We make the NEWS
Detroit People's Platform Members and Supporters make news fighting for democracy and justice in Majority Black Detroit.
(This is not a comprehensive list)
Deadline Detroit, October 10, 2021- Property Values Over Public Health? Duggan Told Neighbor Of Toxic Detroit Jeep Plant He'd Thank Him Later "In April, Beniteau resident Robert Shobe told Duggan about the residents' predicament, asking for the mayor’s help in developing a quicker means of communication with residents in the case of a spike in emissions rather than "us hearing their alarms and bells going off and we have no idea what’s going on." Duggan told Shobe not to worry. “You may not be happy with me yet, but I am gonna predict that the property values on Beniteau are going to rise about as fast as any in this city, certainly what we’ve done already has been remarkable but we are also going to target going into the abandoned houses and fixing them up,” Duggan said. “I think it is going to significantly raise the value on the block and I think you’re going to get the chance to get out of there."
Deadline Detroit, October 8 2021 - Strong Odors: Detroit's Jeep Plant Has Until Monday To Address State Violations "The automaker assembling and painting Grand Cherokees on Detroit's east side is slapped with state environmental violations for "persistent and objectionable paint/solvent odors" affecting nearby residents. Stellantis was cited last month by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) after three visits by Air Quality Division inspectors in late August and September."
- WDIV 4 Detroit, October 7, 2021 -Residents complain of foul, caustic odors from Detroit Stellantis plant “It’s a burning in my throat,” said Victoria Thomas. “It’s like a chemical burn.” Thomas said her throat hurt so much, she called the assembly plant Thursday. She said the fumes from the plant actually hurt her throat and eyes. The new plant makes Jeep Grand Cherokees and employs thousands of people. It’s such a key part of economic development for the city that Mayor Mike Duggan gave his 2021 State of the City address inside the plant.
- Detroit Free Press, October 7, 2021 - What stinks? Stellantis plant neighbors concerned about odors as state issues notice "When Robert Shobe was asked to describe the smell he said comes from the Jeep assembly plant near his house on Detroit’s east side, the word he used was “metallic.” It’s as much a feeling as a pure smell. He said neighbors describe the sense of having metal in their mouths. Shobe, however, said he has other worries, too. “I’m afraid of what we don’t smell,” said the 59-year-old, whose house and yard are separated from the Detroit Assembly Complex — Mack plant’s paint shop by a concrete wall. Shobe, who said he suffers from chronic back issues and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said he generally avoids going outside at certain times and only cuts his grass on days when he knows odor is not going to be a problem, which is tough since he guessed the odor, often compared to that of paint, is there most of the time.
M Live October 7, 2021 - Detroit Jeep assembly plant odors prompt complaints, citation “We’ve been smelling things and we’ve had people around here going to the hospital, children going to the hospital for asthma, breathing attacks, coughing attacks, tightness of the chest,” said Robert Shobe, who lives on Beniteau Street. A group called Justice for Beniteau Residents has been encouraging neighbors to call the state’s pollution alert hotline (1-800-292-4706) when they smell odors.
- The MetroTimes, October 6, 2021 - Why Detroit needs democracy "In a nutshell, political and economic leaders have been pounding democracy to dust in Detroit for years. As Campbell puts it: “They have devised ways, through fear, intimidation, and intentional disinformation, to destroy our ability to stand up and have a voice about how our city is governed. We ain't taking that.” Behind each of these episodes is a common belief: that ordinary people must have their lives planned by their superiors, people who know better. Reverend Roslyn Bouier puts it this way: “When you make decisions for me, that's not my democracy. That's just for you.” This isn’t abstract. An overwhelming body of evidence supports the idea that the characters in Detroit’s comeback story are significantly whiter and wealthier than the city itself."
- WDET, October 6, 2021 - As DDOT Cuts Service, Bus Riders and Drivers Worry About the Coming Winter “We are already experiencing a lack of adequate service to begin with,” transit organizer Renard Monczunski told City Council in September. ”What is inexplicable is that we have a lot of federal money coming in from the American Rescue Plan, and we don’t have a plan on how the department is going to use this money to enhance the department, and yet we’re hearing cuts.”
Fox 2 Detroit, October 5, 2021 - Residents complain of Stellantis Jeep plant's chemical odors on Detroit's east side "We've been smelling things and we've had people around here going to the hospital, children going to the hospital for asthma, breathing attacks, coughing attacks, tightness of the chest," Shobe said. "You know the smell and the fumes from the paint," said Lonnie Carter. "One day we had a Beniteau meeting down here - actually last Friday. And during the time we had the meeting, you could smell the paint, it smelled bleachy, and my eyes were burning. And I didn't know where it was coming from, then I figured out it was coming from the plant." Residents like Carter and Shobe claim the city has been ignoring their complaints about the plant."
- Planet Detroit, September 28, 2021 - Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance promised residents a voice in redevelopment projects. Many say their concerns remain unheard. "Despite the commitment to lowering VOC emissions and helping to improve the quality of life of area residents, the newly expanded plant recently received an air quality violation from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Within Detroit People’s Platform’s report about the Community Benefits Ordinance, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib notes that being holistic in the agreement process also counters the jobs-centered messages of proponents of subsidizing development. “Jobs don’t fix cancer,” she said. “When we talk about community benefits, we think they should wrap around other issues: environmental justice, housing, and so many other things.”
The Detroit News, Sept 20, 2021 - EGLE hits new Jeep plant in Detroit with odors violation "Beniteau Street residents like Robert Shobe, 59, whose backyard now backs up to the plant's site and faces the new paint shop, however, say the company isn't living up to its commitments. He was one neighbor who complained to the EGLE. "It's burning eyes, a cough," Shobe said he feels when he is outside. "My nose burns. It has been bad enough to send me to the bathroom. It's like we're throw-away people. This is a new cancer, asthma, COVID alley. They need to do something to make sure people can live safely."
- The Detroit News, Sept. 9, 2021 - Some residents living in shadow of new Jeep Detroit plant aren't happy. Here's why "Nearly 4,000 people in a week signed a petition Shobe started with the help of the Detroit People's Platform and racial justice nonprofit Color of Change. It calls upon the automaker to do more for community members, saying the project, which includes the $900 million forthcoming updates to the adjacent Jefferson North Assembly Plant, received hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local incentives."
- The Detroit News, Sept 8, 2021 - DETROIT DDOT to drop, shorten some bus routes this fall "But Renard Monczunski, a member of the transit justice team for the Detroit People's Platform, said eliminating the routes that have existed for decades will be detrimental. “We are already experiencing lack of adequate service to begin with and what is inexplicable is that we have a lot of federal money coming in from the American Rescue Plan and we don’t have a plan on how the department is going to use this money to enhance the department and yet we’re hearing cuts,” Monczunski told the Detroit City Council during Tuesday's formal session."
- Bridge Magazine - August 5, 2021 - Billions coming to Michigan cities, bringing tough questions about priorities "Neighborhood investment was sought by the Detroit People’s Platform, an organization that fights to “protect, maintain and empower majority Black Detroit” such as recreation centers, parks, libraries and broadband. “There's a lot of people that've been left behind before the pandemic, and we're asking for … a demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion in prioritizing the needs of investments,” said Renard Monczunski, the transit justice organizer with the group.
- The Detroit News - July 13, 2021 - Detroit's transit for riders with disabilities under fire. Some say they've been left at wrong spots "Renard Monczunski, a member of the Transit Justice Team from the Detroit People's Platform, has advocated for use of federal American Rescue Plan funding to purchase new accessible vehicles while re-establishing oversight under DDOT to ensure more accountability. "Especially in one of the country's majority Black cities, paratransit is not adequately working for our communities and the people being impacted are seniors and disabled individuals," he said.
- Detroit Free Press - June 28, 2021 - Detroit is getting $426 million. Here's where Detroiters say that money should go."Detroiters also brought up housing affordability. “If we're talking about transforming the city, we start with giving people a decent quality, accessible and affordable place to live," said Linda Campbell, with the Detroit People’s Platform, during a virtual June 21 meeting with City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield."
- NATIONAL: Grist June 17, 2021 - Detroit’s first new assembly line in 30 years will compound pollution in Black neighborhoods “We’ve bailed out FCA multiple times” an organizer for the advocacy group Detroit People’s Platform and a resident in the neighborhood surrounding the assembly complex, told Grist. “And here we are on the eastside of Detroit, giving them another almost half-a-billion dollars for a plant that is in the middle of a high-poverty, high-asthma, 90 percent-Black neighborhood.”
- Planet Detroit, June 17 2021 - A tale of two census tracts: Why do people live longer in West Bloomfield than on Detroit’s east side? "In late April, Shobe took his concerns over pollution and property value to a virtual neighborhood meeting hosted by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and asked for the city to buy out Beniteau residents who now had FCA as a next-door neighbor. The mayor did not share Shobe’s concerns: “What we’ve done already has been remarkable,” Duggan told Shobe. “When you one day sell the house for a good price just send me a note to say that I wasn’t so bad.”
- The Detroit News June 3, 2021 - Protesters crash Stellantis' $1M environment initiative announcement "Roughly a dozen residents of Beniteau Street and demonstrators with the Detroit People's Platform carried signs and chanting "Beniteau can't breathe" during the morning news conference that included the planting of a disease-free elm. They alleged environmental racism by Stellantis and called for greater action to be taken with respect to pollution from the plant and assistance for home repairs."
- Fox 2 Detroit (Video) June 3, 2021 - Activists bristle over Stellantis green initiative at Detroit Assembly Complex "But activists from the Detroit People's Platform believe the automaker's initiative doesn't go far enough and that emissions from the plant are making residents sick. "This is an asthma neighborhood," said Robert Shobe, activist."I have COPD myself." This community activist says the company's green initiative is nothing more than a bandage on a big problem. "You are about to dump pollutants and different things that you would not put in another area if you had affluent people - people with a few dollars," said Shobe."
- Op-Ed: Detroit MetroTimes May 25, 2021 - Majority Black Detroit left behind as economic recovery benefits white and wealthy "For years, local advocates have warned that Detroit’s celebrated recovery and economic comeback were misguided, concluding that the beneficiary of these economic gains was largely white and wealthier, leaving the majority of Black Detroiters behind. A recent report published by Detroit Future City (DFC), "The State of Economic Equity in Detroit," seems to bear this out."
- Planet Detroit, May 20 2021 - COVID-19 brings renewed urgency to the fight over Detroit’s air quality "The total community benefits associated with the Stellantis expansion have been reported at $35.2 million, although millions of those dollars came from the city and state, including $5.4 million from the city to demolish 300 homes and $5.8 from the state to “maximize employment opportunities for Detroit residents.” The Detroit People’s Platform said that the total benefits amount to $34.7 and Stellantis is only investing $8.8 million of its own money."