Mother-to-be, to be

I was the first patient to arrive, but not the first person. The lights were on inside the dull concrete block building illuminating a receptionist, nurses, counselors and doctors as they set about their day. Those other cars were apparently for the protesters who positioned themselves along the road and beside the entrance, waiting for […]

It Takes A Flint To Start A Fire

  It takes something truly egregious to catalyze public action – we all now know the harm that was done and the toxic combination of neglect and manipulation that led to it. Will Flint be the tipping point?   Originally published by Occupy.com The violation of human rights in Michigan has been going on for […]

Policy ideas to fix Flint’s water crisis (and help avoid another)

Originally published by ModelD Gov. Rick Snyder has apologized for the inexcusable failures of leadership that led to the current situation in Flint, where tens of thousands of individuals, including children, have been poisoned, dismissed, neglected, and lied to. What’s clear at this stage is that great harm has been done to both people and […]

Port Ouvert

Before the media and the politicians got ahold of the collective fear consciousness following last week’s attacks in Paris, individuals reacted naturally in the most vulnerable yet most generous way possible– by opening their doors and homes to strangers seeking shelter from the violence outside. How did the spontaneous hosts know whether or not to trust […]

Taking Advantage of Detroit

Post-bankruptcy Detroit is a place of undeniable opportunity, and people from all walks of life are eager to make the most of it. Massive tax foreclosures led to a record 24,000 properties being up for auction this fall, pitting residents against speculators for the chance to buy a home on the cheap. Everyone is trying to take […]

Another One Bites the Dust

Discussion of the demolition of the Park Avenue Hotel, as published by Deadline Detroit “So devastating, but so controlled.” That was the eloquent observation of Uncle Nate, a homeless man and self-professed Detroit historian who summarized the demolition of the once-beautiful Italian Renaissance, Park Avenue Hotel Saturday morning. To him, the instantaneous obliteration of the […]

A Citizen’s Lament

Another newspaper has died in Detroit. Like so many others before it, The Michigan Citizen succumbed to the uncompromising economics of modern news, where corporations won’t pay for unflattering content and readers don’t pay for any. As print media wanes, electronic media flourishes. This tradeoff may appear to be more democratic – anyone can contribute to the […]

Blight Bungle

With a click of a button, over 6,000 Detroit properties were purchased Tuesday for just over $500 apiece. The bidding on this “blight bundle” marked the finale of an auction process whose outcome surprised local government which had scripted a much different ending. The properties were up for auction because of a Michigan state law that mandates […]