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Open letter to the Detroit Community announcing Community Trust: Our communities are up to us

The Lower East Side Action Plan (LEAP) does not speak for us.

We, the Community Trust, are a coalition of organizations that have done sustained, substantial work on the east side of Detroit for many decades.

We have established youth programs, worked on anti-violence efforts, organized business initiatives, encouraged economic innovation, established gardens, reclaimed homes, planted trees, developed new models of education and supported artistic and creative activities.

Like all Detroiters, we have contributed to the support of public lands, and we have all suffered from their neglect.

We believe:

– Public lands are a public trust.

– Public land should be used to further community health, welfare, beauty, independence and interconnection.

– Community Land Trusts are the best path for us to take for the future development of our city.

What we want:

– The City Council should actively pursue policies, projects and programs that support community-based initiatives that foster self-sufficiency, community ties and sustainable ways of living.

– Council should develop a specific process for Community Based Agreements for all development projects effecting neighborhoods.

– Council should explore Community Land Trusts as a way to protect public lands.

– Council should reject the proposed deal with Hantz Farms/Woodlands. The sale of public land to a single individual violates the public trust.

– Council should understand Our Community is more than LEAP.

– LEAP does not speak for us. They have no right to claim they speak for the whole community. Their so-called community agreement is illegitimate. It is not a Community Benefit Agreement. It was not publically negotiated through a broadly based, inclusive process. It is the product of discussion between Hantz Farms/Woodlands and LEAP leadership.

 

Signatures (partial listing)

Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

Building Movement Detroit, member Detroit Food Justice Task Force

Creative Community Pathways, member Detroit Food Justice Task Force

Coalition Against Police Brutality

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

Detroit Evolution

East Michigan Environmental Action Council

Feedem Freedom

Great Lakes Bioneers, Detroit, member Detroit Food Justice Task Force

People’s Kitchen Detroit, member Detroit Food Justice Task Force

Urban Network

We Want Green Too

Women Creating Caring Communities

Youth Educators Alliance

 

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