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New public trust

It is past time for the Detroit City Council to rethink its role under occupation. Their most recent vote to approve the no-bid contract for the Jones Day law firm is one more indication that the Council has no moral compass. Even Detroit’s most consistent voice of the business community, Crain’s, acknowledged the conflict of interest inherent in the city hiring the former law firm of the current Emergency ...

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Council 5 approves Jones Day

“Shameful” is how many Detroit residents described the 5-2 City Council vote April 16 to approve a controversial $3.5 million contract with Jones Day law firm. Council members JoAnn Watson and Brenda Jones voted no. Council President Charles Pugh, Pro tem Gary Brown and members Saunteel Jenkins, James Tate and Andre Spivey voted in favor of the contract. Members Kwame Kenyatta and Kenneth Cockrel Jr. were a ...

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EM Roberts ignores new duties

Section 19 of the new Emergency Manager (EM) law, Public Act 436, promises a whole new set of lawsuits such as have plagued the courts and enriched attorneys since the state first targeted struggling cities with emergency management. Section 19 requires the EM to submit a plan of action to the elected board for the closing of any school or sale or transfer of any asset valued at $50,000 or more, Detroit Pub ...

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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Mind snacking on what is the difference between Columbine, Oklahoma City, an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre, Newtown or 9/11 (two numbers that have become a world-wide lexicon for terrorist killings), USA Middle East drone strikes with “collateral damage” and now, the really not so unthinkable, “Boston Marathon?” I reached a 313 conclusion. ...

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Detroit’s great debaters take national stage

Detroit’s young people have been counted out more times than one cares to imagine yet, they continue to beat the odds. Through it all they’ve continued to set their sights to attain and achieve unprecedented goals. A group of six students, who have fought long and hard along with a collectively devoted and active group of teachers, administrators and community leaders, will display that resilience Detroiter ...

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‘City plan ignores pollution’

“It’s been a long, long time coming but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.” Sam Cooke sang it, and the Detroit Works Project (DWP) quoted it to frame their blueprint for Detroit’s future, “Detroit Future City (DFC),” released in January. However, the Sierra Club says the blueprint is flawed and “fundamentally contradicts the principles of environmental justice.” ...

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EM Roberts asserts power over library commission

“The Detroit Public Library is the last independent city institution in Detroit,” says Russ Bellant, president of the Detroit Library Commission. But Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts seems to be trying to change that. Roberts had previously asserted financial control over Detroit Public Schools, which appoints DPL commissioners, while the Detroit Board of Education maintained control of ...

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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Politicians, preachers, presidents, activists and other purveyors of word banging love to speak of family values and helping American families. Yet, the plight of single moms is given a hopeless-like shrug and is rarely mentioned in the mega prayer missives fired by mega churches with very deep collection plates navigating the satellite and cable broadcasting realms. ...

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Week Three of the Occupation: Bottom Lines

This week, Detroit’s emergency manager (EM) firmed up the foundation of his operation. After reinstating the pay of elected City Council members, the EM announced the Council is welcome to meet, but he has the final say. All decisions are his alone. A few days later, a consulting firm recommended that the City Council be reduced to part time and cut its staff. ...

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