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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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Emerging future

Now that the emergency manager has filed for bankruptcy, the national media has become fascinated with Detroit. The city corporate media describes has little to do with the one most of us know and love. The New York Times portrays us as crime-ridden, corrupt, unable to provide basic services and on the brink of selling the family jewels to pay the bills. ...

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Detroit’s bankruptcy filing

Last week’s Detroit’s bankruptcy filing by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr acknowledged the reality that our city, which has been abandoned by millions of families and thousands of businesses, is not financially viable and must re-imagine and re-invent itself. However, the state-appointed emergency manager did not include in his filing the shameful story of how the legislatures of Michigan and other states, whi ...

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