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Benton Harbor EM gone, but no self-rule yet

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Tony Saunders left town March 7, but democracy did not re-appear in this southwestern Michigan city, one of the nation’s poorest. Gov. Rick Snyder immediately appointed a Receivership Transition Advisory Board to take control of the city. The board’s powers and duties are laid out in 11-pages of orders left by Saunders. The orders can be viewed at http://bentonharborcity.com/ ...

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Orr: Balance books, improvements follow

(The Mayor and I) see each other every day but we have a standing Thursday meeting where we sit down and go over both what’s happening on his side of operations, my side of restructuring. With city council, it is probably as frequent though less structured, (I met with) council president, I have an open door policy with anyone at council. They have both my personal number and my (cell) phone. And they’re we ...

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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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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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Melvin Davis: Music, life, politics all about participation

You might think a gentleman in his 70s, after writing over 600 songs, would have pretty much said all he had to say. But if that gentleman happens to be Detroit soul legend Melvin Davis, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The musician/singer/songwriter/dancer/entrepreneur has a lot of knowledge to share and it comes straight from his heart. “Sincerity always works,” Davis told the Michigan Citizen, “be ...

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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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