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Why does Orr ignore escape hatches?

There are potential legal problems swirling around the city’s pension swaps — those agreements the city signed in 2005 in order to borrow money to pay their liabilities to the pension fund. The legal problems represent an opportunity to get out of harmful and large debt incurred by the city. Since the city was already in great debt at the time, it needed to create two entitiesable to borrow. There is uncert ...

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Figures or folks?

Public policy makers have to juggle realities between what the budget allows and what the people need. Elected officials have to take into account the people’s needs and, if necessary, rob Peter to pay Paul, to make the budget balance to meet the needs of the public — or suffer the possible loss of an election. Under emergency management no juggling has to occur. Emergency managers can — at their own discre ...

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Economic justice

Gov. Rick Snyder must begin paying attention to diversity and inclusion — it must be a priority. If the only growing populations in the state are communities of color, the future of the state — literally — depends on it. We will not build a sustainable or viable economy if resources and dollars are organized by race and gender. We will continue to be racially and economically segregated, crippled by our ina ...

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Segregation persists

“Lee Daniel’s The Butler” has sparked conversation about the need for intergenerational dialogue. “The Butler,” the story of Cecil Gaines, who served eight consecutive presidents — from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan — as butler at the White House, was masterful at exposing the complexities between generations. At its essence, “The Butler” is also the story of a Black family and the struggles each gener ...

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Scared

Have we reduced fear in the community? This will be an important question for Detroit citizens to consider after the tenure of Emergency Manager-appointed Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and after the overall public policy experiment of emergency management. The appointment of Craig represents an attempt to improve city services for Detroiters, one of Gov. Snyder and EM Orr’s promises. Streetlights and sa ...

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City clerk needs to go

Through the years, many have alleged the election process in Detroit is dirty, but the evidence has never completely emerged. Whether dirty or incompetent, Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey should be ashamed of the handling of the Aug. 6 Detroit primary. In what universe can nearly 20,000 votes — assuming there were 20,000 votes — be mishandled? Voting machine tapes are gone, pages from poll books are missi ...

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Dr. King’s March was for jobs and freedom

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington, Americans will recall Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “dream;” many can recite entire passages of his historic address. But it’s worth recalling the full meaning of that dream. The March on Washington was a march for justice. And the Civil Rights Movement transformed the country — gaining equal access to public accommodations, outlaw ...

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Street fight

Without a doubt, the race for mayor of Detroit is about to get real. When Mike Duggan won — and not just won a write-in campaign but also came in first — many in Detroit were stunned. Duggan clearly outspent the competition. The city council incumbents — who opened the door for the Snyder administration — were reelected. Any person with a family name or who has held office previously coasted to victory. Ove ...

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Stand up, fight back. Vote Aug. 6

If you saw the only televised debate of the campaign season after the bankruptcy filing, it is evident we are living in a divided Detroit — one perhaps more divided than recent years. For the small but vocal and powerful minority — who often control media, messages and priorities coming out of the city — it had to be a shocker. The neatly controlled narrative, telling the story of Detroit’s revitalization, ...

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A city is not a factory

The U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that EM Kevyn Orr has the authority to act in the place of local government in a Detroit bankruptcy case. The judge has yet to decide if Detroit is eligible to file. This was Gov. Snyder’s plan all long — to take the city through bankruptcy. According to e-mails released this week, the plan for an emergency manager-led bankruptcy began in the governor’s office — confirming cr ...

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