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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cushingberry Improves Neighborhoods by Approving NEZ Certificates

By the Friends of Cushingberry

       Councilmember  Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr. is committed to neighborhoods and, has approved NEZ Certificates for the following properties in Detroit.

July 2015.

# of Units
248 Mack Avenue
2658 Porter Street
3147 Woodward Ave
4335 Lakepointe
4119 and 4217 Aretha
4228 and 4240 Aretha
3926,3943,3955,4142 Aretha
11 units Woodward/Brush/Hendrie
81 Peterboro

What is a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone?

If you live in one of these areas, you may qualify for a tax abatement of up to %50 for 15 years. Since 2006, the City of Detroit began a program offering tax relief to specific geographic areas. Many residents have been interested in this program, but are unsure how to go about it. Here are some frequently asked questions:

1: Who is eligible?
If you purchased your home after January 1, 1997, it is your principal residence, and you have completed $500 of improvements to your home since its purchase, you are likely eligible for a tax cut. Two-family properties are also eligible if it is the owner's principal residence.

2: How much is the reduction?
The NEZ tax abatement adjusts the rate of the City and County operating mills by 50%.* this millage rate varies yearly - therefore the NEZ millage rate varies also. *Only the City and County operating mills are abated - all other homestead mills are applicable.

3: How long does the tax abatement last?
15 years.

4: How do I apply?                       
You must apply in person at the City Assessor's Office, which is located in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Two Woodward Avenue, Room 804, Detroit, MI 48226.

5: Is there a deadline:
Yes. If you want to see tax relief for the next year, you must apply between the dates of April 1 – October 1. For example, if you recently purchased your home, you can apply between April 1 and October 1 of the current year to be eligible for the upcoming tax year. You do not have to reapply every year.

6: What documentation do I need to bring?
You will need to bring your driver's license and property deed.

7: My mortgage company pays my taxes through my escrow account. Do I have to inform them of this change?
It is a wise idea to notify your mortgage company of this program, once you have been approved, to transition the change of escrow more smoothly. The first year, and every eligible year thereafter, they will receive four tax bills: one for the land and one for the house (improvements), each summer and winter. This is due to the land on which your house sits is not eligible for this program, just the house itself. Under normal conditions, they would only receive two tax bills: winter and summer. If your mortgage company understand these bills, it may help avoid further mistakes later on.

8: How will I know when my taxes have been reduced?
You can log into the City of Detroit Assessment Department's Online Property Tax Payment and Information System: (Click Here for the tax on your Property Tax  as Assessed - BSA Software)

There is no charge for this system as long as you set up an account and verify only your own property. Changes will be noted after the next tax billing cycle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Civil Asset Forfeiture Revenue and Marijuana Legalization by the Detroit Police Department

By Richard C. Clement

    In light of the recent raids on Medical Marijuana facilities in the City of Detroit this week, we asked Detroit Police Chief James Craig how much money does the Department make from Asset Forfeiture.  The Chief responded with a chart that shows over a 3 year period, the Department made $7.3 million dollars from taking assets under the Civil Forfeiture programs. The breakdown is as follows:

 $   451,542.05
 $   7,394.00
 $   410,168.87
 $           -  
 $   348,461.79
 $ 36,254.07
 $ 43,648.07

The figure shows that there needs to be a redirection of assets so that Marijuana based businesses and, the policy on Civil Asset forfeiture needs some serious re-direction of funds toward expenses like retiree pensions and healthcare.  This is a large amount of money to make from taking someone’s money and property for Marijuana possession and, never charging the person for the crime in a court of law.

People on the receiving end of this lose everything seized to the agency who made the initial contact if; the person does not contest the seizure in 10 days. After 10 days, the money or asset(s) that was taken from a home or person during a police raid is kept by the arresting agency and sold for profit. The raid on the facility at Puritan and Hubbell on July 14th, 2015 is a prime example of this type of asset forfeiture abuse by law enforcement.  On Puritan there are 7 churches that are within 3000 feet of the school.  City wide, there are numerous hair shops and churches that are across the street from each other.

This un-even enforcement of the Marijuana Laws creates an incentive for police agencies to conduct raids as a profit center for the Department instead of the protection of the citizens.

The only way this will stop is if you show up to vote and elect people who want to make this type of change.   You can also direct change through a ballot initiative that will take 2000 signatures from registered voters in the City of Detroit.  Or you can force change by signing the legalization petition hosted by to fully decriminalize and stop the War on Weed.  The revenue from legal Marijuana sales will make more money than the Water and Sewage system maintained by the Great Lakes Water Authority.

We have more people in new jails with no pot holes in their walls and, at the same time we have horrible roads, declining education opportunities and, retirees that have dwindling pension benefits. Participation in the MI Legalize  effort will address these problems.  We are expecting much better out of our elected leadership because, the War on Weed in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan is a complete failure and, a waste of law enforcement resources. 

Finally if the Detroit Branch and the Michigan State Conference of the NAACP can honor Kid Rock, then they are morally obligated to support decriminalization of Marijuana use because of the impact on the community especially citizens of color. 

Mr. Cushingberry is Demanding a Retraction from Rashida Tilab regarding the Comparison with Synargo and the Ambassador Bridge Settlement

By Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry is demanding an immediate apology and retraction from Rashida Tilab for accusing him of committing a Federal Crime like former City Councilmember Monica Conyers 

Mr. Cushingberry is extremely pissed off about Rashida’s public statement about the Council saying; “This Riverside (Park) deal is just like Synargo” and “I will expose the crime” comparing the Riverside Park project to the Synargo Scandal is deplorable and reprehensible. Councilmember Cushingberry Jr. and his colleagues are working very hard every day to insure the transparency of City Business to the people of Detroit.  

Rashida's childish comparison of Cushingberry to Monica Conyers with her allegations is something that she needs to address verbally and in writing at the next regular session of the full Detroit City Council including Sam Riddle. Mr. Cushingberry strongly states that there is nothing to hide regarding the business of the Ambassador Bridge, Maroun Family and, the City of Detroit.

On behalf of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, the Council and Mayor’s Office are looking at ways to save the City money by re-purposing the solid waste into fertilizer that will be sold at places like Home Depot and, Eastern Market for consumer use. This will be much better than the current process of burning the waste at the City incinerator and polluting the environment.

The Riverside Project will be a benefit to the City of Detroit by providing a new baseball/soccer park and reopening the Marina that was closed during the 9/11 days. The old Detroit News Warehouse and the railroad tracks will be removed by the Maroun family as a tradeoff for the Marouns building the second span next to their old span.  Mr. Cushingberry is a fan of Gordie Howe and supports a fair settlement with the Maroun family regarding the issue of a Government buyout of privately owned property.

When this happens, Ms. Rashida and her hate Maroun friends are more that welcome to; play in the new park and, participate in the construction of the Gordie Howe and New Ambassador Bridge once the financials are worked out.

We are demanding a retraction by Rashida Tilab esq.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Solutions to Water Operating Expenses and Rates - Public Meeting July 7 & 8 2015 - City Hall

by Richard Clement

DWSD Master Plan for Detroit
Meetings regarding Detroit's water rates will be held on July 8th and 9th at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on the 13th floor.   Time will be 2pm Wednesday and TBA on Thursday. While addressing the budget shortfall regarding the water rates, other alternatives and construction projects needed that will improve the public good will be discussed. Suggestions like turning liquid waste water into drinking water and creating fertilizer from solid waste products are some ideas that will offset the expenses of providing clean water. Cities in Michigan like Lansing Michigan has a sewer/rain water separation project that has cleaned up the environment. (Lansing Michigan CSO sewage separation project)

Examples are Cities like Milwaukee Wisconsin that create a  fertilizer project by the name of Milogranite (Wiki Definition)  that they sell at the local Home Depot,  and other hardware stores.

Cash from Sewer Waste: Milwaukee's Best! 

If we can have water filtration systems in the Space Station for Astronauts, we can use this same technology in Detroit.  There is a company in Israel that has a process of converting water from air (click here to see water from air).  Otherwise, they convert their liquid waste into water because they live in a desert that is not near a fresh water source like the Great Lakes. (click here to see water created from waste) The Great Lakes has 40% of the worlds fresh water and people in Texas and California would love to build a pipeline to Michigan to use it.

Water is an issue so much that the old Johnson Recreation Center in Detroit MI has to be rebuilt because of the 1950’s plumbing inside of it that cost the City of Detroit one million dollars a month to operate.

Therefore, If you want your voice to be heard, stay tuned to Council member Pro Tem Cushingberry, and the Detroit City Council for more information or watch City Council live stream on Demand (Click Here to watch City of Detroit TV)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Chief James Craig Answers Questions Regarding 2015/2016 Budget from Pro-Tem Cushingberry

by Richard Clement

DPD 2015/2016 Proposed Budget recommendations. 

Councilmember Cushingberry cares about the Detroit Police Department so much that he is closely watching operations. He wants to make sure that citizen concerns and needs are addressed, 

On June 3,2015, Mr. Cushingberry asked the following questions of Police Chief James Craig.

List of Questions

1. In light of neighborhood/community policing, what are the efforts to encourage police offices to live in the City of Detroit?
2. How much have collected in the last three years from the various forfeiture programs?
3. Please provide details relative to new efforts in Information Technology ?
4. What steps should be taken to request Federal and State funds for a Blight Task Force and Quality of life blight deterrence?

Summary of Answers by Chief James Craig

1. Officers are being encouraged to live in the City by coordinating with the Detroit Public and Charter schools to provide education to Officer’s families.
2. We have collected a total of $6,045,732.02 dollars with $1,210,172.71 from Federal and $43,648.07 from the State  of Michigan collections divisions.
3. We are collecting more information from new fingerprint machines and other data requiring that we upgrade to 450TB of storage. We are upgrading hardware with 100 new units that have the Microsoft System Center Configuration and Operation Manager.
4. The Office of Grant Management can assist with providing information on seeking grants for this cause

We hope that the answers provided by Chief Craig will further enhance the transparency that the Department and the Council wants and the public demands of their public servants.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thursday Night Funk at Paradise Valley Every Thursday in July of 2015.

Kick off Thursday Night Funk at Paradise Valley Every Thursday in July, 2015.
Paradise Valley 1426 Randolph Detroit MI 48226

by Richard Clement

Starting July 2nd with Bass Master Edward T-Money Green, Paradise Valley will be rocking with funk masters from the Parliament Mother-ship.

(Click Here to listen to T-Money Green Bring the Funk in Detroit's Paradise Valley)

Stars like Lonnie Motley, Mikey Adkins, BB Queen will be some of the entertainers that will provide a funk filled Thursday Evening from 6 to 8 pm.

Location for the Funk Event 1426 Randolph Detroit MI, 48226

So program your GPS units in your smartphone with this address to get right to the funk of it. Bring your own lawn chairs, and liquids to enjoy the evening and listen to some music before you go see the Tigers play baseball at Comerica Park.

Marijuana Policy at Mackinaw? A 2016 Ballot Question To The People

by The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Lansing Mayor Virg Benero
During the Mackinaw Policy Conference, a new effort to allow Michiganders the legal right to use Marijuana without arrest, prosecution, and discrimination was introduced.  The group MI Legalize ( is spearheading an effort to place this issue on the ballot in November 2016. This Marijuana legalization effort if adopted by the people will allow municipalities to regulate this industry with 20% of the profits going to the city or township the provisioning center is located in. The current Michigan Medical Marijuana Act will remain intact.

"Free The Weed for the Jobs We Need" -   Richard C. Clement

Michigan residents will have another chance to determine the direction of the management and regulation of the exploding Marijuana Industry. Michigan voters have the opportunity to force the reform of the current system by electing responsible leaders who will do the following:
  1. Getting a Picture of the Cardholder on the Medical Marijuana Card
  2. Removing all Marijuana Convictions from citizens who are incarcerated in the legal system
  3. Use the growing revenue to revitalize blighted properties in Detroit
  4. Eliminate the requirement of placing Medical Marijuana in the Trunk of your car
  5. Remove Marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act
  6. Pot profits for Potholes, School Funding, Retiree Pensions and lowering Co-Pays on Health Insurance with the Affordable Care Act.

Richard Clement and
Mrs. Jodie Emery
Wife of Marc Scott Emery
 A Canadian Citizen abused by
America's war on Weed.
Since the Ronald Regan revolution of the 1980, the prison population has quadrupled to 2.4 million people. Cost per prisoner ranges from $21,000 to $33,000 per year for each person within the US Prison population. 20% of State Prisoners and 51% of Federal prisoners are in jail for Drug Charges like possession of Marijuana. Compared to 4% of the prison population is composed of robbery and 1% for murder, this is a huge financial commitment to keep people locked up. Currently, the State of Michigan spends up to $2 billion dollars a year maintaining their Department of Corrections facilities. On a Federal level, prison costs are expected to rise to 30 percent of the Department of Justice's budget by the year 2020.

Davidson Freeway at Oakland Exit
The ballot proposal by the group MI Legalize will put a major dent and spur a massive redirection of funds used to prosecute people for Marijuana crimes. The breakdown of the revenue that will be generated by this effort will direct 40% of all profits for transportation, 40% to the school aid fund, and 20% to cities and townships where the business is located. By voting in 2016 citizens can elect State of Reps that will introduce legislation to repeal the law that required people to carry Marijuana in the trunk of their car like a weapon.  This one law is responsible for many arrests, and convictions of Michigan Citizens was endorsed by prosecutors and a few mis-guided Michigan State Senators who were “influenced” by Attorney General Bill Schuette and, the Michigan Sherriff’s Association.

Citizens can finally force the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs ( to place a picture on the Medical Marijuana card after 6 years of operating the program, calling an end to the legislative buffoonery when it comes to Information Technology. While other states like Arizona allow you to upload a passport like picture, Michigan officials are woefully lacking and intentionally slacking off to sabotage the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, one of Michigan’s only profit making programs in State Government.

If Marijuana is to become legal then, we want our citizens of all races, religions, spiritual beliefs, political or sexual preference, etc. to have an equal opportunity to participate in this industry.   Based on population as of 2014, Michigan has 80% more citizens at 9 million residents than Colorado has at 5 million residents. Therefore, Michigan will make more money than Colorado from the legalization of Marijuana. Schools, Roads, and Retirees will benefit because a City or County Government can fund pension programs and defray the cost of their healthcare by diverting the 20% of profits into the pension system.

This effort needs 302,400 signatures to be collected by circulators who are gathering signatures from REGISTERED voters.  If you are not registered to vote please do so ASAP.  If you are a felon or know a felon who is NOT inside of a correctional facility, please inform them that they are eligible to vote. This is the non-violent social change that Dr. Martin Luther King was advocating when he was alive and when people got beat up on a bridge to get the right to participate in their government.

For more information  about this legalization effort, please visit the website.

For a list of 2016 Presidential Candidates please visit this link: 

Source: - Good Stuff on the Internet