Monthly Archives: May 2015

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Dispatch from Detroit: What’s In a Desk?

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Last week I inherited a desk. It’s a beautiful Mahogany wood masterpiece with a stamp on the inner drawer that reads STOW-DAVIS: GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN. That seal dates it to around 1914, and set my curiosity ablaze: who sat in this desk, and across from it, in its long history before arriving to my new office near 7 mile & Telegraph Road in Detroit? Off I went… Before I dived into the photo archives, I put my feet up on …

Why I’m Starting a Union in Detroit

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There is no power in the world that can stop the forward march of free men and women when they are joined in the solidarity of human brotherhood. —Walter Reuther As a kid, I used to drive up and down I-696, the Walter P. Reuther freeway, in suburban Detroit all the time. I didn’t think much of the namesake of Detroit’s autobahn, as it’s been called. Who was Walter Reuther? The American labor leader, union organizer, fiery orator and socialist, …

Dispatch from Detroit: Turn Back on the Power

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Last week, my good friend Pastor Ray Anderson of the House of Help Community Center in hard-hit northwest Detroit called me with some bad news: the lights were out in his building. The monopoly private utility company, DTE Energy, had come to collect on $16,000 in overdue payments and he didn’t have the money. It was Thursday, the same day that over 100 hungry families come each week to pick up food baskets at House of Help. What do we …