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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods With Our Unions! AFL-CIO Apprentice Programs Bring Hope to Detroit

By  Richard Clement - Friends of Cushingberry

"There is nothing better for poverty than a good paying job" 
              - Mayor Coleman A. Young

Taking back our neighborhood one home at a time with the help of our friends in the AFL-CIO has been put into an action plan in the City of Detroit. Decades of disinvestment and foreclosures have devastated Detroit’s neighborhoods. Thousands of vacant homes need extensive repair. The widespread blight and abandonment results in extremely low appraisal values making it difficult for potential homeowners to obtain financing for a home. We appreciate the assistance from David A. Eubanks Assistant Investment Officer with the Housing Investment Trust Division of the AFL-CIO (Website . Together with Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry a plan was developed for the District for homes that can be saved and restored.

To stabilize the neighborhoods, the AFL-CIO has developed a strategy to identify homes that can be saved. 

  1. Repairing multiple homes concurrently
  2. Use skilled and approved union contractors
  3. Attract private capital 
  4. Target blocks and tracts of land within a neighborhood
  5. Guarantee the work and,
  6. Employ Local residents

(2013) 18220 Ohio  48221 - Before HIT
Council member Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr. and AFL-CIO leadership has identified areas in the district as a pilot so that union labor and their apprentice programs will create a job for anyone who wants one. Creating home ownership opportunities involves creating a structure so that homeowners can afford to stay in the homes. Jobs to maintain a quality of life are a priority and each one can teach one until an entire community is rebuilt for a legacy to leave behind for future generations to grow from.

(2016) 18220 Ohio 48221 - After HIT
To address the long term growth of the region, Union members are giving back to the neighborhoods through construction apprenticeship programs. With the help of the HIT program the following list of homes have been rehabilitated to be sold to families who are interested in neighborhood growth and home ownership.   Millennials who are actively working jobs and doing public service in the region are strongly encouraged to purchase a home.  If you work in the tri-county area and, are interested in establishing a foundation for home ownership are also strongly encourage to participate.

A list of the HIT property in progress in the Bagley district are as follows
17545 Plainview 48219 - North Rosedale Park
17547 Mendota 48221 - Bagley
18220 Ohio 48221 List Price $105,000 - Bagley

By partnering with financial institutions like Southwest Lending Solutions (Website: ) first time millenial homeowners will be given the opportunity to start a future and establish a good credit history and equity. By the end of 2016, we look forward to rehabilitating 11 homes in the City.  The goal is to provide 25 families with a place to live by December 2017.  With an investment of $1.7 million dollars of HIT funds, the City of Detroit will have another path built on the way to prosperity again.

For more information please contact our office.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Judicial Marijuana Reform in 2016 - Voting From the Back of the Ballot and Response to Mr. Blackmon

By Richard C. Clement

Our office received some disturbing email from a Winfred Blackmon regarding who to vote for Judge in the November 8th, 2016 election.  Your vote for a Judge is very crucial to you and your community. For instance If you get arrested for weed, you will see a Judge before you will see the President.  If a law is passed, a Supreme Court Judge could nullify that law with the stroke of a pen. 

The same “Citizens groups and Concerned Pastors” who desire a Donald Trump Presidency are the same people who want to shut down the Marijuana industry in Detroit and Michigan.  They are a front group for some owners and others who want to corner the market and drive others out of business. They are an embarrassment to education because, they don’t read and, they are adhering to the racist dogma of the late Harry Anslinger.  He hated African Americans so much, that he took his hate and combined dislike of Marijuana into a deadly combination of lengthy jail sentences. Now that Trump is showing his true colors these groups are worried about the judicial races.

The organizations that are trashing Supreme Court Candidates Deborah Thomas and Frank Symanski want you to re-elect the appointees of Governor Snyder who have perpetuated the situation in Flint. By denying the citizens the right to sue for damages, the criminal conduct of a few State Employees gets approved by the courts.   The same group does not support reform of Marijuana laws and supports the privatized prisons that keep people locked up to drive up stock values.

We say Vote for Judges First!
The choice of Judge is very important to you because a Judge can control your life, take your assets, put you in Jail, keep you out of Jail, and make the rules. We cannot let people invoke their religious beliefs into law, without regard of an individual’s First Amendment right of Freedom to practice or abstain from religion. It is against federal law to use religion in zoning regulations which means that this part of the Detroit City Ordinance was declared unconstitutional by US District Court Judge Avery Cohen. This ruling included the abusive and broad interpretation of the Drug Free Zone and Marijuana Compassion Centers.  The process that Council-member James Tate started with Ordinance #61 will have to start all over again. This time, the Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Laws can design a fair and equitable ordinance that will allow equal opportunity for all who want to partake in the growing Marijuana industry.

On or before November 8th, vote for Deborah Thomas and Frank Symanski for Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Women were punched out on a Bridge in Selma Alabama so that you could vote AND your vote would count. Don’t let them down! 

Fill in the blanks by voting for Deborah and Frank!  Michigan Supreme Court.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Detroit NEZ Tax Credit Extended To December 9th, 2016 - Neighborhood Enterprise Zone No Excuses!

Detroit at $750 an Impervious Acre, How to Figure Out Your Monthly Water Rate

By Richard C. Clement

Debugging the new water rates in the City of Detroit takes a definition of what Impervious Surfaces are. Wikipedia defines it as:
“Impervious surfaces are areas of the earth that have been covered by any material that impedes the infiltration of water into the soil. Areas of land covered by pavement or buildings are impervious to rain water. Concrete, asphalt, rooftops and even severely compacted areas of soil are considered impervious.”
Lake St. Clair
Unlocking the mystery of how much my new monthly water bill is can be solved by clicking this website link  to access the City of Detroit Website article under impervious acers.  When you get there, enter your property address.  When your property is found, wait 10 seconds and double click on the picture inside the property line..  To calculate your new monthly water rate, multiply the impervious surface acre percentage times $750. The answer will equal you monthly rate.  If you are disputing the calculated amount, then you are encouraged to click here to fill out your drainage survey form and send it in to DWSD.

Eventually. a large combined sewer separation project will have to be undertaken like other cities have done in Michigan (Lansing Michigan Combined Sewer Separation Project) because of climate change in our world.

We hope this helps clear the confusion on the new rates.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mary Mcleod Bethune School in Detroit Needs Help from Education Warriors Immediately

By Richard C. Clement  - Friends of George Cushingberry

Mary Mcleod Bethune
Your help is needed in the matter of the Children of the Mary Mcleod Bethune School at 8145 Puritan Detroit, MI 48221 regarding the use of playground equipment. The school has a new principal that was made aware of being a recipient of the new playscape with no lead warning.  

The project has a very tight deadline of September 29th through September 30th. The teaching staff is acclimating itself to the new school year and they need you the public to assist them in their endeavors.
  • In need of partners who can help finance this project. Ware required to raise $8,500 in 7 days. This does not include funds needed for many of the materials.
  • In need of partners who could volunteer on a weekday to assist in providing at least 80 volunteers.
  • In need of a media partner who is willing to facilitate getting the message to people in other communities.
  • See below for a detailed list of needs.

For more information please contact:
Yvonne Rucker
Executive Director/Founder
Turning dreams into ride at a time!
"LIKE" us on Facebook
Donate: paypal

This is a partial list of items
Food Responsibilities
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 30 adult volunteers on Prep Day 1
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 15 adult volunteers on Prep Day 2
·         Secure breakfast, lunch and beverages for 250 adult volunteers + children on Build Day
o    Include vegetarian options
o    Consider additional “kid friendly” food for children on site
·         Secure water for all volunteers during Build Week
o    Estimate about (5) 12 ounce bottles of water per person per day
·         Identify an appropriate space to set up food for Build Week
·         Develop plan and secure supplies needed for serving food
o    Paper goods and utensils
o    Heating units, refrigeration/coolers, access to power, etc.
o    Ice
Recruit 5-7 volunteers (separate from Build Day volunteers) to help cook, serve and distribute food and water
Recruitment Responsibilities
·         Secure volunteers for general construction on Build Day (rain or shine!)
o     50-75 from Target
o     125 from Bethune Elementary-Middle School  and local community
·         Secure 25-30 volunteers to assist with site prep on PD1
·         Confirm a stand-by crew of 10-15 volunteers for PD2
·         Secure 15-20 Team Leaders for leadership on Build Day
o    No experience necessary
o    Team Leaders must attend a 1 hour orientation prior to Build Day
·         Secure 3-5 volunteers to staff the registration table
o    Registration volunteers must attend a 30 minute training prior to Build Day
·         Secure music and microphone for Build Day
o    Music all day (radio station, DJ or stereo system)
o    Microphone and speakers that will amplify sound throughout the site
·         Identify a photographer and/or videographer to take images before, during and after the build
·         Identify a space for the Registration Area on Build Day
·         Communicate important information to volunteers prior to Build Week
o    Work with the Logistics team to provide parking information
o   When to arrive, what to wear/bring
Public Relations Responsibilities

·         Work with project partners to make sure the community is fully aware of the playground project
·         Attend a separate conference call with KaBOOM! communications representative to go over Build Day media
o    Develop a plan for press releases and media invites
o    VIP invitations
·         Work with project partners to develop an opening and closing ceremony for Build Day (facilitated by KaBOOM!)
o    Someone from each partner to speak at the kick off and ribbon cutting ceremonies
o    Produce a ribbon and scissors for the ribbon cutting ceremony
·         Thank you banners
o    One banner to thank  Target
o    One sign to thank all other project supporters
Fundraising Responsibilities

·         Fundraise $8500 for community contribution, due 30 days before Build Day, [8/31/16]
·         Set goals for follow up projects/days
Consider developing a maintenance fund for the long term care and upkeep of the playground

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Firefighters Fight Cancer with Weed Proceeds from Proposed New Laws

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Starting September 22, 2016, firefighters in Michigan will benefit from Marijuana Revenue when 30% of all sale proceeds are earmarked for the Firefighter Presumption of Cancer and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. Marijuana advocates cheered this part of House Bill 4209 of 2015 because it is similar to the fight to remove all criminal penalties from the books for the plant. This is another example of how the plant can return a benefit to the community and save lives at the same time. When a firefighter with 5 years of experience files this application, it will suspend the employee’s workers' compensation claim against his or her employer.
The employer will file a counter claim against the applicant based on the following:
The statutory presumption may be rebutted by scientific evidence that the person was a substantial and consistent user of cigarettes or other tobacco products within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of injury, and that this use was a significant factor in the cause, aggravation, or progression of the cancer.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may not implement the Fund until funded. Thus no activity on any submitted application may take place until that date. Any application received prior to that date will be logged in by date and time when received by our office. 

If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912. The submission of an application does not guarantee the right to benefits under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.

In order to submit an application the first responder must:
  • Be a member of a fully paid fire department or public fire authority and be compensated on a full-time basis,
  • Be in active service of the department or authority for at least 60 months,
  • Be diagnosed with any respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate, or lymphatic cancer,
  • Be employed in the active service of the department or authority at the time the cancer manifests itself, and be exposed to the hazards incidental to fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services in the performance of his or her work-related duties,
  • First apply for and do all things necessary to qualify for any pension benefits to which he or she may be entitled.
The application must be submitted via U.S. Mail attention: 
State of Michigan / Workers’ Compensation Agency
First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund,
P. O. Box 30016
Lansing, MI 48909.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Firefighters and Sheriffs in Michigan Benefit from Legal Marijuana Sales with Proposed New Legislation

By Richard C. Clement - Friends of Cushingberry

"Legislation will fund County Governments and Public Servants"

Michigan’s effort to legalize marijuana by legislative procedure is going to benefit counties, substance abuse agencies, and local governments.  The following package of bills passed by the Senate will create job opportunities for software vendors to bid on supplying the Marijuana Tracking System for all Cannabis business must have to continue to participate in the program. When it becomes operational, your card will be used to track the amount of marijuana each patient has purchased over time.  You will be able to possess 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana at any time in the State of Michigan.

The major beneficiary of these set of bills is the State of Michigan's 1st Responder Presumed Coverage Fund at the tune of $500,000 from the proceeds of the Medical Marijuana Program.  The next beneficiaries are the County Governments like Wayne County who will receive 35% of all revenue from Marijuana sales. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean and the 82 other county sheriffs will enjoy this cash cow on the backs of Marijuana users as soon as it becomes the law. Local governments will receive 25% of the proceeds from Marijuana for their use.

Cities like Detroit could use the money for things like rebuilding recreation centers and create green jobs in manufacturing and, education. Cities will also have the abilities to place caps on the number of businesses in their locality. Caps must be anti-discriminatory and be in compliance with Federal Zoning Laws.

The legislation places a 50 ounce limit for each Medical Marijuana Center with a valid license. Currently the City of Detroit  Building Safety and Engineering Department (BSEED) is granting conditional waivers to new marijuana business owners on the grounds that the owner works to bring the location up to code. BSEED is very generous and confident that business owners will do the right thing to be legal.

A brief analysis of the bills are as follows:

HB 4209 - license and regulate medical marijuana growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporters, and safety compliance facilities;  This bill creates a marijuana licensing board, an automated tracking system, an advisory panel, provisions for forfeiture, defines tax rate,  and sets civil fines. This bill grants powers to State and Local Governments to define duties regarding Marijuana in the community

HB 4210 – Gives specific definition of the content of medibles (non smoke able) Marijuana. Also spells out procedures for violations of the provisions of the card:
  •       16 Ounces of Solid Medible Marijuana (brownies, cakes,  etc.)
  •          7 Grams for using in a vaporizing pen
  •       72 Fluid Ounces of liquid marijuana

Outdoor growing is allowed as long as the medicine is out of sight from the street, in a secure location and locked.  Security could be a dog, camera and lights so that other people don’t rip you off. Companion Senate Bill 0141 introduced by Senator Coleman Young seeks to address the inequities of this bill like vehicle transport and other issues that must be worked on by the House of Representatives for a compromise.

HB 4827 – This bill will allow software companies to bid on the Marijuana Tracking System because it defines the specifications for the developers to use in designing and implementing the Statewide system.  This bill will track the sales of marijuana between patients and the growers who interact with retail sites.

In summary, these pieces of legislation have a lot to be desired. The transport law that was enacted by former State Senator Virgil Smith has been declared unconstitutional by courts in the State because it exceeds the current Michigan Medical Marijuana Law.  The three tier system for growing will open up opportunities for growers, testers, and manufacturers.  Local law enforcement will be released to go after Meth and Heroin users who are really destroying the neighborhoods and the country with their drug of choice. 

Michigan Supreme Court
Candidate Judge Deborah Thomas
To fix this you must vote in the upcoming general election by turning over the ballot and voting for Judges that will make the proper change like Judge Deborah Thomas will if she is elected to the Michigan State Supreme Court. You have until October 11th, 2016 to register to vote in the November 8th General Election.  You can start voting on September 24th, 2016 at 5 locations in the City of Detroit or, your local City Clerk’s office if you don’t live in the City of Detroit. - Good Stuff on the Internet