Jul 182017
 

Use the City’s or County’s “Right to First Refusal” in Combination with the Hardest Hit Funds to Save Occupied Homes

We demand that:

  1. The City of Detroit or Wayne County exercise its “Right to First Refusal” and remove all occupied homes from the upcoming auction of tax foreclosed properties.
  2. The City or County, in coordination with MSHDA, purchase the occupied homes using the Hardest Hit Funds.
  3. The City or County returns ownership of the occupied homes to the occupants. In the case of occupied rental or investor-owned homes, ownership would be transferred to the occupants.

Currently, the City uses the Hardest Hit Funds in a very inefficient and ineffective manner to fight blight by only tearing down blighted homes in Federally approved areas of the City.  The most effective way to fight blight is to keep homes occupied. This proposal does that. In addition, once the homes are purchased using the HHF, the City budget receives the bulk of funds or has the chargebacks from Wayne County reduced.  The City could then spend the funds on blight removal in any area of the City, not just the Federally approved areas. This is a “win-win” for residents impacted by foreclosures and the City of Detroit.

Hardest Hit Funds Fact Sheet

Leaflet – side 1

Leaflet – side 2 (UCHC outreach)

For a list of candidates supporting or opposing these demands, click here.

Endorsements:

Moratorium NOW! Coalition    Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA)
National Action Network- Detroit Chapter    Tricycle Collective    Charlevoix Villages Association
Vanessa Fluker, People’s Anti-foreclosure Attorney    Detroit Eviction Defense
We the People of Detroit    Michigan Peoples Defense Network (MPDN)

Continue reading »

 July 18, 2017  Posted by at 10:42 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jul 172017
 

Tuesday, Aug. 1 , 10:15 am to 10:45 am

Michigan Court of Appeals
3020 W. Grand Blvd., 14th floor,  Detroit, MI 48202

A press conference and picket will be held prior to the 11am hearing on the ACLU lawsuit challenging the illegal and unconstitutional tax assessments and foreclosures occurring within the City of Detroit. The press conference will feature Detroit residents facing foreclosure or struggling to receive the poverty tax emption, and as well as their neighbors and supporters organizing to stop the foreclosures

Following the press conference, at 10:45am, supporters will pack the court. The ACLU asks that we WEAR RED SHIRTS to visibly, but quietly, show our support of the lawsuit.

From the ACLU:

The August 1st Hearing

• In late 2016, Judge Colombo found that our claim against Wayne County was based on a good legal theory but that he did not have the authority to hear the case. Instead, in his view, the proper court to hear the case was the Michigan Tax Tribunal. We disagree. So we appealed his decision to a higher court, the Michigan Court of Appeals.

• On August 1, 2017, the higher court is going to hear our appeal. We will be asking the court to give Judge Colombo the authority to hear the lawsuit against Wayne County because the lower court is the proper place to hear this type of federal discrimination claim.

• What you will see at the hearing is a panel of three judges who will ask the lawyers on both sides of the case questions about the case.

• If we succeed, the case against Wayne County is alive again and we can continue to pursue relief for Detroit homeowners in the lower court.

• Ultimately, we are hoping to stop the unconstitutional tax foreclosures until Wayne County conducts proper and lawful tax assessments on those properties.

History of Lawsuit

• In June 2016, The ACLU of Michigan, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and lawyers from Covington & Burling LLP filed a lawsuit against the Wayne County Treasurer, Wayne County and the City of Detroit. We sued to challenge the illegal and racially discriminatory tax foreclosures that have hit African-American homeowners the hardest in recent years.

• The lawsuit was brought on behalf of seven Detroit homeowners and a coalition of neighborhood associations from throughout the City including the Historic Russell Woods-Sullivan Area Association, the MorningSide Community Organization, the Oakman Boulevard Community Association and Neighbors Building Brightmoor.

• We sued Wayne County because they foreclosed on thousands of homes despite knowing that their property taxes were illegally high. The foreclosures are a type of illegal housing discrimination that has a larger impact on people of color. As a result, this was a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act because racial discrimination in housing is prohibited by the Act.

• In Michigan, homeowners must pay property taxes based on the fair market value of their homes. Cities are required to determine this value by an annual assessment of property values. Homeowners in Detroit and other predominately African-American Wayne County municipalities, however, have been taxed as if their homes were worth much more than their fair market value.

• Most notably, the City of Detroit did not reduce property assessments to reflect declining home values in 2008. But, the lawsuit also alleges that Detroit had failed to conduct meaningful property assessments even before home prices fell dramatically in 2008.

 July 17, 2017  Posted by at 11:00 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jul 022017
 

Celebrate with Rev. Pinkney

Saturday, July 8, 2017

2 PM – 6 PM

St. Matthews St. Joseph Episcopal Church
8850 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI

Food and Entertainment – Donation suggested

Rev. Edward Pinkney was freed from prison on June 13, 2017, after an unjust conviction and incarceration. Join supporters at a celebration where we welcome Rev. Pinkney home.

Welcome Home Fund

Supporters are raising money for a Welcome Home Fund for Rev. Edward and Dorothy Pinkney. The goal is to raise $3000 by July 8.  Please mail your donation to Moratorium NOW Coalition, 5920 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.  Make the check or money order out to Moratorium NOW Coalition and write Rev. Pinkney in the memo line.   Or, if you prefer, you may donate online at https://www.youcaring.com/pinkney_welcome_home_fund.

Latest news:

Rev. Pinkney is free!

By David Sole, posted on June 13, 2017
http://www.workers.org/2017/06/13/rev-pinkney-is-free/#.WU3DDFGQzDc

Exactly two years and six months after being locked up, Michigan’s political prisoner, the Rev. Edward Pinkney, walked out from behind the bars. His spouse, Dorothy Pinkney, waited for him at the Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights, Mich., on the morning of June 13, ready to drive him to their home in the small town of Benton Harbor in southwest Michigan.

Two nights before his release, Workers World asked Pinkney whether he was “packed and ready to go.” He replied, “I’ve been packed and ready for two-and-a-half years.” Those familiar with the case cannot believe that this 68-year-old African-American community leader could have been charged, tried and convicted on no evidence.

Pinkney faced a white judge, a white prosecutor and an all-white jury on frame-up charges of having altered some dates on a recall petition against Benton Harbor’s then-mayor, James Hightower. There were no confession, no forensic evidence and no witnesses against him.

All activists are threatened by his conviction, which was upheld last year by the Michigan Court of Appeals. That court ruled that Rev. Pinkney had the greatest animosity to the mayor and therefore could be assumed to have committed the crime. The case is now headed for the Michigan Supreme Court. Even if that court were to exonerate Rev. Pinkney, they cannot give him back the hard 30 months he has already served.

Detroit area supporters are holding a “Welcome Home Rev. Pinkney” dinner on Saturday, July 8, at which Rev. Pinkney will speak. It will be at the St. Matthew – St. Joseph Church, 8850 Woodward Ave., Detroit, and will run from 2 to 5 p.m.

 July 2, 2017  Posted by at 11:08 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jun 252017
 

Demonstration: End Property Tax Foreclosures, Evictions and Water Shutoffs

Wednesday, June 28

9:30 AM – Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) monthly meeting, Cadillac Place, 3026 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit

12 Noon – Wayne County Treasurer’s Office, 400 Monroe, Greektown, Detroit

  • STOP TAX FORECLOSURES of OCCUPIED HOMES
  • DEMAND MSHDA USE FEDERAL HARDEST HIT FUNDS TO KEEP FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES, NOT TEAR THEM DOWN
  • STOP WATER SHUT-OFFS
  • TAKE BACK OUR CITY

On June 28 thousands of occupied homes are scheduled to go into tax foreclosure and be taken and turned over to the Land Bank this August or auctioned off this September. The Wayne County Treasurer, under pressure from community protests, was forced to extend the tax foreclosure deadline from March 31 until June 28.

Come out to demand a One Year Moratorium (Halt) on all Tax Foreclosures of Occupied Homes and Evictions from Occupied Tax Foreclosed properties.  While the moratorium is in is effect, property taxes can be reassessed to reflect real home values as mandated under the state constitution; seniors and the poor can be placed into hardship exemptions to which they are entitled; and the $240 million in federal Hardest Hit funds can be accessed to pay off delinquent bills and save homes, not tear them down.

We will also be demanding an end to the massive water shutoffs which are destroying the health and welfare of our community.

Facebook-Event

For more information: moratorium@moratorium-mi. org – 313-680-5508
moratorium-mi.org – facebook – @MoratoriumNowCoalition

 June 25, 2017  Posted by at 7:47 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jun 032017
 

 

Jorge Parra, Colombian ex-GM worker who was scheduled for several Detroit appearances June 5-9, has been denied entry to the US by the US government. His ten-year visa was abruptly “cancelled” a few days before his departure for a multi-city speaking tour.

Regardless, we are holding our scheduled events to welcome Portland, Oregon ASOTRECOL solidarity activist Paige Shell-Spurling in his place. Paige will share updates about ASOTRECOL and the broader struggle by injured Colombian workers.

Monday June 5 –7-9 pm > MORATORIUM NOW! COALITION
5920 Second Ave. (near Antoinette), Detroit 48202
Accessible ramp at side entrance (please call 313-680-5508, 248-470-0296 for assistance)

Tuesday June 6 — 3 -6 pm > Autoworkers Caravan & IWW, Detroit Chapter
Anchor Bar, 450 W Fort St, Detroit 48226

Thursday June 9 — 5:30-7 pm > Detroit Area Peace & Justice & MCHR
SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES Peace Center and Gallery
33 East Adams, Detroit 48226 – parking in rear—Light refreshments

Paige will join with Detroit supporters to discuss where does the solidarity movement go from here? Come on by!

More info:

Jorge Parra, association leader of fired injured GM workers (ASOTRECOL) is traveling from Bogota, Colombia for a 6-city US tour, and will be in Detroit Mon. June 5th through Fri. June 9th . His arrival here will coincide with the GM shareholders meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6th at GM headquarters. Detroit activists are starting to put together an itinerary so that he can meet with his supporters and present updates about the struggle by injured workers in Colombia.

The tent encampment at the US Embassy has now extended over 2,100 days. ASOTRECOL’s persistent struggle for justice has significantly impacted the fight by injured workers at the GM plant, and in other industries throughout Colombia. Colombian courts recently forced GM to recall 24 injured workers who were illegally fired. Proposed legislation to make such firings legal has been stalled in the Colombian congress due to public outcry. Injured workers’ associations are emerged and growing. International solidarity efforts have remained steadfast.

Jorge and his co-workers are a profound example of the protracted struggle justice requires. We hope to give him a Detroiters welcome!

Please join us!!

Long live International Solidarity

 June 3, 2017  Posted by at 11:04 am Uncategorized No Responses »
May 292017
 

FIRED AND INJURED COLOMBIAN EX-GM WORKER JORGE PARRA IS RETURNING TO DETROIT!
JUNE 5-9, 2017

7-9 pm Monday June 5th
MORATORIUM NOW! Weekly Meeting
Special presentation by Jorge Parra
5920 Second Ave. (near Antoinette), Detroit
Accessible ramp at side entrance
phone: 313-680-5508, 248-470-0296
email:moratorium@moratorium- mi.org

Additional engagements

9 am Tuesday June 6th
GM SHAREHOLDERS Meeting
GM World Headquarters
Ren-Cen, downtown Detroit

3-5 pm Tuesday June 6th
AUTOWORKER CARAVAN Solidarity Reception
Anchor Bar
450 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 964-9127

Other events are being scheduled. Please contact Frank Hammer to schedule yours: fkhammer@ameritech.net, 313-680-3202
Jorge Parra, association leader of fired injured GM workers (ASOTRECOL) is traveling from Bogota, Colombia for a 6-city US tour, and will be in Detroit Mon. June 5th through Fri. June 9th . His arrival here will coincide with the GM shareholders meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6th at GM headquarters. Detroit activists are starting to put together an itinerary so that he can meet with his supporters and present updates about the struggle by injured workers in Colombia.

The tent encampment at the US Embassy has now extended over 2,100 days. ASOTRECOL’s persistent struggle for justice has significantly impacted the fight by injured workers at the GM plant, and in other industries throughout Colombia. Colombian courts recently forced GM to recall 24 injured workers who were illegally fired. Proposed legislation to make such firings legal has been stalled in the Colombian congress due to public outcry. Injured workers’ associations are emerged and growing. International solidarity efforts have remained steadfast.

Jorge and his co-workers are a profound example of the protracted struggle justice requires. We hope to give him a Detroiters welcome!

Please join us!!

Long live International Solidarity

 May 29, 2017  Posted by at 11:16 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Apr 142017
 

RALLY and MARCH

Monday – May 1, 2017 – 5 P.M.

Grand Circus Park – Detroit
(corner Woodward Ave. & W. Adams St.)

  • Stop the raids! Stop the deportations! Hands off Immigrants!
  • Stop the U.S. war against Syria.
  • Hands off People’s Korea.
  • Stop police terror.
  • Water is a right, from Standing Rock to Flint and Detroit! No pipelines – No shutoffs.
  • $15 and a union! Jobs, health care, housing and education are human rights.
  • Defend Planned Parenthood! Reproductive rights now. No to Trump’s rape culture.
  • No anti-trans bathroom bills or presidential decrees! Stop attacks on the LGBTQ community.
  • Stop foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs.
  • Money for jobs, education, housing – not war.

The recent roundups of migrants under the Trump directive have shocked the world, drawing parallels to internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. But like the racist, anti-Muslim travel bans these attacks are meeting resistance. Large numbers stayed off work during “a Day Without Immigrants” and huge numbers of migrants are expected to skip work and school on May Day.

The scapegoating of migrants, as well as attacks on Muslims, people of color, women and the LGBTQ community, are all designed to fracture the working class and destroy any possibility of unity. Unity is desperately needed to fight mass layoffs, poverty wages, cutbacks in social programs and a myriad of economic attacks by the capitalist class.

More than a dozen calls have been issued for a general strike in the U.S. on May 1, International Workers Day. These have come from a wide range of organizations of migrant workers, women, prisoners, socialist revolutionaries and others. IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT A GLOBAL GENERAL STRIKE – NO WORK, NO SCHOOL, NO SHOPPING, NO RETALIATION!

Initiated by: Moratorium Now Coalition; Michigan People’s Defense Network; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice; Detroit Active & Retired Employees Association; Workers World Party

 April 14, 2017  Posted by at 11:45 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 282017
 

“Economic Resurgence” is a LIE

Protest Bankers’ & Corporations’ Continued Looting of Detroit

Demonstration – March 2 – 1 P.M.

Motor City Casino Hotel

Temple St. & Brooklyn St., Detroit, MI 48201

(One block south and west of 2901 Grand River, Detroit, MI 48201  –  see map)

The 2017 Detroit Policy Conference sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce is being held at the Motor City Casino on March 2nd. The very banks and corporations that faked the Detroit bankruptcy and then looted over $7 Billion from workers’ and retirees’ pension funds, health care and other benefits to pay themselves off are now going to wine and dine. They plan to “celebrate Detroit’s ongoing economic resurgence.”

The only resurgence is to their profits. Unemployment continues at record levels. Tens of thousands of foreclosures have decimated our neighborhoods. Public schools are being shut down while failing private charter schools are encouraged. Retirees will never recover from the theft of their pensions and health care. Water shutoffs for thousands of poor people go forward while the water keeps flowing to corporate scofflaws. Public funds are handed to build private stadiums. The Federal government is still investigating the “blight removal” task force and Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans. Mayor Duggan covers up for all these corporate crooks while he refuses to use hundreds of millions of dollars of Federal “Hardest Hit Homeowner” funds to keep people in their homes. Leave downtown and drive through the neighborhoods to see the poverty and devastation the politicians, bankers and corporate big wigs have caused.

For more information: 313-680-5508

Sponsored by: Moratorium Now Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs (Moratorium-Mi.org); Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice; Detroit Active & Retired Employees Association; Workers World Party;

map

 February 28, 2017  Posted by at 11:06 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 122017
 

Friday, February 17, 3PM

333 Mt Elliott St. at E. Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48207

Workers, documented and undocumented, unite!  Racist mass deportations have already begun in Detroit and throughout the country. Immigrants are being scapegoated and targeted by the Trump Administration and their reactionary supporters in order to divide the working class and distract us from identifying the real threat and our common enemy: Hate groups, U.S. imperialism, and the bosses. We will start by demo.nstrating at the main entrance of the ICE Detention & Deportation Center.

Initiated by the Michigan Peoples Defense Network.

 February 12, 2017  Posted by at 10:29 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Dec 082016
 

Holiday Party

Friday, Dec. 30

5 pm – 10 pm

5920 Second Ave., Detroit (near Antoinette, two blocks north of Wayne State U)


Join activists from the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), Detroit Active and Retired Employess Association (DAREA), and Detroit FIST – Fight Imperialism, Stand Together, and Workers World Party for the annual year’s end pot-luck dinner and celebration of another year of struggles.

Come and relax and enjoy the friendship and camaraderie of fellow activists as we break bread together and celebrate another year of anti-capitalist struggle.

Please bring a dish or beverage to share.

Call Lula at 313-587-7845 for dish suggestions or to see if anyone else may be preparing the same dish as you are. In any case, please let Lula know what you are bringing so that we will know what food groups may be missing.

For other questions, please call 313-680-5508

Facebook-Event

 December 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:40 pm Uncategorized No Responses »