Category: Emergency Management (page 1 of 11)

Republican Legislators Push for Cities to Be Treated as “Tenants of the State”

Republican Legislators Push for Cities to Be Treated as “Tenants of the State”

By Simon Davis-Cohen

March 19, 2017

Excerpt: For years this loophole has been exploited, across the country. Lobbies like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a leading force behind state preemption, and their allies have made it their business to chip away at Home Rule. Now, in 2017, the limits on Home Rule are becoming so far-reaching that Home Rule itself is at risk of being reversed…. Not surprisingly, in January 2016 the American Legislative Exchange Council’s American City County Exchange (ACCE) — created to push local free-market reforms like municipal right-to-work — released a paper in defense of Dillon’s Rule. “Local governments,” they wrote, “are tenants of the state….”

The best defense is a good offense. So, what might a strong offense look like for local governments?

Continue reading

Detroit Minds Dying


Independently produced documentary films take time.

In order to make materials available to the public in an expedited manner, the filmmaker, Kate Levy, created this website:

We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective: Visualizing the Education Crisis

Emergency Community Meeting on School Closings

Join the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement (DIFS) for an emergency meeting on the crisis in Detroit schools and nationwide.

Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

To learn more about DIFS, check us out here.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

Thinking for Ourselves: Reshaping America

By Shea Howell

January 2, 2017

As we approach the moment when Donald Trump will assume the powers of the presidency, conversations and articles abound about how to survive, resist, and organize our way through the next few years. These discussions are essential. We have never been here before.

Certainly there are many parallels with other moments in our history when racism, ignorance, and arrogance have combined to defend and advance white power and privilege.  But the irrationality of Trump, combined with enormous ego and unchecked power, challenge us in new ways.

Continue reading

Thinking for Ourselves: Beyond Balance Sheets

By Shea Howell

December 26, 2016

The people of Michigan can take some comfort in the recent criminal charges brought against two emergency managers responsible for the disaster in Flint. This is the first formal acknowledgement that the poisoning of Flint is directly tied to the lack of democratic control. Former Emergency Managers Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley were charged with criminal conspiracy. These charges affirm what most people in Michigan know. Emergency Managers are a means of sacrificing public safety and health in order to save money. In the course of these savings, some well-connected businesses make money.Even Attorney General Bill Schuette, who has vigorously defended emergency management laws, was forced to admit that the irrational drive to make public decisions based on balance sheets is at the core of this disaster. During the press conference announcing the filing of criminal charges Schuette said, “There was a fixation on finances and balance sheets. This fixation has cost lives. This fixation came at the cost of protecting health and safety. Numbers over people, money over health.”

Continue reading

Out of Options: School Choice Gutted Detroit’s Public Schools. The Rest of the Country is Next.

School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next.

By Allie Gross

December 19, 2016

Excerpt: “The result was a negative feedback loop. As students left, the district lost funds and had to make cuts. Maybe it nixed art, or got rid of a social worker. Maybe it crammed more kids into a classroom, or made the risky decision to get rid of on-site boiler operators. Maybe, if things were really tight, it shut down schools. These quick fixes in turn made the district less “competitive,” and so the kids who could leave eventually did. The district lost even more funding and sunk further into entropy. “It is akin to an arsonist adding an accelerant to a fire,” Peter Hammer, the director of the Damon Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State’s law school, wrote in a 2012 paper on the effects of competition in DPS.”

Continue reading

WATCH: Community Conversation on Crisis in Detroit Schools (10/29/16)

DIFS Panel (3 Videos)

Panelists: T. Pedroni, H. Moore, A. Harris, M. Peters, and K. Kheperu

Q & A – Audience Members and Panel Members

Q & A – Audience Members and Panel Members

Individual Panel Members (5 Videos)

Professor Tom Pedroni, Wayne State University

Mrs. Helen Moore, Keep the Vote, No Takeover & DIFS

Professor Aurora Harris, University of Michigan – Dearborn & DIFS

Dr. Melvin T. Peters, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Michigan University

Mr. Kamau Kheperu, Detroit L.I.F.E. Coalition & DIFS

Other Highlights (4 Videos)

Volunteers Needed for DIFS

Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law, PA 436

DPS School Board Candidate Recommendations

Elena Herrada, DPS Board in Exile

Neoliberalism’s Deadly Experiment

Neoliberalism’s Deadly Experiment

By Josiah Rector

October 21, 2016

“The interconnected water crises in Detroit and Flint demonstrate the massive human costs of destroying the public sector, which antidemocratic emergency manager laws have accelerated. The combination of risky financial deals and privatization is also increasing water rates and shutoffs in other cities. Although population decline and aging infrastructure partially explain water rate increases, neoliberal restructuring is at the heart of the problem. The decimation of the welfare state, which led to the removal of Michigan’s vendor pay program, have also made poor and working-class residents (disproportionately African Americans) more vulnerable to shutoffs.

Addressing this crisis will require a moratorium on residential water shutoffs, and implementing ambitious water affordability programs. The People’s Water Board and other organizations have pushed to get ten water affordability bills before the Michigan house. The People’s Water Board also deserves support.”

Thinking for Ourselves: On Riot and Resistance


By Shea Howell

September 18

A delegation of activists from Puerto Rico visited Detroit last week. They were part of a learning exchange designed to share lessons from “Detroit civil society in dealing with financial distress, debt restructuring, and financial oversight.” My section of the program focused on “how the dominant media narrative often dictates policies of stricter and stricter fiscal austerity.” Marina Guzman and Michelle Martinez joined me in a discussion exploring the implications of the dominant narratives, especially those that blamed residents or local officials rather than those exploring the root causes of the financial crisis. We also talked about how race and ethnicity played into these media narratives.

Continue reading

Older posts