Category Archives: Action Alert

Action Alert! Call Council, CBA Ordinance: Development that will benefit ALL Detroiters

CBAbuttonsSM Action: Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)

Platform Members and Supporters,

On Friday, October 24th, the Detroit News published an article that expressed concern from Mayor Duggan’s office over the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance that is currently being discussed and vetted by Detroit City Council. “The local law, they (Mayor Duggan’s Team) say, would be negative for Detroit if passed, creating too many hurdles that could discourage development.” These statements from the executive office reflect a recent letter to City Council sent by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s CEO Rodrick Miller expressing that an ordinance would “undermine progress”.

This push-back and the dismissal of the need for accountability to community around development projects by the Mayor and DEGC is an attempt to keep doing development the way we have been, business as usual, where only a few benefit. With awareness of Detroit’s long history of failed urban renewal programs and the recent outpouring of tax dollars, subsidies, public land and resources to private development projects it is challenging to witness our political and business leaders push back against both their constituents and economic reality.

Last week, Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez was on Flashpoint (Video) and addressed these and other concerns over a CBA ordinance. From a October 15th Metro Times article:

“As Castaneda-Lopez puts it, cities going through a financial crisis tend to think about development in the short-term “to address the immediate crisis.” The Urban Development Agreements ordinance would change that, she says. “It creates a framework,” she says. “It’s not just a one-size fits all,” meaning it wouldn’t be all-encompassing for every project. “There are exemptions built in for different scenarios, and ultimately council can also weigh in to whether there’s a needed urban development agreement or not.”

The current way of doing development overlooks small, minority-owned business. The CBA ordinance will allow for a broader benefits which will support increased participation by small business owners, minority owned businesses, and Detroit-based businesses as well. The CBA ordinance is a good first step in the restructuring of Detroit by ensuring  meaningful participation by Detroiters in rebuilding our neighborhoods. The CBA ordinance will make sure that we as residents have that opportunity.

Corporate interests, the mainstream media, and now the Mayor, are spreading fear about the death of economic development in Detroit if a CBA Ordinance is passed. But an ordinance that benefits community will not deter equitable progress or development.  It will help to guide Detroit’s growth in a way that benefits both community and developers in the long-term rather than quick fix, trickle down, business-as-usual, development projects. Call your City Council Member and Council President Brenda Jones to express your support of a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance that promotes fair and just development in Detroit. (See ‘Reasons to Support’ below.)

Reasons to Support the Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

  •     Nearly 2000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
  •     Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
  •     When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.
  •     We call on each city council member to support a strong and enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance!

COUNCIL CONTACTS

Brenda Jones, President, 313.224.1245, bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Resigned Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

Call To Action: Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance

Community Benefits Ordinance Update: Currently special interest groups and mainstream media are mounting a full court press to bury the proposed Community Benefit Agreement ordinance that is making its way through city council. The CBA ordinance is one way to ensure that the average Detroiter will benefit from the billions of dollars, including public tax benefits, will be included in the economic development plans for this city.

•    Corporate interests and the mainstream media are spreading fear about the death of economic development if a Community Benefit Agreement ordinance is passed by Detroit City Council. A ordinance that benefits community will not deter equitable progress or development, but will help to guide Detroit’s growth in a more humane and sustainable direction.

•    The Detroit News referred to the proposed ordinance as a “Shakedown tax” (http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/10/11/benefits-agreement-detroit-development/17056019/) but without an ordinance not only protecting but benefiting community is a means to stop billion dollar corporations and big businesses from bullying and shaking down Detroit citizens by using their tax dollars for personal profit without any accountability to the communities their projects effect.

•    The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) CEO Rodrick Miller, in a letter to City Council referred to the ordinance as a “damaging piece of legislation” sighting frustration with past deals that “went awry” but for the last 30 years in Detroit “trickle down” development deals have benefited only a few and negatively effected many.

•    The current way of doing development overlooks small, minority-owned business. The CBA ordinance will allow for a broader benefits which will support increased participation by small business owners, minority owned businesses, and Detroit-based businesses as well.

Take Action NOW!  Call your council member and let them know that you:

•    Support a strong, and legally enforceable community benefit agreement that promotes fair and just development here in Detroit.

•    That the CBA ordinance is a good first step in the restructuring of Detroit by ensuring  meaningful participation by Detroiters in rebuilding our neighborhoods – the CBA ordinance will make sure that we as residents have that opportunity.

Detroit People’s Platform members and allies please 1.) attend City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday, October 16 at CAYMC. Arrive at 10am for the meeting on the 13th floor. 2.) Call Detroit City Council members and demand they support and vote in favor of the ordinance.

COUNCIL CONTACTS
Brenda Jones, President: bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov
George Cushingberry, Pro Tem: (313) 224-4535, cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov
Scott Benson: (313) 224-1198, bensons@detroitmi.gov
Saunteel Jenkins: (313) 224-4248, councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov
Gabe Leland: (313) 224-2151 lelandg@detroitmi.gov
Raquel Castaneda-Lopez: (313) 224-2450, councilmemberraquel@detroitmi.gov
Mary Sheffield: (313) 224-4505, councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov
Andre Spivey: (313) 224-4841, councilmanspivey@detroitmi.gov
James Tate: (313) 224-1027, councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

Community Benefits Agreement: Mobilization-Call Detroit City Council!

CBAbuttons

Members of the CBA Ordinance coalition of which Peoples Platform is a member have reviewed the September 17th revised ordinance and find that it does not represent the best interest of Detroiters.  The CBA coalition has notified city council of our concerns.

We need Detroiters to call each of the council members including their District Council person and voice concerns.  Below are suggested points to include:

  • Nearly 2000 Detroiters have signed the petition calling for a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance and the number of signatures is growing.
  • Detroiters deserve the type of economic development where all Detroiters benefit not just a few wealthy individuals and big corporations.
  • When our tax dollars and public lands are used to benefit private investments, Detroiters deserve a strong and enforceable Community Benefit Agreement ordinance on the books to protect our interest.

 
The September 17th draft CBA ordinance is not strong enough and does not represent the best interest of Detroiters.
 
We call on each city council member to support a strong and enforceable community benefit agreement ordinance!
 
Council Member Name and phone by district:
 
At large:  Brenda Jones Council President  313.224.1245
At Large: Saunteel Jenkins  313.224.4248
 
District 1 James Tate  313.224.1027
District 2 George Cushingberry  313.224.4535
District 3 Scott Benson  313.224.1198
District 4 Andre Spivey  313.224.4841
District 5 Mary Sheffield  313.224.4505
District 6 Raquel Castaneda -Lopez  313.224.2450
District 7 Gabe Leland  313.224.2151
 
Let them know that we are holding them accountable for how our public resources are being used