Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A REAL Revitalization Plan by Akindele Akinyemi

Paranoia is running deep in our community these days. It feels like Communist Russia in Detroit the way our Democratic Leadership is running things. They are promoting garbage like Democratic Revolution and Democratic Centralism.

Now, when I woke up this morning and checked my e-mail I got this:

Grass Roots Voices

Detroit School Bd.’s Member 6th District

Terry Catchings

Onpointdt@aol.com wrote:

Read the attached!

The City is heading for Receivership! While Family, Friends
Live like Royalty!

Again he is pushing for Control and Charters @ the School Brd.?

Wake-up Detroit
This group, Men of Wisdom or A-Team as they like to call themselves are publishing this on their network. First, they were backing their homegirl Sheila Dapremont for school board to run against Jonathon Kinloch in District 2 and when she did not make the cut now they are backing Terry Catchings (someone who lost against One Network' Bert Johnson for State Representative in District 5). Now they want to run Dapremont for State Representative in District 11 next year.
However, what I wanted to concentrate on is that last sentence:
"Again he is pushing for Control and Charters @the School Board."
There is not one shred of evidence that charter schools are the reason why Detroit's budget is in the toilet. If the so-called "A-team" would stick to the facts then we would not have to promote such nonsense.
Let's look at reality for what it is.
The City of Detroit is ran like a Communist State. As long as we have a Socialist form of government running Detroit we will never achieve prosperity.
Mayor Kilpatrick is pushing his Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative. I was at a meeting in Brightmoor last Friday getting involved in the process with the Skillman Foundation. Brightmoor is fertile ground for bringing in new charter schools as well as promoting free market enterprises to the district. Since the district itself has been targeted for redevelopment we cannot say that Mayor Kilpatrick is doing this so he can bring in White people. White folks already live in this district and they are catching just as much hell as Black folks who live here.
They are closing Redford High School in this area. So what? We still have Old Redford Academy (a charter school), and we can build a new charter high school in the area (if not two). Charters are PUBLIC SCHOOLS also, lest we forget. I propose that within Brightmoor we begin to push for an educational empowerment zone where new schools in the area will receive tax breaks as well as contributing to economic development in the area.
Brightmoor should look into becoming the first area that embraces a land bank authority. Land Banks are public authorities created to efficiently hold, manage and develop tax-foreclosed property. Land banks act as a legal and financial mechanism to transform vacant, abandoned and tax-foreclosed property back to productive use. Generally, land banks are funded by local governments' budgets or the management and disposition of tax-foreclosed property.
We need a land bank in Brightmoor because it enhance livability of communities, and support local community development. The Brookings Institute recently found that on average 15% of the land in major American cities is vacant. Vacant and abandoned land does not produce sufficient property tax revenue for cities, which generally is their main revenue source. This lack of funds impedes a city's ability to sustain its operations, programs, and services. In addition, vacant and abandoned land discourages property ownership, depresses property values, attracts crime and creates health hazards.
When property owners neglect and abandon their properties, the local municipality must use its own resources to clean and maintain the properties as part of their nuisance abatement responsibilities to protect the public health, safety and welfare of its community. Detroit spends roughly $800,000 per year to clean vacant lots. Abandoned and vacant properties drive down the surrounding property values, which lowers the property taxes that most municipalities rely on as a primary source of revenue.
While abandoned and vacant properties depress property values, discourage property ownership, and attract criminal activities in the surrounding area, a land bank provides tools to quickly turn these tax-reverted properties back into usable parcels that reinvest in the community's long-term vision for its neighborhoods. Land bank programs act as an economic and community development tool to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and business districts. Land banks can benefit urban schools, improve tax revenues, expand housing opportunities, remove public nuisances, assist in crime prevention and promote economic development.
While Land Banks work everywhere else in America Detroit and its leadership continues to stay in the dark. Communist Councilwoman and champion of welfare Jo Ann Watson is against land banks. She is for Land Trusts, which is different from a land bank.
A land trust is where an agreement whereby one party (the trustee) agrees to hold ownership of a piece of real property for the benefit of another party (the beneficiary). Land trusts are used by nonprofit organizations to hold conservation easements, by corporations and investment groups to compile large tracts of land, and by individuals to keep their real estate ownership private, avoid probate and provide several other benefits.
In this case, what Watson is proposing is to tie this trust back to government. Another form of Communism.
Another form of community revitalization is reducing the amount of what government is spending in Detroit. We have to reduce spending if we are going to be a successful world-class city. When I say reduce government I mean possibly breaking the city up. If we cannot come to terms to regionalize or consolidate our services with Wayne County then we need to break up the city into districts. One thing the Detroit City Council has hidden successfully from us is the use of Community Action Councils or CACs. The Communist City Council promote CDCs but not CACs.
This is something I talked about when I launched the original One Detroit Movement back in 2002. I would talk with constituents about CACs. 90% of them did not know what they were. CACs are designed to make your present Council members accountable to the area in which you live in. Whether it's water issues, gas, or ANY municipal issues the council members, according to the City Charter that Jo Ann Watson brings up so much, have to be accountable to that district. This is a form of districts but because so many people are ignorant to what is inside the City Charter the Detroit City Council continues to pull wool over people's eyes.
Speaking of charter schools I would like to point out how recent MEAP results also show how charter schools, improved their overall performance on 19 of 27 tests given to kindergarten through eighth-graders statewide. Right here in Detroit, for example, charter school scores exceeded local district scores on 24 of the 27 MEAP tests. So why is the "A-Team" is against these charter schools opening in Detroit? Sounds like a bunch on old people scared of change.
Detroit can change by ignoring the nay-sayers and getting on board with what we have been talking about all along. Building Urban Regional Power through conservative means.
Brightmoor and the North End have a pandemic crisis when it comes to HIV/AIDS. A non-profit organization that I am helping out is the Community of Grace. The Community of Grace provides diverse programs and services to minority women within urban and rural communities throughout Michigan. Founded by my fellow Network member Jacqueline Whitted (my fiscal cosnervative sister) her goal is to increase and maintain public engagement through education and open forum dialogue while highlighting HIV prevention and awareness.
Groups like the Community of Grace are needed in areas like Brightmoor because there is a high level of prostitution as well as drug use in this area. As the Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative kicks into high gear The Community of Grace will be needed to help revitalize areas like Brightmoor into Christian Communities.
Another program that I am also helping out in Brightmoor is called the Lazarus Project. This is a mentoring program sponsored by the Northwest Seventh Day Adventist Church under Pastor Cory Jackson (a Network member). The Lazarus Project is designed to help young men understand how they can reach their potential through a 12 step core program that will (1) get them closer to Jesus Christ, (2) help them become better men for their families and (3) help them gain economic prosperity.
For those who say all we do is write is lying. One Network is everywhere getting the job done. We are not just helping Detroit but our presence is felt in Benton Harbor and Jackson. Inkster and River Rouge. Pontiac and Flint.
Another point I am going to drive home is this. It's time for the unions to go home. They have controlled Detroit for over 5 decades and this has led to both White and Black flight leaving the city in a poverty controlled plantation. How come the Men of Wisdom/A-Team continue to push for poverty stricken candidates to keep us on the plantation I have no clue. Keeping our brothers and sisters in the dark is what they do best and proof of this is how they keep this message limited to their own network.
People know in their network that I am telling the truth when I say Detroit needs smaller government, limited spending, regionalization (such as turning Belle Isle over to Metroparks), educational options and a stronger faith based community that is not leaning politically on one side of the aisle.
When I ride down the streets in Brightmoor they are building new homes for single families. Now we need to be tougher on crime and tougher on education if we want to bring back Detroit. It's time out for boogey-man politics and keeping Blacks on the liberal plantation. What we have been doing for decaded has not worked so why are you still chasing your own tail?

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