Registration is now open for the National Conference Against Austerity. The conference on March 24th is free and open to the public, with a suggested $10 donation for the registration packet. Register here.
Rescheduled from last week due to the snow storm.
Come to a special presentation at the regular weekly meeting of Moratorium NOW! Coalition and Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI).
On November 26 the Honduran people voted in a presidential election. Polls and initial vote tallies showed the main opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla, clearly winning the election. Yet the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, dominated by the ruling National Party, declared current President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) the winner. Hernandez became president four years ago amid widespread fraud, irregularities, bribery and intimidation. Seeing a repeat of 2013, the people took to the streets in protest and they remain in the streets — the struggle around the demand “Fuera JOH!” (JOH Out) is in high gear. About 40 people have been killed and hundreds injured seriously by the police and military; thousands have been arrested. Washington has recognized the illegal regime and continues to fund the Honduran repressive forces. But the people, who staged a national strike from January 20-27, are not backing down!
Martha Grevatt, who will be giving the presentation, was a human rights observer during the stolen election of 2013. She has covered recent events in Honduras for Workers World newspaper. Grevatt is part of the Honduras Solidarity Network. This meeting is one of a number of actions coordinated by HSN to protest the inauguration of JOH and support the Honduran resistance.
Called by Moratorium Now! Coalition, Michigan People’s Defense Network & Workers World Party
Where do we go from here? After a very successful meeting on October 26, called “World Conference of Mayors: Real Detroiters Speak OUT!”, https://www.facebook.com/
Please visit the Facebook group that emerged from the meeting: World Conference of Mayors: Real Detroiters Speak Out, https://www.facebook.com/
Sponsored by Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Michigan Peoples Defense Committee (MPDN), Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA), Workers World Party
Poverty Tax Exemption
Low-income homeowners in Detroit may have their property taxes reduced or waived. The City of Detroit offers a “Poverty Tax Exemption” on an annual basis but you must apply for it. Applications for this year must be submitted before December 12, 2017. The PTE is not retroactive, but it should be.
Applications are available online at www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Appeal/Property-Assessment-Forms or from the Detroit Citizens Board of Review located at
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
For assistance, see the United Community Housing Coalition, located at 2727 2nd Ave, Suite 313, Detroit, MI 48201. Their phone number is 313-963-3310 and website is www.uchcdetroit.org. The UCHC offers counseling assistance on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am-12pm. Also, visit www.fromclosuredetroit.com. (This is not misspelled.)
Senior Citizen Solid Waste Discount
The application period is July 1 thru September 15. The City of Detroit may provide a discount to homeowners who are at least 65 years old and have a household gross income below $40,000.00. Effective July 1, 2009, the Solid Waste Fee is $240.00. Qualifying seniors will receive a discount of $120.00. For more info, visit www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/File/Senior-Citizen-Solid-Waste-Discount-Information.
Veterans with Disabilities
Veterans with disabilities may also qualify for an exemption and more. Please visit www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Appeal/Property-Assessment-Forms for details.
The position of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition is that the Hardest Hit Fund should be used to assist all residential occupants facing the loss of their homes through tax foreclosures and water shutoffs. The Hardest Hit Fund was created by the U.S. Department of Treasury through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to assist states such as Michigan that had been particularly hard hit by the economic and housing market downturn that began in 2007. The Hardest Hit Fund program was created in 2010 to assist states with their foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization efforts. Michigan received over $761 million to operate its Hardest Hit Fund programs. Unfortunately, since 2014, a majority of the remaining funds have been redirected toward blight removal in Detroit, resulting in criminal investigations of the Gilbert/Duggan Detroit Blight Authority and more foreclosures. Moratorium NOW! Coalition demands that the funds be redirected to their original purpose which was to help residents in danger of losing their homes.
To join our efforts, please attend the weekly organizers meetings of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition every Monday at 7 PM at 5920 2nd Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
During the final week of October, 2017, the World Conference of Mayors is scheduled to meet in the city of Detroit. The conference taking place at MGM Grand Casino Hotel is designed to promote Detroit as a model for “urban revitalization.”
We invite all organizations in the City involved in the struggles against water shut-offs, foreclosures and evictions, police brutality, against union busting and for a living wage, immigrant rights, full access for people with disabilities, quality public education, deprivation of voting rights, and who are fighting racism, sexism and LGBTQ oppression in all its forms, to join the World Conference of Mayors, Real Detroiters Speak Out alternative People’s Summit that week at St. Matthew’s/St. Joseph’s Church at 8850 Woodward Ave.
The Speak-Out will fully expose the role of the banks, multi-national corporations, the business media and political comprador elites in perpetuating the super-exploitation of the people of Detroit. The majority African American, working class and poor residents of the city are being totally left out of the so-called “rebirth of Detroit.”
Detroit’s “rebirth” has meant that the public revenues generated through the process of taxation are being funneled to the capitalist corporations.
The People’s Summit will discuss a real agenda for the rebirth and rebuilding of our neighborhoods and communities. Real development in Detroit would focus on the rehabilitation of neighborhoods, the guaranteeing of jobs, housing, water services, heating and quality education for all. The banks who are responsible contributed for the destruction of our neighborhoods must be held accountable through criminal prosecution and the payment of reparations.
At the Real Detroiters Speak Out we will invite the mayors from across the world to come and hear from the people of Detroit. We will offer tours of our neighborhoods so the invitees will get an opportunity to see the corporate disaster imposed on the people of Detroit, and what the future holds for every major city if the banks get their way.
Join in building the Real Detroiters Speak Out during the World Conference of Mayors. Please let us know if your organization would like to be listed as an endorser of this event. Please respond via telephone to 313-319-0870 – or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Moratorium Now! Coalition; Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA); Citizens with Challenges; Vanessa G. Fluker, anti-foreclosure attorney; Defenders of Truth & Justice organization,; Rev. W. J. Rideout III; Jean Vortkamp, co-producer, Looting Detroit; Elena Herrada, Tawanna Simpson, Detroit Public School Board in Exile; Reverend Edward Pinkney; Monica Patrick, We the People of Detroit; International Action Center; Detroit Green Party; Friends of Detroit City Airport; Beverly Kindle Walker; Detroit People’s Task Force, Inc.; Black Woman, Inc.; Defend Affordable Ypsi; Detroit/Michigan National Lawyers Guild chapter; Employment Research Associates; Juvenile Lifers without Parole Support Committee; Freedom Road Socialist Organization; Workers World Party.
Monday, October 23rd: Birthday Bash for Rev. Pinckney
5920 Second Ave
7pm – 9pm
Tuesday, October 24th: Outreach
MGM Grand Casino & Hotel
1777 3rd Ave
11am – 3pm
Wednesday, October 25th: People’s Tour of Detroit
More info TBA
Thursday, October 26th: World Conference of Mayors: REAL DETROITERS SPEAK OUT
8850 Woodward Avenue
6pm – 9pm
Visit the Facebook event page for the latest schedule of activities for the week of Oct. 23 – Oct. 26.
Fried Fish Dinner for $12
Includes 2 Fish Filets, Spaghetti, Coleslaw, Green Beans, Bread, AND Dessert
5920 Second Ave, the activist building, needs a new roof.
If you have been at a meeting in the last few years you know what we talking about – there are leaks everywhere. But we still continue to meet and plan the next actions for Justice.
We have had two projects to date to raise funds for the Roof repairs. We have raised enough funds to start the work. But we need more funds to complete the roof repairs.
Please support our Roof Repair Fundraiser, October 13, from 11 am – 6 pm. Each $12 meal will include 2 Fish Filets, Spaghetti, Coleslaw, Green Beans, Bread, AND Dessert. Call 313-680-5508 for more information.
Dinners can be ordered in advance, over the phone, or purchased on October 13th.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 313-319-0870, MORATORIUM NOW! COALITION
The demonstration Tuesday, September 5, will demand that Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree suspend the auction of 3100 homes, including 1400 occupied homes, scheduled to begin September 5 and extend into October. The suspension will give time for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, MSHDA, to seek federal approval to a plan to amend the Step Forward program to allow Hardest Hit Funds to pay delinquent property tax bills of any occupied homes pulled from the auction by the City of Detroit and/or Wayne County treasurer exercising their right of first refusal to claim the homes.
At a meeting between the head of MSHDA and the administrator of the Helping Hardest Hit program and representatives of the Coaliton to Stop Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, MSHDA agreed to have Coalition members draft an amendment to the Step Forward rules to allow for Hardest Hit Funds to be used for the city of Detroit and./ or Wayne County to pay back property tax bills if they exercise right of first refusal on the 1400 occupied homes facing auction and then eviction starting next week. MSHDA which oversees the Hardest Hit Funds said they would submit this proposal for approval by Treasury.
At the meeting it came out that only 193 Wayne County families, of the thousands who have faced tax foreclosure this year, had received benefits from the Hardest Hit fund. This is a result of the Step Forward regulations being out of step with the reality of those facing the loss of their homes in Wayne County and especially Detroit. It also came out that there are currently $130 million in unspent Hardest Hit Funds available to keep families from losing their homes. In contrast, only $12 million is needed to pay the delinquent bills of the 1400 families scheduled to see the homes they occupy auctioned off over the next month, and then find themselves facing eviction.
Under Michigan law, either Wayne County or the City of Detroit can exercise their right of first refusal to pull occupied homes out of the auction. The agreement by MSHDA to pursue using Hardest Hit funds to pay the delinquent taxes on these homes offers a practical way forward to save 1400 more families from being thrown into the street. This plan would actually bring money into the treasuries of Wayne County and Detroit, who stand to recover pennies on what are owed in delinquent taxes through the auction.
Once the delinquent taxes are paid, the occupants will have the opportunity to pursue poverty tax exemptions to which are entitled and have their home assessments reset to the true market value in conformity with the Michigan constitution.
The people of Detroit scored a significant concession in the meeting with MSHDA on Wednesday, August 30. They agreed to have the Coaliton to Stop Tax Foreclosures draft an amendment to the Step Forward rules to allow for Hardest Hit Funds to be used for the city of Detroit and./ or Wayne County to pay back property tax bills if they expercise right of first refusal on the 1400 occupied homes facing auction and then eviction starting next week. MSHDA which oversees the Hardest Hit Funds said they would submit this proposal for approval by Treasury. Join the demonstration Tuesday to demand the auction be stopped while we get this practical proposal to save 1400 families from eviction implemented.
SAVE DETROIT HOMES – REMOVE ALL OCCUPIED HOMES FROM THE TAX FORECLOSURE AUCTION THIS FALL
Use the City’s or County’s “Right to First Refusal” in Combination with the Hardest Hit Funds to Save Occupied Homes