci ...

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Going rogue

Detroit’s Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon has been accused, this week, of going rogue. She has been called incompetent, crazy and just flat-out wrong. All because she, in her position as the city’s top lawyer, asked a court to decide whether the state owed the city of Detroit money. Anyone who wants to do business with, or otherwise engage with the city, must not owe the city, according to the Detroi ...

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New Detroit

There is a plan for Detroit and its outline is beginning to emerge. The executors are Gov. Rick Snyder and former Democratic candidate for governor and current state treasurer Andy Dillon. The Republican legislature is on board. And since council and the mayor signed away much of their authority with the Consent Agreement, there are few stops. In upcoming years, look for Lansing to guide the resources and p ...

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Lynching liberty

Local activists, clergy and community organizers joined together on Memorial Day to hold a mock funeral and mourn the death of democracy. The most recent setback, preceded by a series of almost unbelievable political and legal maneuvers, was the refusal of the Board of Canvassers to recognize more than 220,000 signatures that would have asked voters in November to weigh in on the emergency manager (EM) law. ...

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Time for pastors to preach

When pastor and gospel celebrity Marvin Winans was robbed at a Citgo gas station on Linwood and Davison last week, the world responded. Winans is known not only for his music, but most recently his role in the homegoing services of Whitney Houston. National headlines talked about crime in Detroit. Locally, many felt this was a tipping point. Talk shows and corporate media discussed crime rates in the city o ...

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Get out the vote, Detroit

Black Press Week is the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual event, where over 125 African American newspaper publishers gather in the nation’s capitol to meet with public officials and policymakers about issues as they relate to Black America. In March, the group met with the Obama administration. At that meeting, publishers from across the nation pushed the administration on what they believ ...

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