Action Alert: Demand a CBA for new Woodward Developement

ActionAlertHeaderMay 26, 2015 – Today Detroit City Council will vote on giving a tax break to Broader and Sachse for a new project as Woodward and Erskine, LLC. They would receive $2,113,173.00 in tax abatements over 10 years. Read the details of the deal: Woodward and Erskine, LLC PA 210

Given the developers recent history of displacing low-income elders from what is now ‘The Albert” please contact your Council Member and demand a Community Benefits Agreement around the deal.

Watch this VIDEO on ‘The Albert’ and the displacement of community.

Albert from Kate Levy on Vimeo.

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
Janeé L Ayers: (313) 224-4248, ayersj@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

https://vimeo.com/89583583

ACTION ALERT #StopHB4052

Action: Call your state representative this morning and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 4052. The bill was reported out of the committee on commerce and trade yesterday and could be fast-tracked to the full house for a vote TODAY.

Click here to find your state representative and their phone number: http://house.mi.gov/MHRPublic/frmFindARep.aspx

PLEASE CONTACT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO RESIDE OUTSIDE OF DETROIT AND ASK THEM TO CALL THEIR LEGISLATORS AS WELL.

House Bill 4052 would prohibit local governments from enacting any ordinances or policies that would “Regulate the relationship between an employer and its employees or potential employees” exceeding those imposed by federal or state law.”

This bill would affect ban the box ordinances, paid sick leave ordinances, minimum wage ordinances, prevailing wage, apprenticeship/training requirements, etc.

This bill is an attack on community benefit agreements and the CBA Ordinance that has been and would have a tremendous impact on Detroit residents.

Local communities are best positioned to know and understand the needs of their communities. Local governments exist to make sure that laws and policies meet the needs and values of the people who live there. As long as local laws do not violate state laws, the state government shouldn’t punish localities by standing in their way.

Action: Call your state representative this morning and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 4052. The bill was reported out of the committee on commerce and trade yesterday and could be fast-tracked to the full house for a vote TODAY.

Click here to find your state representative and their phone number: http://house.mi.gov/MHRPublic/frmFindARep.aspx

PLEASE CONTACT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO RESIDE OUTSIDE OF DETROIT AND ASK THEM TO CALL THEIR LEGISLATORS AS WELL.

Make Water Affordability Plan Available for Detroit Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition: http://www.peopleswaterboard.org/
Monday, May 18, 2015
Contact: Sylvia Orduño 734.846.9465 smorduno@gmail.com
Make Water Affordability Plan Available for Detroit Families 
Keep the water flowing and Water Department working
DETROIT – Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López joined the Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition today for a press conference aimed at stopping water shut offs for thousands of Detroit families. The statewide group and the Council Member want residents to be allowed to use the Water Affordability Plan to keep their water on and keep the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) operating.
“When many families try in good faith to pay but find it nearly impossible, when those who later enter into payment assistance plans again find themselves falling behind, it’s clear the issue is not residents’ refusal to pay; the problem lies in our rate system,” said Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López. “We need an approach that helps prevent residents from falling behind, rather than waiting to react until they’re in danger of shut-off. A true water-affordability plan would consider an individual’s income and their ability to pay, not just rates.”
Until last Wednesday, members of the Coalition had been working for several weeks with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) working group. Their goal was to get the regional water authority to understand the reality of families facing shut offs and the household and public health consequences that result from this. But they left the GLWA frustrated with the Authority’s staunch refusal to implement a long-term solution through the Water Affordability Plan instead of another meager assistance program. Nor would the WRAP working group allow Coalition members to remain active participants unless they signed the assistance agreement along with the direct service provider organizations.
“What the GLWA and the Mayor propose is more short-term assistance to families in danger of having their water shutoff. If assistance worked the DWSD wouldn’t be handing out water shut off notices to tens of thousands across Detroit,” said Sylvia Orduño of Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition. “The solution to the crisis can’t be to once again start cutting tens of thousands of families off from the water they need to live. The solution can’t be to increase the water shutoff contract to Homrich Wrecking by $1 million so they can shut off more than 800 families per day. People with low incomes need to be able to pay based on income. They could use the Water Affordability Plan to do that. It’s a win-win. Families have the water they need to survive, and revenue continues to flow to the water system.”
People’s Water Board members distributed a one-page summary of the Water Affordability Plan approved by Detroit City Council in 2006. The People’s Water Board also announced at the press conference that State Representatives Stephanie Chang, Detroit and Sheldon Neely, Flint, are sponsoring a legislative hearing on water affordability and safety. The hearing is scheduled for June 3, 10:00 a.m. in Lansing at the Capitol.

We don’t deserve more trucks! Help reach out to City Council

ActionAlertHeader
Dear neighbors and Friends of Riverside Park & the Detroit River,

Your time is needed!

The deal that Mayor Duggan is entering into with Matty Moroun with Riverside Park is an injustice to our community.  We worked so hard to take back our park and hold companies like the Bridge Company accountable to all local, state and federal laws.

 

With this deal we get more trucks!  We deserve better than this deal that allows a company that has lied to the federal government (yes it is in writing) about their new twin bridge.  They have attempted to circumvent the law to avoid environmental processes that protect our children and families in the neighborhood.  This about Matty’s best interest, not our community’s.

 

I am urging your support to help us get our City Council members to hear our concerns.

 

  1. Please sign the petition:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14GeJkpzV5-s_GrW1qBaFaZ8Inuau-o8QZFkT72NtkwM/viewform?c=0&w=1

 

  1. Detroit City Council meeting at 10 a.m. tomorrow, May 18th at Coleman Young Municipal Building,13th Floor, 2 Woodward Avenue, Detroit
  1. Contact the Planning & Economic Development Council members where the deal will be discussed:

Gabe Leland (Chair)
313-224-2151
lelandg@detroitmi.gov

 

Scott Benson (Vice Chair)
313-224-1198
bensons@detroitmi.gov

 

Mary Sheffield, 313-224-4505
councilmembersheffield@detroitmi.gov

 

 

Please urge them to support the community by having our questions about the deal answered first and more importantly to engage the community before proceeding with this deal.  The concerns raised in the petition need to be addressed. We deserve to be heard

Action Alert: Anti-Community, Anti-Worker HB 4052, Call Today and Tmrw AM

ActionAlertHeaderMay 11, 2015
detroitpeoplesplatform.org
equitabledetroit.org

State Rep. Poleski’s HB4052 is going to the Committee on Commerce and Trade tomorrow at 10:30am. HB4052 is a zombie version of the Anti-CBA bill that died on the House floor last year. If passed this bill would destroy local governments ability to make economic decisions on behalf of their citizens. This legislation would give Lansing politicians too much control over our local communities.

This bill is anti-worker and anti community!

Contact Representatives on the House Commerce and Trade Committee and tell them that you support the CBA ordinance and that they should as well. This action against community and workers needs to stop. HB 4052 needs to die in committee.

HB4052: “A bill to limit the powers of units of local government to adopt, enforce, or administer certain local mandates for employers; to prohibit local minimum wage, benefit, or leave requirements; to prohibit certain ordinances regulating the development of real property within units of local government; and to void local requirements that are adopted in violation of this act.”

READ THE BILL: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/billintroduced/House/htm/2015-HIB-4052.htm

TAKE ACTION
ANTI-COMMUNITY, ANTI-WORKER BILL DUE BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE TOMORROW.

MAKE CALLS, SEND EMAILS THIS EVENING AND TOMORROW MORNING. (contact info below)

PLEASE CALL FRIENDS AND RELATIVE WHO RESIDE OUTSIDE OF DETROIT AND ASK THEM TO CALL THEIR LEGISLATORS AS WELL.

THANK YOU!

Contact the Committee Chair
State Rep. Joseph Graves
517-373-1780
JosephGraves@house.mi.gov

Contact the Committee Vice Chair
State Rep. Jason Sheppard
517-373-2617
JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov

Repub Members:
Rep. Mike Callton – 517-373-0842
Rep. Nancy Jenkins – 517-373-1706
Rep. Joel Johnson – 517-373-8962
Rep. Bruce Rendon – 517-373-3817
Rep. Patrick Somerville – 517-373-0855
Rep. Holly Hughes – 517-373-3436
Rep. Tom Barrett – 517-373-0853
Rep. Daniela Garcia – 517-373-0830
Rep. Gary Glenn – 517-373-1791
Rep. Eric Leutheuser -517-373-1794

Minority Vice Chair:
Rep. Andy Schor –  517-373-0826

Dem Members:
Rep. Jim Townsend – 517-373-3818
Rep. Wendell Byrd – 517-373-0144
Rep. LaTanya Garrett – 517-373-2276
Rep. Erika Geiss – 517-373-0852
Rep. Leslie Love – 517-373-0857
Rep. Jeremy Moss – 517-373-1788

Transit Newsletter & EARNED PAID SICK DAYS

NEW! TRANSIT NEWSLETTER

We have compiled this newsletter to provide you with the latest updates in local transit. Included is a timeline of recent transit history and a breakdown of Proposal One, a bill that among many changes will raise additional funds for public transit.

-We at the People’s Platform, in partnership with North End Woodward Community Coalition (NEWCC) seek a just transportation system that is respectful of and accessible to all transit riders; our current system does not reflect this commitment.

– Public transit is crucial piece of the public commons; it is a public good, paid for with public dollars. The benefits of transit investments must be broadly shared by the public.

-Since 2010, 30% of DDOT’s services have been cut. These cuts are hurting Detroit households and result in job loss and lack of access to medical facilities and schools. These cuts further isolate many Detroit neighborhoods, thus creating two Detroits.

-It is our duty to advocate for a just system and hold our leaders acountable to providing fair, accessible, and afford- able transit options for all Detroiters.

Are you are passionate about improving our public bus system, organizing your community in demanding accountability and changes, or just simply passionate about public transit and the wide benefits it provides?

We at Detroit People’s Platform, in partnership with NEWCC,
NEED YOU and YOUR VOICE! We need all community voices involved, as there are many changes heading our way. Keep Detroit in the conversation!

Contact
313.338.9396
transit@detroitpeoplesplatform.org
northendwoodward.org

Transit Newsletter
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JOIN THE FIGHT FOR EARNED PAID SICK DAYS FOR EVERY WORKER

Update: Wayne County Extends Foreclosure Deadline – Council Resolution and VIDEO: Prayer Vigil

April 1, 2015

Detroit People’s Platform Members and Supporters,

Yesterday, March 31st, The Detroit News announced “Wayne County extends foreclosure deadline to May 12.”

While we recognize this as an opportunity for more people to stay in their homes, this is not the victory that Detroit People’s Platform and many other advocates are fighting for, which is a one year moratorium on all tax foreclosures of occupied homes.

Yesterday. Detroit City Council also passed a resolution on the tax foreclosure crisis after residents and community groups rallied and spoke out about the crisis. The Councils’ Resolution can be read here.

More: Detroiters Working to Keep Families in their Homes Pack Council Meeting

Yesterday’s action by the Wayne County Treasurer may provide relief for some families who were unable to make the March 31st deadline, however it does not meet the demands that we and other advocates have called for including:

  • That a halt be placed on all Tax Foreclosures for a minimum of one year.
  • That the City Assessors complete their lawful duties and responsibilities, reassess all property values and roll back property tax debt of owner/occupants to compensate for City’s failure to properly and fairly “reassess” property taxes. Establish a fair and simplified tax assessment process and year-round application for tax reassessment.
  • Remove all tax liens for past-due water bills.
We will continue to stand in solidarity with Detroiters and fight for a moratorium on the unfair and unjust tax foreclosures. Please stay tuned for opportunities to engage in future actions from the Detroit People’s Platform as we move into the second phase of our Detroit Homes for All Campaign. 

VIDEO: Prayer Vigil for Those About to Lose Their Homes

PeoplesVigilHeadersmPrayer Vigil Statement from People’s Platform

“We call on all people of faith and of compassion to join together with us in solidarity to lift up those who face foreclosure and that our elected officials find the wisdom in and take action on our demands.

People’s Platform Members and Supporters,

We deeply thank you for answering the call and joining us this evening. We recognize your commitment to this issue by your presence and also your trust in doing so without knowing all of the details.

Detroit, the largest majority African-American major city in the country now faces the largest forced housing eviction, possibly in the history of the United States. Wayne County Treasurer Wojtowicz is preparing to foreclose on 37,000 occupied homes affecting nearly 100,000 people, the equivalent of 1/6 of the city’s population. Many Detroiters and Wayne County Residents are being foreclosed upon due to incorrect tax bills with exaggerated property assessments and disputed water bill liens. Persistent and high rates of unemployment, government cuts to services Detroiters rely on and increased displacement and forced relocation will result in enormous physical and mental stress and trauma on children and families. As of today, the Treasurer has not done that which is fully in his power, to stop the foreclosures.

Our intention, with your support is to peaceably and respectfully visit the home and neighborhood of Wayne County Treasurer-Elect Wojtowicz.  At the staging we will share the Prayer Vigil Agreements and the details for arrival and departure.

It is also our intention that this vigil passionately address Raymond Wojtowicz, the human being, not the elected official, so that he may be visited by our prayers, thoughts and wisdom through the night, that he may awaken to his power with the morning and take action on our demands and stop the foreclosure on occupied homes, on our families, on his neighbors.

When we wake we invite you to join us in our call for a National Day of Outrage and with those who will take action in the streets Downtown.

In Solidarity and Gratitude,
The Detroit People’s Platform Team

Photostory: Detroiters About to Lose Their Homes Visit the Home of the Wayne County Treasurer for Prayer Vigil

Detroit, the largest majority African-American major city in the country now faces the largest forced housing eviction, possibly in the history of the United States. Wayne County Treasurer Wojtowicz is preparing to foreclose on 37,000 occupied homes affecting nearly 100,000 people, the equivalent of 1/6 of the city’s population. Many Detroiters and Wayne County Residents are being foreclosed upon due to incorrect tax bills with exaggerated property assessments and disputed water bill liens. Persistent and high rates of unemployment, government cuts to services Detroiters rely on and increased displacement and forced relocation will result in enormous physical and mental stress and trauma on children and families. As of today, the Treasurer has not done that which is fully in his power, to stop the foreclosures.

IMG_1510To build community trust and unity of expression and intent, vigil agreements we proposed and accepted when those participating staged the action at Eastern Market. The location of the vigil, the Wayne County Treasurers home, was not announced publicly until the participants began to get on the bus.

IMG_1533Denise Kennedy, of the Princeton Street Block Club and Rev Joan Ross of the Equitable Detroit Coalition attempt to deliver thousands of petitions to Raymond Wojtowicz, the Wayne County Treasurer who has the power to stop the largest mass tax foreclosure in US history. The woman who answered the door refused to accept the petitions and told Mrs Kennedy and Rev Ross to get off the porch.

IMG_1540Last night 50 Detroiters and Wayne County residents visited the home of Raymond Wojtowicz, the Wayne County Treasurer who has the power to stop the largest mass tax foreclosure in US history.

IMG_1566

Breaking! Wayne County extends foreclosure deadline to May 12

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/03/31/wayne-county-property-tax-deadline/70722084/

Wayne County extends foreclosure deadline to May 12

Detroit — Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz announced Tuesday afternoon he’s extending the deadline to May 12 for homeowners to pay their delinquent taxes and avoid foreclosure.

The move comes the same day the Detroit City Council passed a resolution urging his office to enact a moratorium members said would create more time for legislative steps aimed at tax relief.

Hundreds of property owners packed the treasurer’s offices Tuesday, which officials had said was the deadline to pay and avoid losing their homes. Those living in homes they own now have until May 12 to pay. Foreclosed properties are auctioned in the fall.

“We continue to do all we can to help taxpayers avoid foreclosure,” Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon. “This is one step to make sure people can access the new programs granted by the legislature to reduce interest and save their homes.”

Recent legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder allows the treasurer to lower interest on debt from 18 percent to 6 percent for many homeowners. In many instances, homeowners can have taxes capped at a quarter of the market value of the home.

Wojtowicz is pursuing a record number of foreclosures this year, but his staff has said halting the process would only allow people to get further behind.

In June, the office started the foreclosure process on nearly 75,000 properties, the vast majority in Detroit. But as of mid-March, half of those property owners had paid or were in payment plans or other programs.

Of the remaining 38,000 facing foreclosure, about 16,000 are estimated to be occupied, Szymanski said. He expected that number to dwindle further after Tuesday.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also announced Tuesday afternoon a new effort to give homeowners some relief on 2015 taxes.

The city will waive interest and penalties on 2015 taxes for homeowners in a county payment plan that reduced their interest rate, as long as they pay 2015 taxes by February 2016.

“It is my desire to encourage responsible home ownership in Detroit and to support taxpayers in remaining compliant with Treasurer Wojtowicz’s payment plans,” Duggan said in a release.

Nonprofits, the treasurer and other groups held numerous workshops over the past few months to get homeowners into payment plans to avoid foreclosure.

Around noon Tuesday outside the treasurer’s Greektown offices, a couple of dozen protesters held signs and chanted. Activists also picketed Wojtowicz’s home Monday night.

Surquetta Morgan, 38, showed up Tuesday in hopes of preventing her foreclosure. She said her husband recently died and she is worried about losing the home they shared for 17 years over her estimated $4,000 tax debt. She said if she’s homeless, she’s scared protective services will come for her two small children.

“I am worried my house is going to get taken. My kids are going to get taken,” Morgan said. “I am just praying.”

Housing advocates argued there wasn’t enough time to help everyone and pressed for a temporary halt on the foreclosures.

“This is a state of emergency,” Abayomi Azikiwe, of the Moratorium Now coalition of groups working to stop foreclosures, told the Wayne County Commission in March. “Ten thousand people could be removed from their homes if something isn’t done.”

Szymanski called that a “tremendous exaggeration.” The county doesn’t evict homeowners, he said, adding he’s “cautiously optimistic” most owner-occupants will be able to remain in their homes.

“We want people to stay in their homes,” he said. “If they can’t afford payments, go ahead and don’t pay taxes until the auction. You are living there rent-free. Hopefully, the new owner can say ‘Hey, do you want to rent from me’ and there will be an orderly transition.”

The foreclosures are a record. Last year, the county had 23,303, up from 18,771 in 2013 and 20,062 in 2012. Szymanski said most foreclosed properties are abandoned and there is no good argument to allow people who don’t pay taxes to avoid foreclosure.

“The property receives government services — streetlights, police and fire protection, local schools and trash,” he said. “If you don’t pay your taxes, your neighbor is subsidizing you.”

Advocates argue that foreclosure leads to blight, which costs residents millions to clean up. They also are concerned that poor, old people will lose their homes.

“You are never going to stop the blight until you stop the foreclosures,” said Dawn DeRose, a social worker who volunteers with Detroit Eviction Defense. “What kind of government are we having here in Detroit if you turn 80-year-olds out of their home?’

The council wanted time to advocate for changes in Lansing that would allow the city more time to grant poverty exemptions and review property tax appeals.

“The city’s prosperity in its post-bankruptcy world, and in fact, its survival, depends on population and community economic growth — the very opposite of the demise of existing neighborhoods,” the resolution passed Tuesday read.

Photostory: Detroiters About to Lose Their Homes Visit the Home of the Wayne County Treasurer for Prayer Vigil

Photostory: Detroiters About to Lose Their Homes Visit the Home of the Wayne County Treasurer for Prayer Vigil

Detroit, the largest majority African-American major city in the country now faces the largest forced housing eviction, possibly in the history of the United States. Wayne County Treasurer Wojtowicz is preparing to foreclose on 37,000 occupied homes affecting nearly 100,000 people, the equivalent of 1/6 of the city’s population. Many Detroiters and Wayne County Residents are being foreclosed upon due to incorrect tax bills with exaggerated property assessments and disputed water bill liens. Persistent and high rates of unemployment, government cuts to services Detroiters rely on and increased displacement and forced relocation will result in enormous physical and mental stress and trauma on children and families. As of today, the Treasurer has not done that which is fully in his power, to stop the foreclosures.

IMG_1510

To build community trust and unity of expression and intent, vigil agreements we proposed and accepted when those participating staged the action at Eastern Market. The location of the vigil, the Wayne County Treasurers home, was not announced publicly until the participants began to get on the bus.

IMG_1533

Denise Kennedy, of the Princeton Street Block Club and Rev Joan Ross of the Equitable Detroit Coalition attempt to deliver thousands of petitions to Raymond Wojtowicz, the Wayne County Treasurer who has the power to stop the largest mass tax foreclosure in US history. The woman who answered the door refused to accept the petitions and told Mrs Kennedy and Rev Ross to get off the porch.

IMG_1540Last night 50 Detroiters and Wayne County residents visited the home of Raymond Wojtowicz, the Wayne County Treasurer who has the power to stop the largest mass tax foreclosure in US history.

IMG_1566Today, Tuesday March 31st, Join Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters in our Call for National Outrage!

People from around the country are flooding Detroit Mayor Duggan’s office with calls, messages and on social media demand he remove all tax liens for past-due water bills. They are also be calling, messaging and addressing Wayne County Treasurer-Elect Wojtowicz (Voy Toe Vich) on social media to demand that he stop the displacement of families in the largest tax foreclosure in one city, at one time, in US history.

Mayor Duggan
(313) 224-3400
emailmayorduggan@detroitmi.gov
@MayorMikeDuggan

Treasurer-Elect Wojtowicz
(313) 224-5990
taxinfo@waynecounty.com
@waynecountymi

#PeoplesPlatform #OurCity