detroit

The Ongoing Debate Over Detroit’s Water Cutoff

Rebekah Frank

At this point it is important to restate a piece of UN Resolution 64/292 where it acknowledges “the importance of equitable access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as an integral component of the realization of all human rights.” This makes clear that, in the case of Detroit, not only is the denial of access of drinking water to thousands of impoverished people a violation of the human right to water, but also the lack of equity within that limited access is a violation. 

The Rise of the ‘Good Food’ Movement

Khalil Abdullah

One fiscal argument for augmenting local food networks is to reduce the tremendous costs that fuel and labor add to shipping produce from distant sites, whether in urban areas like Detroit or rural regions of the country such as Alaska. “In some of our isolated villages in Alaska, families are having to choose between the price of heating oil and food,” reported Dave Monture, technical assistance specialist for the Intertribal Agriculture Council. He said the cost of milk in some areas has risen to $20 a gallon. 

Are School Closures Discriminatory?

Julianne Hing

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, schools are still both separate and unequal. Community and civil rights groups say they’ve identified a key force that’s aggravated the inequity: school closures. On May 14, on the same week the nation recognized the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark school desegregation ruling, the civil rights group Advancement Project and the national community group network Journey for Justice Alliance filed three federal complaints with the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice.

Bringing Broadband to Detroit

David Alexander Bullock

Detroit is a city that is very familiar with poverty, especially in its low-income and minority communities. Among other financial ills, the city is suffering from a rapidly shrinking tax base as people flee the city to go to other cities where more job opportunities are present. But Detroit has an opportunity to turn its situation around by embracing technology and reinventing itself as the “Technology Hub of the Midwest.” Detroit needs to position itself as the place where technology meets the future economy. 

The Cult of Urban Terrorism in Detroit

Breanna Edwards

Chief Craig's phrasing describes what has been plaguing black communities for decades—"urban terrorism," an almost poetic term that only partly captures the violence, tragedy and fear that grips Detroit. As the world steels itself against threats of global terrorism, the shooting in Detroit is emblematic of the concern and fear that those in the inner city experience daily. “It don’t make sense for people to be losing their lives daily,” Charzell Shields, the daughter of Joezell Williams, told the Free Press.

 

Michigan Courts Fail to Provide Competent Representation for the Poor

Kat Aaron

More than 12 million people were arrested in America in 2011. Most of them were charged with a crime and many were poor, qualifying for a public defender. The American Council of Chief Defenders suggests that each public defender handle no more than 400 misdemeanors or 150 felonies per year; many carry caseloads two to three times those guidelines, and some much more than that. There are simply far, far more poor people needing lawyers than there are public lawyers to represent them. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright, adequate counsel for poor Americans is far from guaranteed.

In the Shadow of Detroit’s Bankruptcy, the City’s Private Sector Prospers

Alexander Ostrovsky

Opponents of the new downtown development argue that funding a private stadium for the Detroit Red Wings with public money that would otherwise go to the public school system is ludicrous, especially when local schools are so far below national averages across all metrics for educational systems. Dan Rather, in a special documentary report from last year called the Detroit Public School system “a disgrace,” and went further by saying that the district is plagued by “below average graduation rates, historically low standardized test scores, rapidly declining enrollment and a deficit that has grown from $200 million to $327 million since the state took over the district two years ago.”

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