Category Archives: Detroit
As a Michigander, I would like nothing more than to have a President who hails from our great state. Someone who understands why we fight so hard to protect our state’s natural resources. Someone who understands our state’s tourism industry, and appreciates all of the great sites our state has to offer our fellow Americans. Someone who will fight to protect the auto industry which has contributed so much to our state and our nation. Mitt Romney is not this person. Despite accepting over a million dollars from our state’s residents, Romney has shown a clear disregard for the wellbeing of our state and its residents. When the auto industry faced bankruptcies which would have left millions of Michiganders out of work and decimated our already struggling cities, Romney not only opposed the President’s bailout plan, but suggested that Americans Let Detroit Go Bankrupt. I fully expect for Romney to play up his Michigan roots tomorrow night during the GOP debate at Oakland University, but I hope that the moderators and audience members will call him out on his poor record when it comes to standing with Michigan. Our state, and our country, deserve a President who will stand up for our workers and our communities.
At long last, allow me to present A Place To Stay: Combatting Michigan’s Brain Drain with Sustainable Communities. This short documentary was created entirely by Michigan students, in particular the Environmenal Committee of our very own organization. It presentsÂ one solutionÂ to the brain drain and suffering economy of Michigan, namely creating attractive communities where young educated people want to live, create, and consume. In it, we hear from experts on urban planning and tallent retention, as well as fellowÂ Michigan students. Perhaps you will recognize a face or two. So without any further ado, enjoy!
Tonight at long last the Enviro Dems documentary A Place to Stay will be revealed. Come hear from experts in urban planning and design about what makes a community attractive, particularly to college-educated young people (like us). Come be a part of the discussion!
I found this video on ESPN.com. Its a short feature on Detroit and what sports means to the city in a time of economic downturn. Watch it and judge for yourself.
President Obama exits following his address on Monday.
Many of you have been going through tough times for longer than you care to remember.Â And I won’t pretend that the tough times are over.Â I can’t promise you there isn’t more difficulty to come.Â But what I can promise you is this:Â I will fight for you.Â You’re the reason I’m here today.Â I got my start fighting for working families in the shadows of a shuttered steel plant.Â I wake up every single day asking myself what can I do to give you and working people all across this country a fair shot at the American Dream. (March 30, 2009)
“Good, but not good enough.” President Obama emphasized this particular point in yesterday’s address that focused on the administration’s recommendations for the struggling U.S. auto industry. Recall in February, GM and Chrysler both offered to restructure their companies and provide the government with comprehensive plans to stay afloat. After thorough evaluation, Obama’s Auto Task Force decided that the the plans don’t go far enough in attacking the problems plaguing the auto companies and put a date on company restructuring.
The reactions to the administration’sÂ have varied from agreement to resigned dissent. Unsurprisingly, the Michigan delegation, though voicing support for the plan, is deeply concerned with the possible repercussions of the recommendations on an already struggling state. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) wrote only today, “I urge the Obama administration to review carefully the progress made by Chrysler and GM in 30 and 60 days, respectively, and give strong consideration to allowing more time for restructuring. The fate of these corporations and their cumulative impact on the national economy are too important to be subjected to an arbitrary deadline” (USA Today).
Is the deadline “arbitrary” and unjustified? There’s obviously multiple perspectives. Take a look at the actual plan and then make your own decision.
TheÂ President’sÂ rejection of loans for GM and Chrysler may prove to be the worst decision of his presidency so far.
The President claims neither car company has presented a viable plan for success. Â With all due respect, Mr. President, this isn’t 1970, or even 1990. Â American cars are now equivalent to theirÂ JapaneseÂ and German rivals inÂ reliabilityÂ and quality. Â They are often equally fuel-efficient. Â UAWÂ salaries, which wereÂ admittedlyÂ once obscene are nowÂ competitiveÂ with salaries of non-unionÂ transplantÂ employees. Â Sure American cars aren’t selling right now, but neither are imported cars. (more…)
And it’s understandably a mitten’s great fear
That the automotive industry will dissolve, disappear.
So then tell me your take
On this new driving stake
Just whisper sweet wheels to my out of state ear.
The Great Cobo Hall
A Quick Guide to the deal that is currently tearing Detroit apart:
Cobo Hall was built in 1960 as a convention center to serve Detroit. It is most famous for being the home of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), although at various times it has been the home of the Pistons, a soccer team, Madonna, Bob Seger, and, most recently, Jay-Z. Since construction, Cobo Hall has fallen into severe disrepair, poor oversight and management, and an ever increasing amount of debt. The past two directors of Cobo have admitted to taking bribes and the hall operates at a net loss of $15 million dollars a year for the Detroit general fund.
Additionally, attendees of the NAIAS have started threatening to move their product debuts to other auto shows. ie Chicago. A move of the NAIAS would instantly remove $500,000 dollars a year from Detroit’s economy and possibly affect nearly 16,000 jobs that depend on the NAIAS.
With the City of Detroit broke and Cobo losing money a host of regional interests banded together to help renovate and expand Cobo. Together Governor Granholm, the State Legislature, Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties, and the City of Detroit constructing a plan to remove Cobo from direct oversight by the City of Detroit and by administered by a board representing the five regional interests. Additionally, the State would fund a renovation and huge expansion of Cobo to fit grow needs.
All decisions of the five member board must be unanimous in order to pass. Meaning that Detroit would still have a significant veto and say in the future of Cobo. This regional agreement has passed the State Legislature and all other parties, except the Detroit City Council.
The Wrench (more…)