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Detroit’s decline explained

To understand Detroit’s current economic downturn it is necessary to flip the pages of the city’s history back to the 1950s, according to a recent in-depth report by the Detroit Free Press. This exhaustive study gives empirical evidence to underscore the assumptions. As many have suggested, there’s no one person, incident or year to blame for the current crisis. It’s a confluence of factors, an accumulation ...

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Keep hope alive with a new War on Poverty

Only a couple of weeks ago, as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful “I Have a Dream” speech, I was reminded of Rev. King’s last birthday in January 1968. He combined it with work — a staff meeting, planning for the multiracial Poor People’s March, where we made plans to occupy the National Mall. He spoke to us of the need to march t ...

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The un-United States of America

Shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress struggled to develop a document that would provide the structure for the first government of the United States. On Nov. 15, 1777, the representatives of the 13 original colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation. It provided structure for a loose association of independent states, enabling them to co ...

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Kudos to CBCF! Time for Black institutions to put their money where their mouth is

In a recent article, I posed the question, “Hey, Chocolate City, where da money at?” Well, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) gave a resounding answer to that inquiry on Sept. 17, 2013. Starting a new campaign to strengthen the economy in Black communities, the organization, under the leadership of Board Chairman, Congressman Chaka Fatah, (D-Pa.), announced it would invest $5 million wit ...

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Five years after the crash began

Five years after the beginning of the financial collapse and the Great Recession, where are we? President Obama has offered Americans a progress report. He hailed the steps taken to turn the economy around and rescue the auto and financial industries. He used the occasion, sensibly, to challenge Republicans in the Congress not to do more damage to the slow recovery by manufacturing another unnecessary budge ...

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Open letter to President Obama

I am writing you as a frustrated American citizen who has participated in the process of defending democracy and my rights, the rights of other Detroiters and the rights of citizens in the state of Michigan. You should also know I voted for you in both elections, made modest contributions and worked on your first campaign as a volunteer. I have functioned as a precinct delegate, co-campaign manager, senior ...

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Fiduciary duty to City of Detroit Municipal Corporation

To Judge Steven Rhodes: Regarding the bankruptcy of the City of Detroit Municipal Corporation, I am concerned our attorney, the Jones Day firm, has a financial conflict in representing us in negotiations and big deals with Wall Street municipal bond firms. Also, the State of Michigan and its agents, the governor and emergency manager, have financial and fiscal conflicts with the City of Detroit. Therefore, ...

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Cuts in SNAP: No food for the hungry

Steven and Laurie, a white married couple that live near Richmond, Va., work at a big box store. Laurie is a cashier; Steven works in the storeroom. Each earns about $9 an hour, but neither works 40 hours a week. Indeed, they are lucky to pull 40 hours a week combined. Some weeks, they are fortunate enough to pull 45 hours a week between them. Some weeks, their combined hours are just 30. I met Steven and L ...

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