Monthly Archives: June 2014

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Why We the People Must Stand with Detroit

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It is time for we the people to stand with Detroit. The work has already started. Detroit is rebuilding community from the grassroots up, and a few dedicated but under-staffed community organizations are working feverishly to grow a more sustainable, equitable and innovative Detroit than the one you hear about in the mainstream media. They’re working for the most part under-the-radar and on local scale, building housing and worker cooperatives, urban farms, alternative recycling programs, public-private partnerships, and a million …

Dispatch from Detroit #3, On Water

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  The waves of the Detroit River lap up onto the wall of the riverwalk downtown, and young children play in the fountains that shoot up through the concrete in the park below the towering Renaissance Center. It is Saturday in Motown, and the sun is shining warm rays down on working-class folk enjoying a day of rest. Just a few miles away, on the east side across the highway, Jean stands on her porch and worries about the pregnant …

Dispatch from Detroit #2, Slow Down to Rise Up!

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Everything moves a little more slowly here. I called the Masonic Temple today, a majestic theatre I recall visiting with my parents as a child. I was inquiring about renting the place for a benefit concert to support the thousands of families whose water is threatened with shutoff every week here for non-payment. “We are a non-profit,” I gently let drop as she reached for the rate sheet. “Honey, in Detroit, everyone’s a non-profit,” she responded. In a sense, she’s …

Dispatch from Detroit #1, On Blight

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This is the first in a series of reflections on life in the shell of a once-great metropolis that is searching again for greatness. I share stories of the people I meet between the burned-out buildings and the overgrown foliage of a land abandoned by some, scarred and ravaged by others, and still inhabited by a resilient and proud few.   The blight here is like a blemish on the face of industrial capitalism.   Each abandoned, boarded-up home whispers …