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Distorted reality

One year ago Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr filed for bankruptcy. It has been a brutal year for the people of Detroit. Step by step we have seen long cherished rights and values trampled on in the name of financial necessity. Public lands have been given away. Generous tax breaks have been handed to developers, while elders have seen their pensions taxed and slashed. People have been threatened. Many have lost ...

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Groups announce plan to boost spending among Blacks

The U.S. Black Chambers and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers are formally partnering to make sure a significant portion of the $40 billion African Americans spend each year on travel and tourism remain in Black hands. The partnership was launched last week at the start of USBC’s professional development conference, held at the Marriott Marquis in the District of Colu ...

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‘Water isn’t free’

Despite errors, contradictions, DWSD continues water shutoffs While the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has pursued an increasingly aggressive payment collection/water shutoff campaign over the past few months, media reports have alleged Detroit residents weren’t the only ones behind on their bills. Billionaire stadium owner Mike Ilitch’s company Olympia Development was reportedly also delinquent. Las ...

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Bankruptcy judge wants solutions to water crisis

Tuesday, July 15, Judge Steven Rhodes heard two versions of how delinquent water bills are treated. After spending the morning listening to 17 citizens object to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan of adjustment, with some of the complaints and statements telling of the harm being done by the harsh Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut offs, Rhodes ordered the DWSD to appear that afternoon and provide an ...

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Bankruptcy judge wants solutions to Detroit water crisis

After spending the morning listening to 17 citizens object to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan of adjustment, with some of the complaints and statements telling of the harm being done by the harsh Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut offs, Rhodes ordered the DWSD to appear that afternoon and provide an explanation for the massive water shutoffs underway in the city since March. ...

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Bankruptcy judge to Detroit EM: What are you doing to help with water shutoffs?

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes, in court Tuesday, instructed Jones Day law firm, the lead restructuring attorneys in the city’s bankruptcy case, to return to the afternoon session with a report on what their former partner Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is doing to aid people who are having their water shut off. ...

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Artists and activists gather in Southwest Detroit for water shutoff awareness

Detroit’s water shutoffs brought people together July 6 to Southwest Detroit’s Clark Park as the Raiz Up hip hop collective invited activists, poets, musicians and community members to share their knowledge and experiences of this urgent issue, in addition to the art it has inspired. Residents and visitors shared the latest news and information and possible preventative actions in response to the shutoffs, ...

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Pontiac’s New Water World

If you want to see just how far-reaching the powers of an emergency manager are, and what that can mean in terms of how the issue of water is dealt with, cast your eyes toward Pontiac. The seat of government in one of America’s richest counties was placed under state control in 2009. Since then, the municipal workforce hasn’t just been slashed — it has practically been obliterated. Changes in the way water ...

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Beyond the bottom line

The decision by Kevyn Orr/ Gov. Rick Snyder to make the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department more marketable by shutting off water to those who cannot pay raises fundamental questions. This crude, vicious and dangerous decision reveals what happens to ordinary people when unchecked authority makes choices dictated by profits. Bottom line thinking, devoid of human and civic values, puts individual lives and ...

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Detroit pastors demand stop to water shutoffs

“We have three demands,” Pastor Maurice Rudds told the Michigan Citizen. “One, create an effective affordability plan (for low-income residents), two, place a moratorium on the water shut offs and three, restore service to those residents whose water has already been turned off.” Rudds is pastor of Greater Mount Tabor Church. ...

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