Resources

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOURTH ANNUAL NEIGHBORHOODS RISING SUMMIT WORKSHOPS

WAYNE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

NOVEMBER 2, 2013

 

 

Workshop Title:  ENTREPRENEURSHIP How to use Pop up Businesses and other strategies to promote neighborhoods business development.

 

Workshop Speakers:  Marcus Harris, moderator;   Christianne Sims, Urbanize and Pony Ride/Slow’s Barbeque; April Boyle, D:Hive;  Kim Tandy, University Commons; DuJuan Vann, Osborn Business Alliance; Kimberly Faison, ProsperUS Detroit.

 

Workshop Highlights:

 

Q: What do you see currently as the greatest advantages, strengths and opportunities of small communities?

n  Advantage of creating a neighborhood brand. Creating sense of community; knowing owners “by name”.  Creating familiarity of business owners in community, which builds trust and in turn builds brand in community.

n  Concept of the “mall” has recently scaled back. More people want the small developments, shopping strips, a feeling of community when they shop.

n  Power of culture and community. People want to create businesses where they are celebrating their own culture. They want a business that celebrates their community. These are things that we need to be latching on to, supporting culture and community.

n  There is a big distrust in big business/Wall Street, which is an advantage to small businesses.

n  People want unique things, hand crafted things now. Personalized items. They want to know who made the items that they buy.

n  Advantage of abandoned businesses with the possibility of renovation. Create unique spaces in our community.

n  Now is the perfect time for small businesses in the city. With many resources, this is a prime time to open many businesses.

 

Q: What are the barriers that entrepreneurs and small business owners face? What are some strategies to overcome barriers?

 

n  Kim Tandy: Money may be a barrier, but there are grants, competitions to receive money. Apply for local grants. The worst anyone can say is “no” but it is worth a try. Funding not enough to open business. There has got to be a major budget for PR/Marketing for business growth.  Also, overcoming fear of pushing yourself, which takes much dedication.

n  April Boyle: The people who give you money want to know where their money is going, so reaching out to organizations that provide assistance with business plans helps as well. Suggested “Detroit Soup” for help with funding. “The road to entrepreneurship isn’t a ladder, it’s a jungle. Two steps forward, three steps back.” It won’t be easy.

n  Christianne Sims: There are working spaces available for entrepreneurs: green garage, Pony Ride, etc. The key is to get out of your basement or the coffee shops to be around like-minded people for that additional push and drive you’ll need to get things going.

n  Kimberly Faison: Break down psychological barriers. Fear of being involved in the systems it takes to run a successful business. There are also socioeconomic barriers.  Credit is a barrier; are you saving?

n  DuJuan Vann: Pay attention to what’s going on globally. Make sure you are paying attention to your demographic. Don’t focus on blight, but the future and how you can influence change.

n  Kim Tandy: We’re taught to have a “ 9 to 5 job” when we get out of school, not own our own. So it is something that has been engrained in us. We have to change the mindset at a younger age. Help the youth realize that there are opportunities out there. We also must understand that everyone can’t be an entrepreneur, we need customers, and we will still need the “big businesses”. It’s about the balance.

 

Q: Most young people go into other fields and forget about community based business and entrepreneurship.  How do we cultivate more young entrepreneurs?

 

n  Kim Tandy: Trying to get high school/college students to write successful business plans for Livernois business development project. This is a program that they are trying to receive funding for, to develop young entrepreneurs.

n  April Boyle: We need apprenticeship programs for young entrepreneurs to give them that experience.

 

Q: How can we make entrepreneurship glamorous to push students straight out of college to not aspire to work for someone, but to be their own boss?

 

n  Let them know that there are options. It’s hard work, but it is possible.  Entrepreneurship is not for everyone; it has to be your passion.  Realize that you can work your daytime job while pursing your entrepreneurship passion until it becomes your full-time.

n  There are other options rather than attending traditional colleges that do help provide options for career outside of traditional fields.

n  Christianne Sims: People want to rebuild the social fabric of community. If you have a talent like sewing, cooking, it may not be that you need to open a business for it, but you need a place in the community to express that talent.

 

Q: How can blacks begin to own businesses again?

There is division in the community. Working with each other in the black community. Let go of the crabs in a barrel mentality. We are afraid of someone being over us. Rebuttal is that there are blacks that successfully own businesses within their community.  The mentality that blacks can’t work together must stop. That should not be the norm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Title:  NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZING AND TECHNOLOGY:  How to form blocks clubs and community coalitions. How to motivate people when you don’t have a block club or community association.

 

Workshop Speakers:  Toni McIlwain, Ravendale Community, moderator; Kenyatta Campbell, Cody Rouge Alliance;   Jeremy Thomas,  Hermanoff Associates;  Anny Byrne, Warrendale Springdale Block Club.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

 

Intro: Toni- 32nd year of community organizing, 38 Block clubs

  • Grass-roots leaders can change their own environment if given the opportunity and resources
  • Show mothers how to get off gov. assistance
  • Need more self-sufficiency programs

Grassroots grow, nurture, bottom up, those cause problem can help solve problems. Block clubs are important because we know where the people are (dealers, movers, changers ) Get ready to change Detroit.

We deal with the people who solve the problems, doesn’t matter who they are they have the right to have their dignity affirmed no matter if they are a drug dealer, user, teacher or pastor.

Opportunity to fight for what we believe in.

Ravendale will be closing in November unless someone takes over!

If you’re not moving out today then get moving today!

  • Make the changes you want to make
  • Started by knocking on doors, no one knows each other, everyone is secluded, block clubs change that!
  • 1 drug house vs. 32 who don’t want it, come together and change it! Went to landlord, get them out! We will get you a good tenant.
  • Transformation takes place because of action!
  • People waiting to be led!
  • Drug dealer??
    • Call city planning department and can find owner of property ordinance, against trespassing. Call immediately as squatters move in.
    • City County building 8th floor property search
    • If owner refuses, go to landlord tenant and file an complaint they put leans on all their properties
    • If you’re aiding and abetting, call 224 DOPE. Building and Safety

Jeremy Thomas

  • Farmington Hills business perspective: to expand resources and knowledge base
    • RESUME

 

Annie Byrne (landscaping)

  • Between Dearborn and Mexicantown
  • Some here to get organized, some here to get more organized
  • “You want to be crab grass” –the more roots you have, the less erosion there is, and the harder it is to pull out
  • Get teens involved, elevate them to leadership
  • Radio patrol. Organized
  • Help build up your community businesses
  • “We” know who we need to help and who we need to challenge. Give gift baskets, try to sell, challenge and confront but still give it to them.
  • Strip clubs opened, everyone protested, pastors, got involved, radio patrol, used redlining to prove detriment, all organizations shared responsibilities
  • Find the problem, try to fix the problem
  • Need knowledge on block level, not just college level
  • Use the people on your block find their gifts and talents and GIVE PEOPLE HOPE! Utilize what you have
  • We need boarding that stays. Use barn nails.
    • What do you do when people are being ugly? Then elevate them, put them  in charge of something they know hoe to do so you can move on to something else.
    • Hire residents to organize communities people who are connected to the shops, schools, churches, ect.
    • Get ideas of what’s in your neighborhood (make a map of which houses are what) and make the renters feel welcome
    • Find what you need to rally around!

 

What would you like your neighborhood to look like?

  • Services closer, more easily accessible
  • Engaged not just knowing each other, but truly know each other
  • Feel comfortable enough to call each other and say “why whose in your driveway”

 

 

Jeremy Thomas

  • Resume
  • Start from the bottom up and connect with people in your community.
  • Use social media, to progressively bring community together , print out and share with those who may not fit.
  • We know how to save Detroit, now get busy doing it!
    • Demand someone from Stores to attend community meetings, and it’s OK to have to remind them!
    • Utilize the homeless “Adopt the spot”

Julie Hall in Highland Park ( Groovin@gmail.com )

  • Good neighbor initiative, encourage block clubs, luncheons, Detroit Parent Networks
  • Workin with filming event in code media, movies, TV shows
  • 248-790-4077 Production Chris Pyant
  • Studio Rental in midtown- E. Grand Blvd
  • Photography for fashion and magazines (not wedding type things)

Barbra McCraig – US District Attorney –

Working with Detroit One, Collaborating with teams, working to target carjacking, armed robbery, home invasions, murders.

  • We must defeat the ‘no snitch’ mentality
  • Witness? Share!
    • 1-800-SPEAK-UP

Dt. Police Chief James Craig

  • Turning this city around
  • New-coming back, but was born and raised here
    • 8 years in Los Angeles
    • Momentum for reducing violence in the city. No one seems to care or be ‘excited’ by all of the deaths, robberies
    • In LA the gang territories influenced the school district territories because the schools didn’t want the schools to be gang conflict zones.
    • Those who wanted to meet with the police, had to outside of the community it was so bad.
      • Here, no ones seems to be getting angry.
      • CALL TO ACTION
        • We need citizens on patrol here in Detroit
        • How does LA, a city of 4 million have less murders than 700 thousand? We must stop accepting the fact that we are the murder capitol, get the ego out and drive crime down, stop the senseless deaths.
        • Car jackings take it federal, get together and say enough! Be angry, and get it done!

Q & A

1)      Q: there was a known suspect- called, said too busy.

–          Admittedly the police are broken

–          average response time now is 12 minutes

–          precincts are back open

–          detectives taking more serious

2)      Q: Retain? How with closing jail fully?

–          operation with DDC

3)      Q: What can WE do?

–          Block clubs; empower each other

–          Defeat the no snitch culture

4)      Q: Why report when we are insulted when we report?

–          not going to put up with rudeness

–          reduce violence, raise moral of police, restore credibility of Detroit Police

–          I’m going to hold you accountable on how our public is served

5)      Q: Familiarity of broken window policy?

–          small crimes are breeding grounds

*Detroit did not have a vice unit ~ Well, do now

*Police Commissioner

*Getting youth involved

*Explorer scout program/ Cadet program

*Strip clubs, gas stations, liquor stores = vice unit.

 

 

Workshop Title:  URBAN FARMING/FARMER’S MARKETS: How to acquire and use land to create an urban farm; How to form your own neighborhood farmer’s market.

Workshop Speakers:  Tepfirah Rushdan, Greening of Detroit, moderator;  Tyson Gersh, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative;  Hanifa Adjuman, Detroit Black Food Security Network, Eastern Market Farmer’s Market program; Fiona Ruddy, Eastern Market  Corp.;  Jerry Ann Hebron, Executive Director, North End Christian CDC.   

 

Workshop Highlights:  

 

Fiona Ruddy

  • Not everyone can get to the market
  • She started Tuesday Eastern Market
  • Pop up local farm stands in neighborhoods
  • Seasonal eating guide, goes to communities see if they want it

 

Greening of Detroit –Tepfirah Rushdan

  • Planting trees in the city (only entity doing this)
  • City services diminish, they have taken their place!
  • 50 schools have gardens supported by them
  • The students are connecting their garden knowledge to their live. People NEED to know how to grow food, it’s a skill humanity needs to pass on, esp. in Urban settings

 

Michigan Urban Farming

  • Deconstruct dilapidated housing, been doing it for 1 half years. UA it’s a good way to utilize land otherwise blighted. It turns food access, vacancy and blight around.
  • It’s so comprehensive!

 

Tyson Gersh- Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

  • Nonprofit – 10,000 pounds of produce in just 1 year, only on ½ a block
  • 2,500 volunteers on site and this year there was a majority Detroit residents
  • Manager: Pinky Jones

 

Hanifa Adjuman- Detroit Black Food Security Network

  • 7 acre farm- est. 2006
  • In 2000 acquired site to garden at school, before the movement began
  • Food security is the most important part of program!
  • They have excited children and family’s à back yard gardens
  • Sat. program – Ground Breakers
  • Then ’04 ’05 Urban garden inspired movement, yet white outsiders cannot do it all. It’s important for children to see people like THEM. This ‘Food Warriors’ program is for children young as 3 to 18 years of age.
  • Help parents understand! Teach them food justice!
  • 2015 à hope to open a store “Brick and Morder”
  • They also put on a lecture series 4 times a year at the Library- covers the history of food security. It’s called “What’s for dinner”
  • Impassioned by: person of African descent” what food system means to us, there is dignity in agriculture, understand imp. of being able to feed herself, read a food label à teach next generation
  • Health impacts à diabetes, life span, because of what they’re putting in their mouth!!!!

Pinky Jones

  • The block I lived on was very ugly, buildings were then torn down and then all these ugly creatures came. Raccoons, possums, and it was getting wild.
  • The garden we have now looks so nice, it’s so much better, safer, cleaners, people don’t dump tires, refrigerators, and garbage on the street anymore.

 

Q) Do these farms actually have a positive impact?

A) We can incorporate farms throughout the city. We have grown a ton of produce on ½ a block! We must save this land, we HAVE to keep growing in order to feed ourselves. No one was displaced by the farm Pinky has. That is not the issue to be concerned about.

Q) Concerned about these farms taking over…and the city approved 500 acres to produce food, to make revenue, what if those with farms just sell out later and profit on the increased value of the land.

A) There is a state land bank. If all parties could come together then we could zone appropriately. Then if redevelopment happens it would not be in danger of being close to these farms. The new housing markets is much denser. There are mixed use apartments with open space attached to them. The vast lots and broken homes that need to be torn down could be turned into mixed use apartments and this could cut costs.

There are also ideas of turning basements into sunken hoop houses, or turning them into ponds that could be connected to one another.

We are really trying to buy the land we farm on so that we are not I a position to be forced to evacuate.

Audience member: Both new development and farming can exist at the same time, people can live in houses with huge gardens. “I don’t think it’s a either or situation”.

Tyson:

  • We must, and it’s our priority to own the land we are on. Parcel by parcel we have acquired land already.
  • Many people see urban agriculture as a transition period. It’s not.
  • There are many blue and green building projects. Blue means rivers, water ways, streams that need to disconnect sewer and rainwater. Also it means setting up rainwater collections, rain barrels next to houses. Green means vegetation, increasing forests, planting many trees next to highways. To also have migration pathways in the city. They are spaces designed to serve eco purposes.

Q) Fear: “Folks that love agriculture want the whole city to be a farm”

A) This is false, we want to co-exist.

  • There is controversy about what the “agriculture people” want

Q) What’s happening in Southwest Detroit?

  • People are afraid of being caught undocumented
  • They need to know about that farming sites are out there
  • We must include young people and educated them about what the ‘enemy’ is saying. We have to inform them about many undocumented working with Southwest Solutions

A)                 Excellent à different outreach, if they’re afraid, language barrier

 

Q) Young people are not prepared for college, how to we show them that farming is equal to medical professions

A) Urban farming is not the “be all cure all” we need to recognize that food = beginning

  • No healthy food? You don’t understand the relationship between land and power? We must reach the importance of growing ones own food. If you are sick, how that impacts the community
  • Can food be secure if you don’t understand permaculture
  • New designs of living spaces. We must re-imagine

 

Q) An organization wasn’t supported in the community, they were outsiders. How can I help to revitalize it? I know the importance of space, to be owned by the community and want to know the ‘how to’ offer classes? I would like direction

A) Greening of Detroit is a great resource! They support many gardens, have workshops, they will teach you everything! They have seedling pick-ups. You must plan ahead, what’s your vision, goals, plan before you plant!

Q) How to network individual personal gardens?

A) Connection to the Community is really important! Must have community support, also there are 10 farmers markets in Detroit.

Panel says:

Human Rights à really imp. to use money have to support healthy eating, it’s really imp. because food access is not just if you are near to a grocery store. It’s monetary access, access to transportation and knowledge as well.

Q) How to engage gas stations to bring produce? Beyond milk, cereal, bananas, oranges. Where are the potatoes, kale, other greens?

Besides just cigarettes, and liquor.

A)     ‘Double up food bucks” on MI bridge card

  • Biggest factor: education! Nutrition facts are really misleading
  • We must inform those who don’t have this knowledge! The community wants to see their own community members
  • Ex? A mom feeding her toddler orange ‘Fago’ (soda) because she thought it was orange juice
  • We also need to focus on a culture shift
  • -inform them that they can buy a big vat of veggies, undergo a behavior switch!
  • We must tell people how to cook healthy food
  • Nutrition for the community by the community, it has to be relatable

 

Western H.S. in Southwest Detroit à they had a greenhouse

  • A former student from there remembered a good gardening experience how they decorated the lot, and the garden is still standing
  • The community will take pride in it!
  • We must all engage the young people! Urban agr. There are many aspects! Artistic, ingenuity ect.
  • We must find what grabs young peoples attention!
    • Gas stations, prepackage sandwiches? That would be great!
    • Gardens à the visual is important, take blighted areas and transform it!
    • What we see impacts what we believe.
    • Schools that are lacking resources subconsciously and consciously tell the students “you’re not as good”
    • Transforming builds agency: ‘I changed this: a priceless experience” and it builds social justice confidence and self determination

 

If a black out happens, farms would secure people for longer amount of time.

Q) Hydroponics? Acquaponics?

A) Detroit has a lot of land available; we have not gone that way. It has not been needed.

Q) What about Winter time? We are already hurting! Hydroponics and aquaponics are a good alternative to importing food. They could be the answer!

A) School- 1 has a curriculum that shows students these hydro options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Title:  HOW TO INCREASE PEACE/PUBLIC SAFETY:  Changing the culture of violence and how to use citizen patrols and other techniques to fight neighborhood crime.

 

Workshop SpeakersDet. Brian Fountain, Detroit Police Dept., moderator; Jeff Miller, Up From the Under; Keith Bennett, Flip the Script; Lt. John Broad, Crime Stoppers;   Derek Blackmon, Black Family Development; Annie Ellington, Youth Anti-Violence Initiative; Stephanie Davis, U.S. Attorney’s office.

 

Workshop Highlights:

 

  • John Broad
    • We need to be safe to do these community changers. Charity. Totally anonymous in 22 countries. If anyone asks for, or takes a name, then they are dismissed.
    • 1-800-SPEAK UP (Call center in Canada) You are given a tip #. Only 30% of people eligible for reward from crime stoppers follow up. Tipster treats like customers. Good experience = return business

 

How do get help from them? 313-922-5000

  • Ask by mothers (not police) “we all have mothers”
  • ROBO calls sent within half mile radius that “press 1” connects directly to crime stoppers.
  • Billboards put up reach 1.3 million people a week
  • tear down families go back up. All prisons are shown in ail last year, 1,400 previous 500 (different mom). All services are free. All about speaking out and standing up!

 

Keith Bennett (flip the script) -7700 2nd Ave. Corner of Pallister & Old Wellness Building 313-557-4848

  • Take convicts and help them find jobs
  • Stop trying to do anything alone
  • Adult returning citizens
  • Have home outside of yours
  • 16-30 in 16 week program
  • The demand for good young men is way more then drug dealers.
  • Partnership with 36th district we need to stop sending them to prison. By loving them
  • We don’t have bad children we have young people doing bad things
  • We need to walk the walk with them, keep them in our positive network
  • Work with single young moms women who have been abused, 80% placement success
  • Be safe, be smart and be engaged

 

  1. Do right thing with them
  2. Have your stuff in order/ Practice what you preach.
  3. Don’t lie
  4. Never be prejudiced
  5. Listen more than you speak
  6. Don’t try to be a savior, only a friend
  7. Understand an outward glimpse is only a snapshot
  8. Share your past experiences
  9. Never buy/ attempt to buy favor
  10. Understand they may fall, give them a hand up not a hand out.

 

Derek Blackman (Black family development, we are individually and collectively the answer)

  • Don’t give up or give in
  • Enhance the lives of families and children, family support, juvenile intervention
  • Receive Harlem Children Zone
  • Raise and educate from cradle to career
  • When you put light into darkness, the dark has to leave
  • Top floor job training bottom, children being educated CORRECTLY
  • Osborn area selected to receive grant money to use model from cradle to career (graduate college)
  • Don’t move just stay and improve
  • Skillman foundation called emergency meeting – 12 year old died by AK47, shoot up then week later a 9 month baby murdered
  • Street outreach commissions program BFD was selected to be the one to do it
  • Homework assignment: investment and responsibility
  • Start a movement! Motown could dance, Unchurched,, unloved, unfathered.

 

Stephanie Davis

  • This is the responsibility of all of us
  • We are charged with keeping you all safe and rehabilitate, suppression (arrest and convict) then return
  • Suppression because people were suffering. Fact involved. Violent organized crime. Accepting cases on fed level to keep terrorizes off street. Now most work trying to prevent most violent crime, committed by 30 and younger Visit schools and talk to them about prevention as well as showing how to help
  • Build community thrust
  • There may not be funds available but there are experts available
  • Pursue worst of the worst by conjoined effort with leaders of all districts and levels, DSA FBI local police, DA
  • Know that we reorganize we are not in this alone, we are in business to put ourselves out of business

 

Annie Annie Ellington (Youth Anti-Violence Initiative)

  • Prevention of youth violence, foster environment where young people can thrive
  • “Murder Mac” children with guns
  • Issues of crime and violence –we must began to put out network news reports so people began can be aware!
  •  A lot of challenges that stem from crime come from poverty issues- unemployment, need/ feeling of support and providing for their families
    • young people are hurting and experiencing traumas that are not experiences in most areas
    • significant % of crime happen in 7% of counties across the United States.
    • Affect change by collaborating with other organizations
    • Represent collaboration
    • Engage young people as people on committees so their voice is heard
    • Community has strongest voice-Be the change you want to see!
    • Safe routes to school, Cease Fire Detroit (Gun Violence) (safety can’t where young people lead the change: 6 week work experience want SAFE PLACES more than jobs. They want caring, responsible adults who are sincere.

Jeff Miller

  • The stories shared around the world are not all Detroit has!!!
  • Detroit one + under the Abyss + US
  • *Take unity out of community and it falls apart! But how do we unite? TRUST! No unity and there will be no strength. No strength and there will be no power. NO power? No community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Name:  DEVELOPING YOUTH LEADERSHIP:  How to develop programs where youth take the lead in improving your neighborhoods.

 

Workshop Speakers:  Charles Small, Don Bosco Hall, moderator;  R. Lee Gordon, Better Detroit Youth Movement; Frank McGhee, Neighborhood Services Detroit Youth Initiative;  Kayla Mason, Youth Voice;  Al Taylor, Peace Project.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

 

  • “A young person doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – R. Lee Gordon
  • Youth Voice
    • Panelist: Kayla Mason
    • An organization that works primarily with high school students
    • Meet with policy makers to develop an effective way to address classroom behavior issues; idea is they give youth a voice so they can address the problems they face
    • As a whole, they focus on the Prison Pipeline
    • They are looking to pilot a peer mediation program and work with restorative practices
    • “I don’t care what is. I want to know what can be and I work towards that.” R. Lee Gordon
    • Better Detroit Youth Movement
      • Panelist: Rubin Lee Gordon
      • Looking to organize an expo for the Spring (?) to enact change

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Title:  DETROIT FUTURE CITY

 

Workshop Speakers:  Dan Pitera, Detroit Design Center, moderator;  Alice Thompson, Black Family Development; James Ribbron, Detroiters for Environmental Justice;  Charles Cross, Detroit Design Center; Josh Budiongan, Detroit Design Center; Sandra Turner Handy, Michigan Environmental Council.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

 

Detroit is a unique place, can’t just put a bandaid on it

  • Residents should envision Detroit’s future, not outsiders
  • Unique history and location

 

Our role as residents of Detroit (and the importance of building neighborhoods)

  • Process leaders (group of individuals doing grassroots work in Detroit)  support us, but we also need to think about how we can support them
  • If you have an agenda, don’t hesitate to bring it to the table
  • People are the greatest asset of Detroit (rich in people who care). To make any change happen people are needed.
  • Revitalizing your neighborhood is as close as your front yard
  • Become a role model in your neighborhood (this has tremendous power)
  • Take ownership
  • Have a voice in how land is re-purposed
  • Build relationships- they are key to doing what you want to do
  • Petition for Community Advisory Council (Section 9 101-103) to institutionalize your work

○        Call James at the Detroit Collaborative Design for help setting up a charter 313 993 1037

  • Build a toolkit of information and resources
  • Don’t have to ask to be part of the “table”, you are already part of it

 

Why Detroiters should care

  • Work on the city so that young people don’t leave

○        Adults need to create a space for young people to grow and invest in their city

  • We should leave legacies for our children
  • “This happened on our watch”

 

Detroit Future City’s Role

  • DFC didn’t create revitalization, but it did bring forward and dig deep into information
  • Framework can give residents ideas
  • DFC has allowed residents to re-energize and leave legacies for children

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Title:  FIGHTING BLIGHT AND SCRAPPERS:  How to fight neighborhood blight, etc. and develop new neighborhood housing.

 

Workshop Speakers:  Linda Smith, U-SNAP BAC, moderator; John George, Motor City Blight Busters;  Janai Gilmore, Michigan Community Resources;  Barry Ross, Detroit Coalition Against Violence; Chris Doherty, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

 

John George- 25th year of bringing folks together

  • Lifelong resident
  • Abandoned home that turned into crack house
  • Things got out of control
  • Believed allowing to grow up in an unsafe area is child abuse
  • Boarded up the crack house and cleaned the area and neighborhood
  • Full-time 80 hr. week job where old abandoned houses are boarded up
  • Purchased old masonic building- now community center
  • Focused on the positive things in Detroit
  • Eastern Michigan University also works on Farm City Detroit
  • Works with many cooperate organizations to rebuild Detroit

 

Dennis Doherty- graduated from Law school, is now a CPA

  • Was bored and wanted to do something different
  • Heard about Prosecutor’s office
  • Wayne County Prosecutor’s office is separate from Detroit police dept.
  • The police dept. is very overworked and is given a bad rep.
  • A scrap metal theft taskforce of Detroit police dept. stopped the wire cutting
  • If people are breaking in and stealing from abandoned homes, call the police, try and take pictures and license plate numbers.
  • DTE donates on the office space for scrap metal task force
  • Non- violent crimes (need to know the difference between county jail and prison
  • Wayne County jail is a waste of time for non-violent crimes, they are given probation
  • If someone brings in something that was stolen, then the scrap metal junkyards have to keep it for a few days then melt it down or sell it.

 

Barry Ross- Family owned a business for 96 years recently and sold it

  • Watching news and noticed the murder rates
  • Got tired of watching the news and deciding to do something
  • 1st March w/125 people from County Office
  • Met activist
  • Started boarding up houses together
  • 250 Wayne State students volunteered to engage community and clean up the neighborhood
  • A lot of people don’t know what is going on in the neighborhood
  • Board up houses, if neighbors aren’t doing it, help them out

 

Janai Gilmore- A non-profit that provides other community groups with aid.

  • Vacant property toolboxes
  • Mini grant program (safe grants)
    • $1, 000- $5, 000 to improve community safety
    • Funds given to implement the strategies
    • No funds left for 2013
    • Property Education series
    • Vacant property coalition

 

Community Development advocates of Detroit

  • $25/year membership fee

City of Detroit received a $300 million to remove blight

  • City divided into seven districts
  • If you live next door to a house that is in blight fine info, organize, and bring info.

 

How to find out who the foreign investors are and if they care

  • Surveys
  • Defraud unit
  • Tools to organize yourselves around certain priorities
  • Get inspired to better your community

 

313-640-1100 (U-SNAP-BAC) Linda Smith

 

What is available in the system?

  • Building and expanding the safety and security in Detroit
  • Secure home and vandalism

 

 

Workshop Title:  ENVIRONMENT/RECYCLING

 

Workshop Speakers:  Kimberly Hill Knott, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, moderator; Ahmina Maxey, Zero Waste Detroit; Sandra Turner Handy, Michigan Environmental Council; Donele Wilkins, Green Door Initiative; Marsha Lemieux, Bright Recycling.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

  1. Detroit home to 12 facilities that were/are out of compliance with federal regulations in 2012.
  2. MSU conducted a study – out of 25 of the most polluted zip codes in the US; 5 are in Detroit.
  3. Detroit sewage, released 26 billion gallons into the Detroit and Rouge rivers, the mercury levels are too high in the rivers.
  4. 72 cents out of every dollar we spend on energy flows out of Michigan. So we are losing money.
  5. Detroit only recycles about 7% compared to 26% that other major cities recycle. NOT recycling costs money.
  6. Certain districts (3,4,5, & 6) have really high blood lead levels. In the 2013 voter guide, there are questions regarding environmental issues and the candidate’s responses to the questions.
  7. Only 4 out of 7 districts recycle. Only about 17% of the city recycles. The noise and air pollution are really high in Detroit. The asthma level is 3 times the nation level. We must lower this for our children. Not for ourselves.

 

Green Door Initiative

Mission: To help citizens become environmentally literate! We must in order to improve our community.

Environmental Movement is led primarily by women.

Environmental Justice- what does that mean?

  • Seeking justice for people affected, for those who have been most affected
  • Justice for those who have been disproportionately impacted, giving them equality
  • It means-the air, earth, where we live, where we play
  • Injustices have primarily affected those of minority races. Race is the number 1 factor that predicts living quality

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

  • Worked with the state, and have made some progress
  • Southeast Michigan, is has historically been all about jobs, and the environmental factors come second. People didn’t know about the dangers of their working situations. We know that unnatural things must have an impact on the environment. Yet nothing was done to protect it.

 

The Detroit Incinerator

  • Smells terrible, so the question is what else are they not monitoring?!
  • It received 9 violations in the year 2011, and nothing has been done. They just get a condemnatory letter. Every summer they get these letters and it has no impact on their practices.

Zero Waste Detroit- went to Lansing, to get the politicians to withhold their tax credit. Had them go to a public meeting and they realized how many people were upset about their living quality.

  • Toxic companies are zoned were African American’s live. There is no coincidence here. This is a racial injustice.

 

Why do we need recycling?

  1. The environmental implications
  2. It prevents new products from being manufactured and the process that that takes.
  3. Incinerators, which burn the thrown away plastic bottles:
    1. Lower air quality
    2. Have an extremely high noise level- 85 decibels 24/7. This is what the residents have to head even in the middle of the night when they are trying to sleep, and they are not provided anything.
    3. This has been going on for 13 years
    4. Odor pollutants
    5. Ultra fine particles in the lunges, this is not normal, we must change this!

 

  • Policy has gotten us here, and it can get us out!
  • Environmental justice must BECOME A PRIORITY!
  • People in power need to be concerned with the environment, not just economics!
  • We must make sure we have equal protection under the law: lead, noise, air
  • What role does the environment has to do with social dynamics?
  • Build a movement! Don’t keep this information to yourself
  • The proximity of schools to the pollution from the incinerator is terrifying.
  • People of color in prison, have very high blood lead levels, don’t think this is a coincidence.
  • Health issues: lead!!! Still is extremely predominant
  • Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, along with Detroit

 

Audience member: We need to eat more greenery- hard to access fresh food, Detroit is a food dessert.

Some state that African American’s have higher rates of heart disease, therefore they should work on making better life style choices. Yet this is blind to all the decisions that are out of certain population’s hands. Many of these ‘individual choices’ are actually systemic problems!!! What really can be qualified as a behavior issue in this context?

  • People of color are 10 times more likely to live and work near toxic facilities
  • We must start paying attention to legislative bills
  • Policy= we must run some people for office that have the environment at the center of their agenda. They must promote recycling! Move the discussion to the center of the table

 

Thoughts from the panel

  1. Preach about the benefits of recycling!
    1. Healthy, environment, economics
    2. 1 ton of material that is recycled creates 10 jobs vs 1 ton of trash only creates 1 job.
    3. Recycling Center has conveyor belts, and they help to separate all the items. Plastic bags are terrible to have in there because they get caught in the machines and eventually there are so many that the conveyor belt stops and all the tangled bags have to be cut off and then this happens much too often.
    4. If all the plastic bottles were to be lined up, they would circle the earth 500 times.

i.      Plastic bottles can be recycled into playground equipment

ii.      Melted down and used for more plastic

iii.      If they are thrown away? They are burned and the ultra fine particles go into your lungs and rates of asthma around this polluted air are much higher. For example, the school that is near the Detroit Incinerator has extremely high rates of asthma among the students

iv.      When plastic is burned, dioxin is released and this gets into the water, which then transfers to inside the fish, and then if pregnant women were to eat these poisoned fish it would poison the fetus

v.      Plastic is also a huge problem relating to litter, bags get caught in trees

  1. Detroit we can really get it right!
    1. We are truly starting over

i.      We need to rewrite zoning laws, re zone neighborhoods AWAY from oil and gas stations and businesses.

  1. Do NOT give tax credit back to companies that are not incompliance with environmental standards!
  2. State calls Incinerator a “Renewable Energy” source and gives them credit for this..

i.      People? Or Economic incentive?

  1. Environmental, social, economic, all these dimensions are intertwined! We need to advertise!
  2. We need the political will, and we need to empower, educate, and make people aware!
  3. Many issues can be linked back to environmental issues/ policy- and we must hold those in power accountable and we must stay informed about what is going on!
  4. We need to have city wide recycling.
  5. The 1.2 billion we spent on the incinerator, is a terrible thing, it must go. In 2009 an 11 year contract was signed with them. Yet asthma rates are far too high and nothing is being done by them

 

  • Many of the women on the panel said they do collaborate together on projects
  • Youth components, there need to be more!
  • Must eliminate lead, improve food quality!
  • The greatest opportunity is right here in Detroit
  • We don’t yet have a recycling goal, we must establish a goal and then we can take steps towards achieving it.
  • MeRF (Materials Recovery Facility)
    • A good place to take students on field trips
    • Other good places are:
      • Green Door
      • Recycle Here

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Title:  ART AS A COMMUNITY BUILDER: How developing art related programs can help your community.

 

Workshop Speakers:  Larry Lunsford, College of Creative Studies, moderator; Donna Jackson, DMJ Studios; Ryan Myers-Johnson, Sidewalk Performing Arts festival; Nyasia Valdez, Young Nation; Lisa Marie Rodriguez, sculptor.

 

Workshop Highlights: 

 

Larry Lunsford: Looking at art as a career.

Community arts partnership, free arts program for children. Full scholarships. It’s under used.

Lisa Marie Rodriguez: How do we curate the community? How do we branch out and create art in the community?

Donna Jackson: Detroit-100: A project in Detroit that gives everyone the opportunity to create art. Shows that anything that you create has the potential to be art.

Young nation: a safe space for graffiti artists.

Larry Lunsford: What public arts do for children… when a child participates in a public art project, it lets them know that they can be apart of something good.

 

Donna Jackson: As a society we understand the value of art. To brig art in, you’re saying that this space is valuable.

Audience Comment: Art can be a transformative space for these kids. It’s so hard for kids these days to see any beauty when they walk around Detroit, which is why art is important in our community.

What happens when funding runs out? The most powerful thing you can do is donate to art. Support local artists. It’s important to give back to your area, which is the only way it can grow.

Audience Comment: How do we make art available to the community? People who may not have transportation or money to create in a space?

Larry Lunsford: The problem in the community is the lack of the sense of commitment.

Ryan Myers-Johnson: A solution – “Neighbors Building Brightmoore,” a place for children to be apart of art through dance, and other artistic avenues.

Larry Lunsford: Public art changes things for the better. If we don’t rescue these kids of today, how are we preparing for tomorrow?

Q: How do you get children who are reluctant to art, interested?

n  Larry: Ask them what it is that they like. Incorporate what they like to do and allow them to come up with projects.

 

 

 

problem in the community is the lack of the sense of commitment.

Ryan Myers-Johnson: A solution – “Neighbors Building Brightmoore,” a place for children to be apart of art through dance, and other artistic avenues.

Larry Lunsford: Public art changes things for the better. If we don’t rescue these kids of today, how are we preparing for tomorrow?

Q: How do you get children who are reluctant to art, interested?

Larry: Ask them what it is that they like. Incorporate what they like to do and allow them to come up with projects.AT

 

BUILDING A COMMUNITY CRIME FIGHTING INITIATIVE

 

What is Detroit One?

  • Detroit One is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce homicide and other violent crime in Detroit.
  • The initiative is called “Detroit One” to connote and emphasize the unified approach being employed by our entire community to improve public safety in the city.

Roots of the Initiative

    • The program derives from concepts that have been applied successfully in other parts of the country.

  • Of particular note is Washington, D.C., where a very similar framework resulted in the number of homicides dropping from a high of 479 in the 1990s to 88 in 2012.

OVERALL GOAL

  • Reduce the number of all gun‐related violent crime categories in 2013 by 25% .

HOW WILL WE DO IT?

Coordinate federal, state and local law enforcement agencies’ efforts utilizing the following strategies:

  • Identifying and prosecuting trigger‐pullers using data and intelligence.
  • Dismantling violent organizations.
  • Engaging the community at every level.

STRATEGY DETAILS

  • Information Sharing: Law enforcement agencies meeting regularly to share information about violent crime offenders throughout the city of Detroit. Priority attention to the worst of the worst offenders.
  • Geographic Scope: City‐wide to match the mobility of offenders.
  • Community Prosecution: Prosecutors from Wayne County and the U.S. Attorney’s Office assigned to each police district to give legal advice at any time of day or night – approving search warrants and charging documents. Teaming to decide whether federal or state charges are most appropriate.

COMMUNITY ROLE

  • Stand up and Speak Up to save a life!
  • End the “No Snitch” culture.
  • Be the moral voice that commands respect and demands safe streets and neighborhoods.

ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY

  • Utilize leaders from the faith, business, education, and non‐profit communities, such as Crime Stoppers, Youth Voice and Arise Detroit to mobilize citizens and spread the message of non‐violence.
  • Law enforcement and city leaders will conduct town hall meetings at churches, schools and community centers, speak at community organization events and enlist the help of the media to educate residents about this effort.
  • Officers and agents will knock on doors during daylight hours to provide citizens with tip line information, utilize social media to share safety information and conduct face‐to‐face meetings with citizens returning to the community from prison.

THE UMBRELLA

Detroit One will align and leverage resources and strategies employed by other violence reduction initiatives already active in the city:

  • Project Safe Neighborhoods/CVRP – Violence reduction initiative in place in the Northwest District of Detroit.
  • Detroit Eastern District Initiative – Violence and gang reduction initiative in its infancy operating in the Eastern District of Detroit.
  • Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative – Collaborative city‐led effort to reduce the incidence of violence perpetrated by and/or against city youth, currently in pilot areas of Cody/Rouge, Osborn and Denby High School attendance areas.
  • Detroit Ceasefire –Initiative rolling out in the 9 precinct (northeast) using data and intelligence to surgically remove trigger‐pullers from the community while offering alternatives to violence for potential future trigger pullers.

LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS

State and Local

  • Detroit Police Department
  • Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Michigan State Police
  • Michigan Dept. of Corrections

Federal

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Federal
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  • Michigan High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • U.S. Marshal’s Service

Detroit One Brings Law Enforcement and Community Together To Achieve Thriving City

Detroit is a city with a rich history, but the present and future of Detroit depend on creating a safe space where people can live, work and invest.

Detroit One is a new law enforcement and community initiative designed to achieve a thriving city. In 2012, Detroit experienced 387 homicides, more than one a day, a total that is simply intolerable. In response, law enforcement officials met with community leaders to discuss strategies that have worked in other cities.

The result of these discussions is Detroit One, a program based on a model that has been successful in Washington, D.C., where homicide statistics have dropped from a high of 479 in the 1990s to 88 last year. While 88 homicides is still 88 too many, the reduction is significant. The goal of Detroit One is to reduce gun violence in Detroit by 25 percent or more.

As its name suggests, Detroit One takes a unified approach to reducing violence. One key piece of the strategy is information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Participating agencies include the Detroit Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement
Administration, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office, among others. These agencies are sharing information about the “worst of the worst” offenders to ensure that law enforcement officers and agents are using their resources to address the most serious perpetrators of violent crime.

Another component of the strategy is its geographic scope. Law enforcement agencies are utilizing the Detroit Police Department’s district structure to investigate crime throughout the entire city. Teams comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement are assigned to each district. Regular meetings at the district level inform officers and agents of the leads and tips they need to identify and arrest the area’s most dangerous trigger pullers.

The third component of the strategy is a community prosecutor approach. Attorneys are assigned to each police district so that they can develop relationships with the officers and agents assigned to the district and become familiar with crimes occurring in particular neighborhoods. The prosecutor provides a known point of contact for the law enforcement team in each district, and can provide legal advice, search warrants and arrest warrants at any time of the day or night.

But the centerpiece of the strategy is community involvement. We in law enforcement cannot solve our violent crime problem alone. We need our citizens to report to police when they are victims or witnesses to crime. We must overcome the “no snitch” mentality so that we can identify individuals who commit violent crimes. Our partners include the faith community as well as the NAACP, Youthvoice and Arise Detroit, among others. Each of our citizens has the power to stand up, speak up and save a life.

We understand that lack of trust and fear can create obstacles to reporting crime. We hope to overcome those obstacles. First, we are conducting outreach in our community to try to build community trust. If people believe that the criminal justice system is fair, we believe that they will be more likely to cooperate with law enforcement. Second, we seek to protect the safety of citizens who report crimes to police. We have some limited funds available to pay for travel, housing and security systems for witnesses and victims to remove them from harm’s way. Third, we are partnering with Crime Stoppers to offer rewards for tips in certain serious cases. We also hope that our community partners can help us vocalize the outrage we all feel when violence occurs. We all need to stand up to crime to make a difference.

No strategy will ever end all violence, but we in law enforcement are determined to do all we can to reduce violence in Detroit. If we can create the safe neighborhoods that we all desire, then the next chapter of Detroit’s history will be a story of prosperity and success.

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