On the east side of Detroit, Fiat Chrysler, a global player worth billions, is disrespecting the people next to their new assembly and paint lines. The community next to the plant is majority black and less than half of the residents live above the poverty line.
The area has nearly double the asthma hospitalization rates as the rest of the state. Fiat Chrysler have have applied for up to $400 Million in public funds and only put $8.8 Million of their own money back into community. Fiat Chrysler have refused to meet with residents who are concerned about or critical of the project and its health and environmental impacts.
The majority of elected officials have supported Fiat Chrysler and the project, dismissing and ignoring the needs and wants of the most impacted, their constituents. Read more of Robert's Story on Blavity "As A Resident of Beniteau, Detroit, I Believe It’s Time For Fiat Chrysler To Stop Profiting From Environmental Racism"
Detroit People’s Platform supports the hard work of the Just Beniteau Residents. The group has been meeting frequently since last year to address their unanswered concerns and demands around the public funded Fiat Chrysler expansion.
Many of the residents in the group have lived there since the 1960s. Some are third generation residents. Some have lived there their whole life. They all have a real love for their homes and incredible love for their community. They have been disrespected and dismissed by Mayor Duggan and Fiat Chrysler.
On January 30, 2020 residents presented these demands through public comment at a meeting hosted by the Legislative Policy Division(LPD) on amendments to the Community Benefits Ordinance.
‘Just Beniteau Residents’ Statement and Demands, January 28, 2020
The Just Beniteau Residents group represents the majority of people who live on our street. We believe that Beniteau Residents have been violated by the City and Fiat Chrysler through the Community Benefits process.
The Neighborhood Advisory Council did not represent us or respond to our needs. To many of us they seemed to just take what was offered and said it was what we wanted. No one seems to know how they decided on $15,000 a house.
The projects impact on our health and quality of life were not given priority. Even though the city has, and had at the time, a program for Southwest Detroit to fix up homes to make them safe to live in, none of this information was presented to us.
It’s worse than they said it would be and getting even worse every day. Our foundations are being further damaged by the vibrations from construction and increased truck traffic. Windows that were solid before construction are now damaged and won’t seal. The dust is horrible and all this before the new paint plant is putting out increased pollution. It’s bad and these are the things we want to make this right:
We need More Money for Repair or Relocation. $15,000 is not enough to make the repairs to our homes that are needed to make them safe. We want our foundations repaired, new roofs and windows, central air and furnaces, all certified for air quality. There are a few who would consider relocation, if provided enough money to do so successfully, but the great majority of us want to stay.
We want the program expanded to reflect number of units in multifamily buildings. There are multi-family structures, duplexes, on the street and we want resources for repairs in each unit.
We want to be treated with respect. In the past, people in our area have been bought out and relocated respectfully. We have not been heard and the city and FCA have disrespected us by disregarding our legitimate concerns, saying their hands are tied while giving more tax incentives to Chrysler and others.
We want the city and FCA to Fix Beniteau First! Before this flawed home repair program is opened up to the residents in the rest of the impact area the residents on Beniteau need this to be fixed and made right by the city and Fiat Chrysler.
For Beniteau residents this process has been nothing but legal trickery used by people who think we can be walked over and dismissed. The Fiat Chrysler Community Benefits not benefiting in any way. Just Beniteau Residents demand that Detroit City Council work to change this for us and to stop this from happening to other Detroiters.
FOR MORE CONTEXT:
- FCA is getting over $400 Million in public tax investments (State and Local) to build the expansion (our money!)
- FCA and the City have treated the neighbors disrespectfully, not offering enough money to make their homes safe to live in or relocate anyone, as the plant walls expand to their doorsteps.
- FCA has already caused damage to many homes during construction and created unsafe air quality, making people sick.
- FCA admits there will be more pollution with the expansion but submitted an environmental plan the State of Michigan says ‘Fall Short,’ and is ‘Not Acceptable’ https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2020/01/28/michigan-says-fiat-chrysler-fca-mack-assembly-detroit-plant-air-quality-environment-plan-lacking/4597664002/