Tag Archives: Detroit Water

Children’s March to Stop Water Shutoffs

Urgent Call to Action:
Rally at Wayne State University Student Center on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 5PM  

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Photo: Fuzzytek. June 21, 2015

We need you to reach out  to mobilize families with children in your circles, youth leaders, children and youth activities to compel them to represent a moral voice to stop water shut offs for the most vulnerable people in Detroit. Three quarters of the children in Detroit are living below 150% of the federal poverty level ($35,775 for a family of four). Exposing children to an opportunity to care about other children is a way to nurture their humanity by caring for other children in need. Please make the sacrifice of time to personally compel  people to join in and wage love… 

Facebook event link – https://www.facebook.com/events/209562162771029/

“Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.”
– Pope Francis, Laudato Si

The Allied Media Conference has agreed to support our cause by spreading the word nationwide about Mayor Duggan’s refusal to accept the warnings that massive water shut offs are a threat to public health and  an assault, punishing vulnerable people who cannot afford the current payment rates and policies. There is not a reasonable process in place for evaluating shut offs for vulnerable populations such as elderly, pregnant women, persons with serious medical conditions or chronic health challenges, young children in the home, or landlord tenant discrepancies. This is unreasonable and unacceptable. Like Flint we have been persistent as advocates, now we have decided to lift up the children’s voices to call out to the Mayor in front of the nation. Continue reading Children’s March to Stop Water Shutoffs

Detroit Water is Leased to GLWA

Municipal leaders from three counties of southeast Michigan agreed to allow Detroit to lease its water system to the newly formed GLWA – Great Lakes Water Authority.

For years the surrounding counties – Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb – have been buying their water from the city. They’ve long complained they didn’t get enough say over their rates or big decisions about the system.

This deal will, at least in theory, give suburbanites more direct power over the system, and (they hope) lower rates in the long run.

In exchange, the authority will pay Detroit $50 million a year in lease payments.

And it will set up a $4.5 million regional water assistance fund for low-income customers behind on their bills.1)Detroit, suburbs reach water deal, Michigan Public Radio, June 12, 2015

Continue reading Detroit Water is Leased to GLWA

References   [ + ]

1. Detroit, suburbs reach water deal, Michigan Public Radio, June 12, 2015

Consumer Experiences Are Growing More Remote

The Detroit area is seen by some as a bellweather for a number of conditions. Shopping malls sprouted up in upwardly mobile suburban destinations pulling consumers to experience “a day shopping at the mall”. They have been a common destination around the holidays for buying presents for everyone on your list.

However there’s been a remarkable shift in our buying habits. Online shopping has become more common place. As the internet bounced to life in the 1990’s consumers were extremely wary of putting their information online. Many cautiously created pseudonyms and kept our financial transactions offline. During the 2000’s confidence grew. People were finding jobs online (for example through Monster) and realizing if they practice some simple security and held online vendors to account. In roughly 20 years since the birth of the graphic internet the amount of online sales escalates daily and “offline” shopping experiences are fading as a result. Amazon reported $243.8 million in daily sales in 2014. 1)Marketwatch, annual financials for Amazon

Dead and Dying Shopping Malls

A handful of metro Detroit’s dying malls were demolished in the past decade and redeveloped into open-air big box retail centers, such as the former Livonia Mall, the Universal Mall in Warren and Wonderland Mall in Livonia.2)Detroit Free Press, Aug 5, 2014 – “Metro Detroit malls that once thrived now fight to survive”

Summit Place Mall

Dave Hills, Waterford building inspector, left, places a condemnation sign on one of the eastern main entrances of the Summit Place Mall as John Phebus, Waterford Regional Fire Dept. lieutenant inspector, looks on. 1/5/15 Photo by Carol Hopkins, The Oakland Press

Summit Place Mall in Pontiac now has a condemned notice posted. The mall spans nearly 2 million square feet at the intersection of Telegraph and Elizabeth Lake Roads. 3)Oakland Press, Jan 6, 2015 – “Condemned: Waterford officials post notices on Summit Place Mall”

Northland Center Mall

Macy’s is one of those “anchor” stores that malls seek out… however the retailer is making the shift away from brick-and-mortar to embrace online sales. 4)Huffington Post, Jan 9, 2015 – “Here’s A List Of All The Macy’s Stores That Are Closing In 2015”170 sales associates at Northland Center Mall are seeking work now as the store prepares to close next month. Another anchor store, Target, closed earlier this month.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Wendy Potts said she saw few alternatives to closing the shopping landmark, as the mall is losing nearly $250,000 a month and will lack any anchor stores once Macy’s leaves

Northland’s court-appointed receiver will soon begin issuing 30-day eviction notices to the remaining 70 or so stores.

Northland Mall was deemed in receivership today and its tenant stores notified they would be forced to close. There are three potential parties interested in the mall, including the City of Southfield.

Northland Center opened in 1954 and was expanded and enclosed in the early 1970s.

After years of decline, the mall fell into receivership last fall after defaulting on a $31-million loan.

The property has been owned since late 2008 by a subsidiary of New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition, which also owns Eastland Center mall.

It would take an estimated $6 million or more to restore Northland to a “functioning shopping mall” due to the extent of the building’s deterioration. The mall also has $3 million in unpaid bills, including $700,000 in overdue water bills. 5)Detroit Free Press, Feb. 25, 2015 – “Judge approves plan to close Northland Center mall”

#DetroitWater – Corporate vs Residential

Detroit residents face the very real possibility of having the water on their homes shutoff if their balance is $150 or more for more than 2 months. Upwards of 300,000 Detroit residents have had their water shutoff since the aggressive shutoff contract with Homerich was approved. This contract was brought before the Detroit Bankruptcy court proceedings and Judge Rhodes ruled it as a fair and legal process by the City of Detroit.

However the same manner of treatment for corporate customers doesn’t exist. Northland Mall hasn’t had a day when the water was shutoff for non-payment of the outstanding water bill now at $700,000, which isn’t likely to be collected.

References   [ + ]

1. Marketwatch, annual financials for Amazon
2. Detroit Free Press, Aug 5, 2014 – “Metro Detroit malls that once thrived now fight to survive”
3. Oakland Press, Jan 6, 2015 – “Condemned: Waterford officials post notices on Summit Place Mall”
4. Huffington Post, Jan 9, 2015 – “Here’s A List Of All The Macy’s Stores That Are Closing In 2015”
5. Detroit Free Press, Feb. 25, 2015 – “Judge approves plan to close Northland Center mall”