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On public relations

Judge Steven Rhodes scolded Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and everyone else last week. After approving the latest proposal from Orr to settle the swaps debt with Bank America, Merrill Lynch and UBS, the judge said, “This bankruptcy is not about who wins in the court of public opinion.” The judge was upset by what he labeled as the efforts to wage an “orchestrated public relations campaign.” He warned, “Negoti ...

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Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 2014

Over a hundred global activists, seeking justice for land, food and the environment, participated in the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 2014 General Assembly in Detroit, April 10-12. Cass Corridor Commons and the East Michigan Environmental Action Council hosted the event. The General Assembly was a forum for national and international dialogues for grassroots organizers, including seminars and cultural ...

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Water rights

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to turn the water department into a regional asset has been smashed by the absolute refusal of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Mark Hackel of Macomb County. In a politically motivated move to pander to racist views of the city, both men acted on what the Detroit Free Press called “old line biases and divisions.” In response, Orr is calling for bids from pr ...

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Land ownership: The next step toward a sovereign Detroit

Detroit is finally thawing out from a long, cold winter — the birds are chirping, the grass is (slowly) turning green, crocuses are fighting their way up through the ground. Across the city, gardeners and farmers are dusting off their tools and preparing for another bountiful growing season. For decades, Detroit’s urban gardeners have grown more than food; they have beautified vacant lots, deterred crime, b ...

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Matters of perspective

We have now had one year of emergency management. Little has been achieved by Kevyn Orr. But the contours of the kind of city Mr. Orr, Gov. (Rick) Snyder and the corporate elite envision are emerging. They are advocating choices that will make Detroit a whiter, wealthier city, where a few people will live comfortably in a small downtown. Most of us will live in neighborhoods abandoned by services, except fo ...

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Food policies at work in Detroit

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health have found healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables cost an average of $1.50 more per day than unhealthy diets that consist primarily of processed foods and refined grains. This trend is easy to see in many Detroit communities where food stores often lack the resources to stock healthier food options, or perceive that residents in the communities where they ...

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Questionable efforts

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and his high-priced attorneys fail to provide adequate representation for the city. They continue to fall short of basic responsibilities in protecting city interests. It seems Orr and company are determined to give tax money to bankers, no matter how questionable the banker’s claims. The initial efforts to settle debts with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and USB were rej ...

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Value choices

Voices critical of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan are growing. Basic assumptions fostered by Orr, the corporate-foundation elite and their media are being undermined. The criticisms of community and labor activists are spreading from the streets to the halls of academia as it is becoming clear the decisions we are facing are not only about Detroit, but also about the kind of country we will beco ...

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‘American Revolutionary’ joins the Freep Film Festival

The Freep’s inaugural film festival will showcase Detroit and Michigan-themed documentaries, along with film discussions, panels and a few other surprises. The curtain rises March 20-23 at the Fillmore Detroit and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The latest films to join the schedule will be included in the “News” and “Films and Schedule” sections. The film series will initially hi ...

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Evil consequences

This week Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr visited the Michigan Citizen. We had a wide-ranging discussion about his role as emergency manager, his understanding of the development of the city, and his hopes for the future. The Citizen staff developed questions, intended to give our readers an opportunity to hear from Mr. Orr. We chose not to debate him, but to guide his conversation into areas that affect all of ...

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