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Friday, May 22, 2015

Community Resource Job Fair May 2015 declared a huge success

By Richard Clement

"There is nothing better to fix poverty and Detroit than a full time well paying job..."
- Mayor Coleman S. Young _

The Community Resource fair held on May 14th, 2015 was a smashing success. Over 750 people attended the fair meeting employers and leaving resumes with them. By 8:30am a large line had formed from the entrance door to outside the building wanting to work. Olympia Entertainment Company and The District Detroit were two of many companies who were there to look for employees.

 There were numerous Trade Unions showing opportunities to get into apprentice programs for sheet metal, bricklayers, and electricians. 
Financial Institutions like, Best Bank and CTBU Credit Unions were there to help people open up savings accounts for people who did not have one. A big congratulations goes out to Cleo Wiley for organizing and coordinating the event.  Councilmember Pro-Tem Cushingberry is committed to the employment of Detroit residents who want a job, need a job, and are willing to work.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Taking Steps to Make Detroit a Better City: The Riverfront Park 2015 Status Report

Riverside Park is being redeveloped with a plan to reopen

One of Councilman Cushingberry’s goals when he got hired by the people was to reopen Riverside Park for sustainable public use.  The announcement of the plans by Mayor Duggan is a culmination of effort with Alicia Bradford Director of the Department of Recreation and the Mayor’s office.

The agreement between the City of Detroit and the Ambassador Bridge Company is summarized as follows:

The Ambassador Bridge Company will give the City of Detroit 4.8 acers of prime water front property and $3 million dollars. Pending MDEQ and Detroit City Council approval, the $3 million will be immediately invested back into the park in our Phase 1 development plan starting fall 2015.

Starting fall 2015 the City will perform the following:
  1. Convert an adjacent 3.4 acre parcel into park land.
  2. Build a New Baseball Diamond, Soccer field and multi-use play areas.
  3. Build a New Riverfront Playscape
  4. Install new benches, picnic tables and shelter
  5. Improve Waterfront Promenade and Landscaping

Future Plans for Riverside Park

Subject to approval of State and Federal regulators, the City of Detroit will give the bridge company title to 3 acres of undeveloped park land. Upon receiving title to the property the Bridge Company will give the City an additional $2 million dollars for the expansion of the park that includes a 100ft river-walk on the waterfront.  In addition to that, The Bridge Company will demolish the warehouse that is on 5 acre property adjacent to the park and grant development rights to the City of Detroit before the end of 2018.

Starting in 2018, the Phase II step includes the construction of waterfront property into Fisherman’s Overlook that will contain additional sea wall improvements, sidewalks, benches and extended promenade.

Once the Ambassador Bridge Company get additional approvals, the company intends to use the 3 acres to help them build a second span of the Ambassador Bridge next to the old bridge creating jobs, and spurring additional commerce and development in Detroit. Plans include restoring foot and bike traffic on the old bridge and, adding light rail transportation on the new one. The old bridge will be available for special events like parties and gatherings. Special rules will apply so that people will not dance in rhythm while they are standing on the span.

In addition to funding the expansion of Riverside Park, The Bridge Company has agreed to install 1000 windows in the vacant Michigan Central Train Station with an investment of more than $2 million dollars. While there will always be a few who are against the project because of a personal dislike for Mr. Maroun, the new publicly owned bridge should take care of the "Hate Maroun" crowd and, improve the Riverfront Park area at the same time. Given the resounding rejection of Proposal 1 to raise the State Sales Tax to fix the roads in May of 2015, alternative funding methods and business practices have to be considered in the Plan B, C, and D options for paying for a publicly owned bridge.

Contact your elected leaders that includes, President Obama, Senator Stabenow, Senator Peters, Gov. Snyder, Detroit City Council Members and the Mayor’s Offices to voice your support to beautify our City of Detroit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Art on the Walls of the Lodge Freeway? Detroit based artist Sintex has a plan to bring life onto the drab white wall.

by Friends of Cushingberry

Between Wyoming to 8 mile and the City Limits, the M10 Lodge Freeway wall is stark and boring to look at while you are driving north or southbound. The Office of Council Pro Tem Cushingberry’s people driven task force is researching on using portions of the freeway wall to be covered with artwork from local area artists and advertising from local businesses like JP Morgan Chase, etc. With the cooperation of the State of Michigan, selling advertising space at a fixed rate can generate revenue and improve the view while you drive home.

This proposal would bring additional revenue to the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan in road maintenance and advertising sales.  Local and extremely talented artist like Sintex would enhance the beauty of the City with their elite talent.  Mr. Sintex is the PERFECT candidate to be awarded the job to Paint the Lodge Beautiful and this is an example of his work.

The talent in the City of Detroit needs to be put on display proudly instead of being forced to hide in the closet. To make this happen we need the people to come and express their thoughts about the project to City, County, and State leadership. Many artists and businesses in the Detroit Metropolitan Area would benefit from the sale of space to display their wares.

If you support this proposal, please call or email our office with your concerns and suggestions.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Carnival Barking and Paperwork Issues while in Office #DetroitLivesMatter

By Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

Since taking office, these old laptops
have been removed from all
DFD Units and replaced with
hand held units
Since being a council member, Mr. Cushingberry does not have the time to put into law while serving the citizens of our great city making things happen. An example is: since taking office, the Detroit Fire Departments technology has been massively upgraded with a WORKING mapping system that helps firefighters get to emergencies much faster and accurately. This move saved the department lots of money by redirecting funds from a non-working CODE RED computer system, to a hand held working Google Mapping App for each firehouse.  This app has a future so that the app can fit on every firefighter’s cell phone if needed.

Councilman Cushingberry and colleagues have awarded over $55,000 in grants to the DFD for equipment and spurring a hiring frenzy of new Firefighters, EMTs, and Detroit Police Officers to protect the people. These young men and women help carry on the legacy of the Motor City by protecting it as a good place to work, live and party. As we speak, City of Detroit computer systems are being upgraded from Win 3.1, Win 2000, Win XP,  to the latest MS Windows software and HP hardware to bring the City's technology into the 21 Century.

Councilman Cushingberry and his colleagues are working to get City of Detroit uniformed employees (Police and Fire) the same 2.5 percent adjustment awarded to all non-uniformed employees including the Council by the Compensation Commission in July 2016.  Detroit retirees are encouraged to investigate the use of the Voluntary Employee Benefit Agreement to their advantage. When manipulated properly by the members, retirees will re-gain the losses by re-negotiating deductibles and co-pays using the Affordable Care Act.

Please be reminded that Mr. Cushingberry has more credibility as a suspended lawyer than some journalists on Fox 2 and, the Michigan Chronicle have as employees.  As a lawyer Mr. Cushingberry has processed over 1000 cases in his career.  To our count Elrick has found four of them.  We know he had to get through all of them to find these four anomalies.  Regarding the widow issue with the car, Mr. Cushingberry, Swanson Funeral Home, and another agency were successful in dismissing the lawsuit filed by the widow for $20 million dollars a piece in damages.   On Elrick’s star witness Debra Goodner, she still has not produced a receipt for a retainer fee and, we are not holding our breath waiting.

Currently there are 87 people on the same list that ML Elrick accessed from the State of Michigan website. (click here to read the list of "sinners") The list includes Peter Hokesra for Governor and the late Rev. Michael Murphy.  Since most of them did not win or died, they just quit filing.  Mr. Cushingberry has since filed his report and this list will be amended to show that he had less than $50.00 owed for the 2010 Senate campaign.

While serving as a State Representative, Mr. Cushingberry was accused of the same thing in 2008 by then Attorney General Mike Cox when he was appointed the appropriations chairman of the House of Representatives. This case went to trial and, the councilman was victorious in proving that the charges were nothing but harassment and a backhanded attempt to remove him from the appropriations chairmanship.  In that position, Mr. Cushingberry was responsible for the budget of 21 State Departments and left it balanced when his term was limited.

We also want to remind the Nolan Finleys and the Bankole Thompsons of the world that our young people are carrying cell phones that have more computing power than all of the NASA spacecraft that went to the moon and back in the 60’s. They are very talented and with training can do ANY job that is offered to them. If these companies don’t want to hire them they will get the training elsewhere, come back and do a better job than the company that did not want to hire them in the first place. All we ask is that they use those smartphones for doing their research and homework in the process of getting their education. 

Finally we want to salute the young men and women of the Detroit Public School system who recently won a prize for building solar heating and electrical panels.  We know that this is our future and ticket to prosperity in the City of Detroit and, if you are in a business that uses a lot of electricity, then you may want to consider hiring one or many of them.  That’s if they don’t become entrepreneurs and open their own business.   Some of them may study journalism and learn how to
report facts instead of, creating fiction from fact to sustain a theater act.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Community Leaders meet to regulate Medical Marijuana businesses in the City of Detroit

by Richard C. Clement

"600 Million Dollars a year in taxable revenue from Marijuana" - Harry Smith CNBC

Led by Winfred Blackmon and Marcus Cummings, the Metro Detroit Community Action Coalition is attempting to develop an ordinance to reduce the number of Marijuana related business in the City of Detroit. After further review of their proposal, the group’s attempt is to shut them down and/or severely restrict their growth through the use of the Building Safety, Detroit Fire Department Fire Marshals, and other zoning restrictions that have been deemed illegal by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Developing a Marijuana regulation ordinance based on the theory rooted in the ideology of the late Harry Jacob Anslinger (May 20, 1892 – November 14, 1975) is to re-affirm the failed ideology of prohibition with racism. Anslinger was a United States government official who served as the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). He was a staunch supporter of prohibition and responsible for declaring Marijuana a Schedule I drug like heroin with no medical value. He was an avowed racist that described Marijuana as a drug that makes Negros attack White Women. He along with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sincerely believed this until they died. This mindset was carried on by President Nixon and John Ashcroft who authorized the shooting of two activists by the FBI and Michigan State Police at the Rainbow Farms camp in Vandalia Michigan in 2001. (click here for the story of Rainbow Farms)

In 2015, interviews with high ranking Detroit Police Department officials and neighborhood police officers reveal that DPD has not had a police call for trouble at ANY of the identified places of business by this group.  If places are getting raided, it is because they are doing something more than dealing with Medical Marijuana like gambling and vice. Otherwise these places of business in the district are operating within the law by permission.  This addresses the safety of the neighborhoods issue because if the Detroit Police are not having any incidents of trouble, then where is the danger?

The growth of these business are a reflection of a trend toward decriminalization of Marijuana by Federal, State and Local leaders who see the war on Marijuana as a total failure and agree that something has to change. The war on weed has a disparate impact upon our diverse community and, only serves to keep the economy of the for profit correction system in the black. Mayors like Virg Benero of Lansing and Jan Parisi of Hazel Park have come out of the closet to support decriminalization. This is because they are listening to the people and they are saying loudly and clearly that we want these businesses to patronize.

For this group to use the Detroit Zoning Board, Detroit Police, Detroit Fire, and Building Safety Departments to fight a losing proxy war against Marijuana is a sure loser and a waste of tax dollars. The Detroit Fire Department marshal wants safe entry, exit with no capacity overloads and, fire extinguishers in these facilities, just like any other business. Building Safety wants a code compliant building and, the Detroit Police want to keep the peace.  People who use Marijuana are not violent when they only use Marijuana. They get plenty hungry and that could help sales of food in the community.

The last thing the City of Detroit needs is a 1920 style of the Temperance movement who created alcohol prohibition and you see where this got us as a nation. If we can allow Hookah Bars, Cigar Bars, then what is the problem with a “weed bar”?  Given that Detroit retirees need to have their pensions protected and respected with decent health care coverage, the time may be coming so that retirees can have their Medical Marijuana covered to lower their health costs.

Using the rules of the Voluntary Employee Benefit Agreement (VEBA), the members can vote to make this happen with funds from the sale of legal marijuana to help the pension funds for Police, Fire, and General Employees get financially sound.

We cannot go back to the time where we had people like Marc Emery, a citizen of Canada extradited to the United States to serve 5 years of Federal time in Mississippi for the act of selling marijuana seeds. While Colorado makes $2.5 million dollars a month from legal Marijuana sales for schools, we can do better when we use the Cannabis plant for manufacturing products like cars, homes, fuel, fabric, and 20,000 other uses. Most of the corrections system is full of prisoners for small drug crimes.  We hope that before President Obama leaves office, he will issue a complete pardon to immediately remove these prisoners from incarceration.

Finally we hope that the next President continues the policy on a path of saneness to correct this injustice from the grave of Harry Anslinger in 1939.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Taking Democracy to the Hoop in Indiana - Peaceful Protest

by Richard Clement / The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

"Time for a Party with Sparty! Go State!"  - Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

"Go Green!, Go White!"  - KB Stallworth

The recent actions by Lawmakers in Indiana to allow discrimination based on Sexual preference has created an opportunity to rebuke the War on Drugs.    A strong legal argument has been created for people who use cannabis as a part of their religion.   Yes discrimination is wrong and disrespectful to the person being discriminated against.  However, the law of unintended consequences has a silver lining of hope for people who want to put an end to it.

The case People of Guam vs Guerero (GSC Case #CRA99-025) upheld the right of an individual to use their religious sacrament without penalty of law. This 2000 decision by the Supreme Court of Guam affirmed the right of Benny Toves Guerrero to use cannabis as a part of his religious beliefs with the full protection of the Religious Freedom Act.   The starting paragraph from the legal brief affirms the basis of the decision:

“This is an appeal of the Superior Court's(Superior Case #CF0001-91) dismissal of an indictment upon motion of the Defendant, Benny Toves Guerrero. We find that the criminal statute at issue in this case, as applied to this Defendant, substantially infringes upon the Defendant's right to the free exercise of his religion as protected by the United States Constitution and the Organic Act of Guam. We conclude that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act may be applicable to Guam. Moreover, we hold that, even if it were not, in circumstances where a fundamental right is substantially infringed, the government must demonstrate both that the infringement is justified by a compelling interest and that it is the least restrictive means of achieving that objective. Therefore, we affirm the trial court's dismissal of the instant action.

The Citizens of the City of Detroit, State of Michigan, Michigan State University fans, Indiana Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Rastafarians, along with other organizations and believers, do not support Discrimination in any weight, shape, or form.

Fans of Michigan State University and citizens who are against selective treatment shall protest in a peaceful manner by using their religious sacrament in support of the protests against the true intent of the law to place harmful treatment of an individual or organization because of their lifestyle. Other methods include joining the 1st Church of Cannabis for a day while you are in Indianapolis, Ann Arbor, or East Lansing on Saturday April 4th for a day.  Finding a LGBT or person of a different race, culture, etc. to worship with this Saturday with their religious sacrament will send a strong message of disapproval.

The recent action by the State of Indiana affirmed the spiritual belief that good can come out of evil intent. The will of the people will prevail and with all of that farmland in Indiana, the farming community will rise up and grown industrial hemp for economic growth like Michigan. They will also wise up and make laws decriminalizing the possession and use at a State level and, prod their buddies of faith in Washington to remove it from the Controlled Substances List on the Federal level so that President Obama can sign it into law before he leaves office. 

When that happens, anyone who is in incarceration for cannabis in Indiana and the rest of America will be immediately removed from Federal, State, County, and Local institutions within 30 seconds after the act is signed into law. They must vacate the premises in one hour or be issued a ticket for loitering by a corrections officer.  This action will expunge a criminal record restoring voting rights and, will have the full effect of a Presidential Pardon. - Good Stuff on the Internet