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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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We are all in this together

The city of Allen Park is inching closer to a state takeover. Last week, Allen Park voters rejected a tax increase that would help the struggling city meet a $2.6 million a year loan obligation. The city is operating in deficit because of declining property tax revenues and is more than $30 million in debt because of a failed film studios project. This was the second time voters rejected a tax increase. Cit ...

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Democracy vs. Dictatorship

Detroit has become an increasingly inhospitable city. When 150 students walked out of Western and Southwestern high schools last week to protest school closures, a poor education and excess security measures, Detroit Public Schools’ (DPS) emergency manager and administration responded by suspending them. Students who walked out of Frederick Douglass Academy last month protesting lack of English and math cla ...

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Our human capital

Urban schools are often imagined as inadequate or failing and the children in them as young people with little opportunity who can barely read (according to an oft-cited and incorrect illiteracy rate in Detroit.) Detroit students have continually had to challenge this stigma by excelling in their academic accomplishments as individuals or protesting the circumstances that create “failing” and “illiterate” e ...

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‘Right-wing gangster move’

At a public forum hosted April 10 by the NAACP, Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis indicated city services would improve under the approved Consent Agreement (CA). Lewis and supporters of the CA say residents should expect transportation and lighting, among other city services, to improve. Impossible promises for an administration that announced just two days later massive cuts to the already reduced city budget. The ...

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Consent Agreement is a shameful betrayal of citizens

By Sen. Bert Johnson As legislators, sometimes one option is bad, but another is worse. Sometimes circumstances dictate our decisions rather than our own feelings or intuition. As I made clear to the Detroit City Council before their vote to approve Gov. Rick Snyder’s consent agreement, this was not one of those instances. Not only was approving the agreement unnecessary, it was a total abdication of respon ...

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Get off your knees!

Council is letting itself be bullied into signing a “consent agreement” when they don’t have to. Not only are they forfeiting their responsibility to govern, but they are tying the hands of all elected officials for the next five years. Doing Gov. Rick Snyder’s bidding rather than the will of those who elected them, it seems five weak council persons — ignorant of the civil rights history that put them wher ...

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Mutuality

“All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” — Martin Luther King Jr. Cities across Michigan are marked by population loss and tax base destruction. Schools are suffering, blight is spreading and the people are under attack. Republicans, and some Democrats, are trampling democracy and busting unions under the guise of fiscal management, undermining self-determination for the state’s African ...

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The cuckoo nest

The U.S. government will go to war in the name of democracy — Libya, Vietnam, Iraq. But protecting democracy at home does not seem as crucial. Massive U.S. forces are going to support this international fight. As the U.S. Treasury is drained for bombs, drones and bullets, less and less is available for housing, job creation, education or quality of life at home, creating financial crises that threaten democ ...

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No consent agreement!

Detroit must not sign the consent agreement offered by Gov. Rick Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillon. They must not agree to the current version or any subsequent or revised version. A consent agreement is not in the city’s best interests. First, the consent agreement is seen as a favored alternative to appointment of an emergency manager. The public has rallied against the offensive and repressive Emerg ...

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