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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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Join us for Detroit Food 2014

Don’t miss Detroit Food 2014, April 3-4 at Focus: HOPE hosted by the Detroit Food Policy Council and co-sponsored by the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. This year’s theme is “Race to Good Food” and will focus on racial equity across the food system. LaDonna Redmond will give the keynote address on April 3. Redmond is a food justice activist who was inspired to fight for a fairer food system after fa ...

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‘Living for Change’ in China

This week, I received sample copies of the Chinese edition of “Living for Change.” The Index, which is the only section in English, lists the names of the individuals who had been a part of my life up to 1998 when the English edition was published by the University of Minnesota Press, e.g. my mother, father, Hegel, Whitehead, Lyman Paine, C.L.R. James, Jimmy Boggs et al. Last month, I received this email fr ...

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Environmental racism: ‘New frontline’ of human rights

Environmental justice activists are calling attention to what they say is the new frontline of the human rights struggle — chemical contamination of communities of color — what some groups have dubbed environmental racism. “When corporations decide where to build chemical plants, landfills, or water treatment plants where chemicals leach, they most often choose low income communities of color,” Richard Moor ...

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What the 2014 Farm Bill may mean for Detroiters

After three years of bitter wrangling between the U. S. House and Senate, President Barack Obama finally signed the $956 billion Farm Bill into law on Feb. 7. He did so at Michigan State University, thereby honoring our own Senator Debbie Stabenow’s role in shepherding the bill’s passage as the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee. ...

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Solutionary educators meet in Detroit

Nearly a hundred educators participated in the North Dakota Study Group (NDSG) gathering in Detroit over the President’s weekend from Feb. 14-17. They included new teachers, veteran teachers, university professors, community activists, undergraduates, deans, foundations program officers and principals. The gathering was housed, held meetings and shared meals at the Riverwalk Hotel on East Jefferson. ...

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Live the good life

Cleopatra was considering retiring from her job of many years. She had worked her way up to a management position, and had saved enough for a comfortable retirement. Exercise was never her “thing,” and she joked that her exercise was blinking her eyes in rapid succession a few times every morning before climbing out of bed. ...

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Think spring!

The weather we have been experiencing in Detroit has been downright frigid. Snow and ice is covering everything. These months have been hard — leaving us indoors due to the extreme cold and hazardous roadways. This is a prime opportunity to think of warmer, greener days! Spring — when the robins return and the crocuses bloom — is a time to look forward to and envision what those balmier days of our future w ...

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Celebrating MLK Week at NYU

It gave me a lot to think about. On Feb. 6, I participated in New York University’s 9th annual celebration of MLK Week. The theme of this year’s celebration, organized by a 25-person committee led by Monroe France, NYU’s vice-president of diversity, was “The Power of Courage, Passion, Purpose, Perseverance.” About 75 percent of those seated in the big auditorium were young people of color. ...

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What are the odds?

Twice now, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Rhodes has rejected proposed settlements that would enable the city of Detroit to extricate itself from terribly costly obligations known as “interest rate swaps.” These swaps were essentially a huge gamble, with the city betting that interest rates would rise over time when it borrowed more than $1.4 billion back in 2005-06 to shore up its two pension funds. I ...

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