Prof. Michelle Anderson, “New Minimal Cities”:
“The shrinking of local government in high-poverty cities describes a troubling experiment with prosperous people’s government for poor people. All cities cannot be minimal cities in urban economies with low-wage workers and cycles of rising unemployment, unless we have given up on social mobility for individuals and habitability for communities.” (P. 1188 attached)
“Habitability [of city neighborhoods] is first and foremost a commitment to the safety and comfort of a neighborhood’s residents, rather than the city’s fisc per se. It is about the people who live in a community, not just the potential of the soil beneath their feet to generate higher public revenues. It should be obvious that local governments must serve their people; they are caretakers of local health and safety on behalf of their region, state, and society.”
“Governor Snyder’s authorization for Detroit’s bankruptcy… expressed a habitability commitment. It articulated residents’ interests as separate and distinct from creditors’ interests in the stabilization of city revenues. Yet politics and discretion should not be left undisclosed and unexamined to define what kind of commitment that entails. To do so would invite a creditors’ efficiency metric to masquerade as a citywide habitability commitment, as politics draws public services toward neighborhoods with more economic influence.” (P. 1199)
“Lessons emerge from the shrinking governance in Detroit and the other postindustrial cities of the Rustbelt and Sunbelt. For a start, these cities teach that there is such a thing as a local government that gets too small, weak, and ineffective to provide basic habitability for a high-poverty population.”
(P. 1205)
The Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Detroit News: That’s what we do, destroy working class communities of color:
“Mackinac Island in late spring has for years been the incubator for big ideas and creative deals that have knocked down barriers to Michigan’s progress.”

rasmus-4   images-19

photo credits: ZNet and Z Magazine