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Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle

Taras, the Ukrainian freedom fighter undaunted by Russians. Tamika, a Black woman totally disrespected at a Detroit Shell gas station but standing strong against big oil bullying. Both are Facebook friends of mine separated by thousands upon thousands of miles. Their fervor for justice appeared on the smart phone screen as I scanned my newsfeed to see what Facebook friends were posting. Hmmm, that Shell gas ...

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GRIM ‘FUTURE CITY’ FOR POOR NEIGHBORHOODS

Don’t wait for the street lights to come on because they will not — in certain neighborhoods. Nor will there be any kind of infrastructure investment in the neighborhoods written off by Detroit Future City planners. Instead, there will be forests and storm water retention ponds, limited public transportation, and only those residents who brave it out. So residents don’t have to worry about being relocated, ...

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Action to fight bankruptcy restructuring underway

A standing-room-only audience at the Central United Methodist Church came out March 2 after a snow storm to participate in an emergency town hall meeting designed to respond to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s Plan of Adjustment. The event was planned by a coalition of organizations fighting the state’s Emergency Manager Law and Detroit’s EM-led bankruptcy. The organizations involved included the Morat ...

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Charting new ground in Flint

Anyone at all familiar with Michigan’s Emergency Manager law knows the people who were handed control of municipalities and school districts facing financial crises have extraordinary power. In fact, the law goes even further than many realize, creating the possibility that residents of cities under emergency management may emerge from state control with a completely revamped form of local government impose ...

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Loan Board sides with EM in sale of Southwestern

The law is the law, but not always — especially when emergency management is involved, or so members of the elected Detroit Board of Education discovered Feb. 28 in a hearing before the state’s Emergency Loan Board on the future of the former Southwestern High school building, a Detroit public school. Southwestern sits close to the new bridge, the New International Trade Crossing, planned by Gov Rick Snyder ...

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Appreciating the bargain

DetroitEmergency Manger Kevyn Orr’s grand bargain is unraveling. His Disclosure Statement and Plan of Adjustment offer little of substance. For anyone familiar with Michigan politics, the plan reads like a longwinded reiteration of the dreams of the Mackinac Policy Institute. Commentators from the hallowed halls of the New York Times to the chilly rooms of Historic King Solomon Church on Detroit’s west side ...

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State of Black Detroit focus: Economic and political power

Grow Black businesses, control communication and education, do “Jehovah Witness style politics,” stop begging, use the resources at hand, reach out to the youth, take care of your household and love yourself — and one another. The messages of empowerment were greeted with applause and enthusiasm by Detroiters weary of state imposed emergency management and the bleak future promised by bankruptcy and asset s ...

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PEOPLE’S PLAN VS. ORR’S

A coalition of 38 Detroit organizations joined by citizens, retirees and activists presented a “People’s Plan for Restructuring toward a Sustainable Detroit” at a press conference Feb. 24. The plan envisions financial security and quality community life with details on how to get there. “Detroit’s rebirth will be the result of the people’s unrelenting demand for democratic self-governance, equal access to a ...

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Orr’s plan ignores city’s strengths, sells citizens short

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr submitted his Chapter 9 bankruptcy plan, Feb. 21, for the first time revealing his plans to pay down Detroit debt and restructure the city. The Plan of Adjustment represents Orr’s outline “toward the City’s rehabilitation and recovery from a decades long downward spiral,” according to a press statement. ...

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