Category Archives: Arena CBA

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

Action Alert! CBA Ordinance Review, Thurs May 22, 10am, CAYMC

CBAbuttonsAction Alert! The Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) ordinance will be reviewed in the Planning and Economic Development Committee tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. Download a draft version of the CBA ordinance below.

Please plan to attend or to send someone from your constituency group.  It is important that we have a presence at this first committee hearing.

People’s Platform Members and our allies have contributed a lot of time and effort to getting the ordinance this far and want to make sure that our advocacy work continues to hold. Thank You!

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Rev. Ross: Let Detroiters rebuild the city

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March 3, 2014 at 1:00 am

Rev. Ross: Let Detroiters rebuild the city

LANDThe Detroit City Council recently granted Olympia Development of Michigan almost $3 million worth of public land and hundreds of millions of public dollars to erect a hockey arena and pursue other developments in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. The argument behind putting public money and resources into private sports complexes and the like is that municipalities will recoup the money from tax revenue and revitalization. But careful study of these deals reveals otherwise.

Research from 1984 by Forest College economist Robert Baade right up to 2012 by the investment bank UBS (Batter Up: Public Sector Support for Professional Sports Facilities) shows that cities generally don’t benefit from such deals. To quote the UBS study: “Unfortunately, independent academic research studies consistently conclude that new stadiums and arenas have no measurable effect on the level of real income or employment in the metropolitan areas in which they are located.”

In spite of UBS’s findings, there is one way such deals can benefit someone other than the developer. The only times taxpayers see tangible benefits from bankrolling billionaire sports franchise owners is when the community demands and gets community benefit agreements, which are contracts signed by developers. The Staples Center in Los Angeles and the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh are examples of such projects benefiting the cities involved through community benefit agreements. Both cities were in better financial shape than Detroit is today, and both still found it necessary to protect themselves financially.

Even though the City Council accepted Olympia’s handshake and promise to do right by Detroiters this time, there is an ordinance before the council that would guarantee community benefit agreements for such projects in the future. Just as Olympia would never sublet work to another firm without a contract, it is only fair that the city have an equally enforceable agreement for hundreds of millions of public dollars.

If Detroiters don’t value the city’s assets and integrity, developers never will. Indeed, the bankruptcy has created a fire sale mentality where everything is supposed to be had on the cheap. City Council must take steps make sure the city gets a fair deal with developers:

■ Developers sign legal contracts to abide by the terms of the community benefit agreement.

■ Community oversight boards to ensure transparency.

■ Developers hold public hearings on projects with adequate notice.

■ Rent control and other protections for residents in the case of rising property values.

■ Projects should train and employ city residents.

These are some of the broad outlines of how the city must conduct business to keep residents from getting the short end of the stick.

In a just world, billionaires would fund their own projects. It is particularly unjust that corporations come to an entity as short on resources as the city of Detroit and demand resources to fund privately owned development.

The least City Council can do is pass an ordinance to protect the city and its residents by leveling the playing field for Detroiters.

The Rev. Joan C. Ross is director of the North End Woodward Community Coalition and executive director of the Greater Woodward Community Development Corp.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140303/OPINION01/303030001#ixzz2uu7J9xLv

Update: Hockey Arena/Catalyst Project: City council approves land transfer

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City council approves land transfer for new arena without enforceable community benefits or oversight.


Detroit, February 5, 2014. People’s Platform Hockey Arena / Catalyst Project Update.
Many Detroiters are disgusted but not surprised that the transfer of city land to Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) was approved yesterday by the city council. The land transfer will make way for construction on the new $650 million dollar project that uses $450 million in public funds. Yesterday, the city council voted to give away the land for this project, 39 city lots, for one dollar.

The council members voting ‘yes’ on the land transfer were Jenkins, Sheffield, Benson, Cushingberry, Leland, and Spivey while ‘no’ votes came from Jones, Castaneda-Lopez and Tate.

Some of the votes from the newly seated council were surprising, especially in the face of intense community dissent. Dissenters questioned the wisdom of giving away so many public dollars to build a second [or new] hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings as the city reels from bankruptcy, the foreclosure crisis, and deep cuts to social services that effect all Detroiters, and residents of the region.

Tate’s ‘no’ vote was unexpected but inconsequential. In his explanation, the council member went out of his way to define his dissent as being due to the lack of commitment to create post-construction jobs and not due to the call from community for oversight.

Council new-comer and Detroit’s first Latina council member, Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, was very engaged, hosting multiple meetings, gathering community input and negotiating with OMD, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

The ongoing struggle over enforceable community benefits with oversight will carry beyond this decision on the arena. Last year, the Community Benefits Agreement Policy Group presented city council with a draft community benefits agreement ordinance that will benefit Detroiters city-wide and set a precedent for equitable development.

Platform Member Follow-up
People’s Platform members and allies are encouraged to call and thank council members Jones, Castaneda-Lopez and Tate who voted ‘no’ for standing with their community. Members and allies are also encouraged to contact council members who voted to approve the deal yesterday, ask them to explain their vote and reiterate the need for community benefits that are enforceable and include community oversight.

2014 DETROIT CITY COUNCIL CONTACT INFO
(updated Feb 5, 2014)

Brenda Jones, Council President, At Large
313.224.1245 – bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov

Saunteel Jenkins, At Large
313.224.4248 – councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov

James Tate, District 1
313.224.1027 – councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

George Cushingberry, Jr., District 2
313.224.4535 – cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov

Scott Benson, District 3
313.224.1198 – bensons@detroitmi.gov

Andre Spivey, District 4
313.224.4841 – CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

Mary Sheffield, District 5
313.224.4505 – sheffieldm@detroitmi.gov

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, District 6
313.224.2450 – castaneda-lopezr@detroitmi.gov

Gabe Leland, District 7
313.224.2151 – lelandg@detroitmi.gov

LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD, PRINT & SHARE RESOURCES from http://unitingdetroiters.org

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Update: City council approves land transfer for new arena

Inline image 1

 

City council approves land transfer for new arena without enforceable community benefits or oversight.


Detroit, February 5, 2014. People’s Platform Hockey Arena / Catalyst Project Update.
Many Detroiters are disgusted but not surprised that the transfer of city land to Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) was approved yesterday by the city council. The land transfer will make way for construction on the new $650 million dollar project that uses $450 million in public funds. Yesterday, the city council voted to give away the land for this project, 39 city lots, for one dollar.

The council members voting ‘yes’ on the land transfer were Jenkins, Sheffield, Benson, Cushingberry, Leland, and Spivey while ‘no’ votes came from Jones, Castaneda-Lopez and Tate.

Some of the votes from the newly seated council were surprising, especially in the face of intense community dissent. Dissenters questioned the wisdom of giving away so many public dollars to build a second [or new] hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings as the city reels from bankruptcy, the foreclosure crisis, and deep cuts to social services that effect all Detroiters, and residents of the region.

Tate’s ‘no’ vote was unexpected but inconsequential. In his explanation, the council member went out of his way to define his dissent as being due to the lack of commitment to create post-construction jobs and not due to the call from community for oversight.

Council new-comer and Detroit’s first Latina council member, Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, was very engaged, hosting multiple meetings, gathering community input and negotiating with OMD, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

The ongoing struggle over enforceable community benefits with oversight will carry beyond this decision on the arena. Last year, the Community Benefits Agreement Policy Group presented city council with a draft community benefits agreement ordinance that will benefit Detroiters city-wide and set a precedent for equitable development.

Platform Member Follow-up
People’s Platform members and allies are encouraged to call and thank council members Jones, Castaneda-Lopez and Tate who voted ‘no’ for standing with their community. Members and allies are also encouraged to contact council members who voted to approve the deal yesterday, ask them to explain their vote and reiterate the need for community benefits that are enforceable and include community oversight.

2014 DETROIT CITY COUNCIL CONTACT INFO
(updated Feb 5, 2014)

Brenda Jones, Council President, At Large
313.224.1245 – bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov

Saunteel Jenkins, At Large
313.224.4248 – councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov

James Tate, District 1
313.224.1027 – councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

George Cushingberry, Jr., District 2
313.224.4535 – cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov

Scott Benson, District 3
313.224.1198 – bensons@detroitmi.gov

Andre Spivey, District 4
313.224.4841 – CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

Mary Sheffield, District 5
313.224.4505 – sheffieldm@detroitmi.gov

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, District 6
313.224.2450 – castaneda-lopezr@detroitmi.gov

Gabe Leland, District 7
313.224.2151 – lelandg@detroitmi.gov

LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD, PRINT & SHARE RESOURCES from http://unitingdetroiters.org

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URGENT ACTION ALERT! Hockey Arena/ Catalyst Project

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PEOPLE’S PLATFORM – URGENT ACTION ALERT!

Hockey Arena/ Catalyst Project

We need 1000 Detroiters to make a telephone call for fairness and justice.

UPDATE: On Tuesday February 4, 2014 at 10am Detroit City Council will hear public comments and vote on the Land Transfer for the Hockey Arena / Catalyst Project.

WE’RE FOR EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT THAT BENEFITS ALL DETROITERS , WE’RE FOR GOOD JOBS FOR DETROITERS AND WE’RE FOR ENFORCEABLE BENEFITS WITH REPRESENTATIVE COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT.

ACTION: Call Council and demand that they refuse to approve the transfer of public land for the so-called “Catalyst” Development Project without an enforceable community benefits agreement with representative community oversight to ensure community benefits are realized.

Make sure that the jobs and other community benefits Illitch/ Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) promised are actually delivered!

STRATEGY: Use the new district map to contact your district Council Member, call both ‘at large’ city-wide Council Members Jones and Jenkins. Also consider calling Council Members Castaneda-Lopez and Leland whose votes are important around this issue.

We’re NOT
anti-development!
We’re FOR
equitable
development

2014 DETROIT CITY COUNCIL CONTACT INFO
Brenda Jones, Council President, At Large
313.224.1245bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov

Saunteel Jenkins, At Large
313.224.4248councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov

James Tate, District 1
313.224.1027councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

George Cushingberry, Jr., District 2
313.224.4535cushingberryg@detroitmi.gov

Scott Benson, District 3
313.224.1198bensons@detroitmi.gov

Andre Spivey, District 4
313.224.4841CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

Mary Sheffield, District 5
313.224.4505sheffieldm@detroitmi.gov

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, District 6
313.224.2450castaneda-lopez@detroitmi.gov

Gabe Leland, District 7
313.224.2151lelandg@detroitmi.gov

LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD, PRINT & SHARE RESOURCES from UNITINGDETROITERS.ORG

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