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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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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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