Category: Emergency Management (page 1 of 12)

Book Announcement: “Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit”

dads book

New book by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit is a biblical and political reading of Detroit over the course of three decades by an activist pastor.

Detroit is a place where one can take the temperature of the world. Think on the rise of Fordism and auto-love, the Arsenal of Democracy, the practice of the sit-down strike, or the invention of the expressway and suburban mall. Consider more recently the rebellion of 1967, the deindustrialization of a union town, the assault on democracy in this Black-majority city, the structural adjustments of municipal bankruptcy, and now a struggle for water as a human right.

Bill Wylie-Kellermann tells the story of working out his “place-based vocation” with a simultaneous commitment to gospel non-violence. He evokes the place Anishinabe people tread lightly the banks of Wawiatonong, “where the water goes around.” One narrative thread walks a procession through the streets, a contemporary “stations of the cross,” to the locations of crucifixion today. Another tells the story of resurrection in struggle and human community. Herein are public disruptions, liturgical direct actions, and courtroom trials. In resistance and risk, this book proclaims the gospel in context.

Order the book here!

Bill Wylie-Kellermann knows that deep neighborly truth about a great city must be told in poetic playful idiom. He knows that ordinary prose has become the dialect of corporate fascism. This book is Wylie-Kellermann’s welcome read of Detroit from below, the wide angle lens of forgotten neighbors who have been done in by the governor, by the manager, by the banks and corporations, and by all those powers who do not care. The book is a truthful counter-narrative about the city. It offers an urban epitome of our national narrative. It must be read, heard, and noticed because it is a history of conscience, a history of despair, and a powerful story of relentlessly body-engaged hope.

-Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Order the book here!

TELFORD TELESCOPE: Chances Missed to Save DPS

Chances missed to save DPS

by Dr. John Telford

There have been FIVE KEY MOMENTS when the state’s destruction of the Detroit Public Schools could have been prevented.  The FIRST KEY MOMENT, of course, was when then-Governor John Engler decided to take DPS over in 1999.  At that time, DPS enjoyed a $100-million surplus and its student test scores were at the state midpoint and rising under Superintendent Eddie Green.  DPS students were outscoring suburban neighbors despite our poverty-induced problems which don’t exist in Birmingham or Grosse Pointe. Had someone been able to talk Lansing’s Republican government out of that unwarranted 1999 takeover, we’d be thriving today.  

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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?

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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