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Have you read any good labels lately?

When grocery shopping, we usually buy food based on what is on the front label. That label is there to entice you to buy their product. It has all the buzz words like gluten-free, reduced calorie, low fat, no fat, all natural ingredients and maybe even organic. How many times have you picked up a bottle because of what was listed on the front and never gave the back label a second thought? ...

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Learning lessons

As the process to decide whether or not Detroit can be declared bankrupt grinds on, a number of things are becoming clear. First, Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr are neither truthful nor transparent. Secret dealings between the governor and Orr were uncovered by one of the many court cases filed to challenge the bankruptcy. Long before any public announcement, the governor had been in stead ...

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We have just begun to fight!

The Aug.17 People’s Forum, organized by Detroiters Resisting the Emergency Manager (DREM), is a historic meeting. I’ve been a Detroiter for 60 years, and this is the first time in my experience that so many different organizations with different ideologies and personalities have recognized the time has come for us to join together to resist and defeat the growing counter-revolution, now more than ever. This ...

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Detroit Environmental Agenda

The Detroit Environmental Agenda (DEA) was released in July, after two years of resident engagement around environmental concerns. The 72-page agenda focuses on the environmental, economic and social challenges faced by residents in the city of Detroit through an environmental lens of clean air, clean water, clean energy, zero waste, active transportation, healthy housing and healthy neighborhoods. The agen ...

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Public Values

There is a recurring theme emerging in national news coverage of Detroit. Whatever the writer’s political perspective, all agree that the filing of bankruptcy by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is an indication of their own future, and the future of other cities and towns. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz wrote recently in the New York Times: “Detroit’s bankruptcy is a reminder of how divided our society has beco ...

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Attend the August 17 Peoples Forum

Every Detroiter should attend the People’s Forum Aug. 17 at the Samaritan Center, 5555 Connor, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Come with your children, your family, your neighbors, your fellow workers, the members of your congregation. This Peoples Forum has been organized by a wide diversity of Detroiters of all ethnic groups and walks of life, including ministers, auto workers, community organizers and school boar ...

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Home-grown health

Physical work and activity. Safe and healthy environments. Plant-based diets. Community and faith-based relationships. A strong sense of purpose. According to researchers from National Geographic, these are the characteristics of people and communities that lead long, healthy and happy lives around the world. Despite this evidence, our nation continues to allocate less than 4 percent of the $1 trillion it s ...

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Fact, fiction and the assault on democracy

The majority of Detroiters are outraged over Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s latest utterance. By now, most of the city knows that in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Detroit Emergency Manger (DEM) Orr claimed much of “Detroit's dysfunction” is “due to simple complacency. For a long time, the city was dumb, lazy, happy and rich.” This statement has justly sparked protests and demands for an apology. ...

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Detroit’s bankruptcy and resilience

Detroit’s financial bankruptcy didn’t happen overnight — or by accident. Racism played a huge role. During World War II, great numbers of blacks migrated to Detroit and other northern cities because the March on Washington Movement led by A. Philip Randolph had forced President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 banning discrimination in the defense industry. After the war, whites migrated to the subur ...

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Streetcars and highway-widening projects paving the way for injustice

Detroit has long struggled with access to transportation. The two main transportation projects recently introduced to the city do not appear to offer any reprieve. As a representative of East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), I regularly attend North End Woodward Community Coalition meetings. There, I witness testimony of Detroiters who have waited for over an hour for a bus; people who have lo ...

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