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Monday, August 25, 2008

Governor Granholm Should Grant Due Process To Mayor Kilpatrick

I believe in law and the first thing that I learned in criminal law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty and convicted by a jury of his or her peers. I have a fundamental belief that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should not be removed as Mayor of the City of Detroit by the Governor not withstanding the constitutional authority vested in the governor. I want to carefully explain my position so that everyone understands that I see the removal statute as a disenfranchisement tool as applied to the Mayor and the electorate of Detroit.

Let us first address the criminal issues. The mayor has to face a county wide jury pool that will include many citizens outside of Detroit. While this should give us all pause for concern about whether or not he will receive a fair trial it is also the reality of the system we live with and have vested our faith. I trust that the judge will give special latitude to the trial counsel given the special publicity and political circumstances so that a truly representative jury can be impaneled.

This necessarily leads to the removal argument itself. The most important argument against removal is this: the People of Detroit elected Mayor Kilpatrick and the People alone should determine his future. Governor Granholm should not be permitted to exercise her authority to disenfranchise the citizens of Detroit by stepping in and removing the Mayor before his trial. Let the trial proceed and then if necessary the Governor can act on behalf of the City Council to make a decision. But presently the decision to move forward is one that is too complicated and too political to be attempted without accusations of racial animus to be tossed whether fairly or not.

The City Council and all of those who oppose the Mayor can argue as cogently and vehemently as they like that there is no jeopardy or United States Constitutional 5th Amendment issues impeding Governor Granholm’s inquest but that is absolutely wrong. There is no way that Mayor Kilpatrick can present an organized and vigorous defense before the Governor without sacrificing criminal privileges that are sacrosanct. As a lawyer, the Governor has a duty to respect those Constitutional Rights as would any other presiding officer for any other tribunal, administrative or judicial or any hybrid combination thereof. Moreover, to claim that the Mayor’s 8th Amendment right to a fair and impartial jury is not going to be affected by the Governor’s Open Adversarial Hearing is an absolute deception. Intended or not this deception goes to the heart of two very fundamental constitutional rights every American Citizen enjoys. Governor Granholm is proceeding to jeopardize those rights on behalf of the news media for no real expediency and the people of Detroit are disenfranchised in the process.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A prescription for the City of Detroit, a diagnosis to help cure the pain from “Dr. Cush”

Quit Lying! Elected officials at all levels should be serving with care and compassion for the people. Because of them speaking up for you, they made it possible for you to represent their needs and issues. Even though we disagree sometimes, we share a common bond to help the other man live in a peaceful land.

Reward long time (25 years or more) homeowners in the City of Detroit with tax rebates on their property ending the injustice on first time homeowners in the payment of their property taxes. And my proposal to end this will be to allow the “Headlee Amendment” rule (limiting property tax to %5 or the rate of inflation) to be applied to assessments notwithstanding to the Proposal A on all home dwellings in the City of Detroit. By doing this, it would end the pop-up syndrome that socks the new home buyer with a large property tax bill because of the quirks in the State Equalized Value rule in assessing homeowner property.

An example is a homeowner who purchased a home in 1978 as a HUD home for $18,000 is assessed at %50 of its value. The home is sold in 2005 for $200,000 and assessed at %50 of its value. The bill for the 2nd sale of the home comes due in the 2nd year to the NEW homeowner. This is referred to as the POP-UP effect on property taxes. The new home owner is also stuck with an adjustable rate mortgage and is left with few choices but to leave the property abandoned and give it back to the bank.

Education in the City of Detroit is a mission required because we can no longer afford to be ignorant. The lack of knowledge and compassion is a threat to national security of our citizens. Until the parents and the children realize the value of continued education is the key to the uplifting of an entire community. And the collateral effects on a community will carryover to the entire world. We must take those iPods and integrate them into the educational curriculum. Over %90 of children in grades K-9 have a MySpace or some other web based account.

The city needs its citizens who work for the city to live in the city. Teachers, Police, Fire, Information Technology workers, and others should have a stake in its survival. In order to accomplish this, property tax incentives and other discounts on utilities would be proposed by me when I am in the right position to do so. We can no longer afford to be ignorant. Students need to know that education is the ticket and that their teachers do care about them. They may be stressed out, burnt out, paid low, disrespected and dogged by parents and students. But they return every year because they have love for the community and deep concern for the future of our world.

Innocent until proven Guilty; The People vs. Kilpatrick

I do believe that he should be allowed to attend the convention in Denver as a Super Delegate. He has nowhere to run and has no intent to hide from anyone. One of my passions is the practice of law. And one of the basic rules of law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty and CONVICTED of a violation. During that time a person is under court order to respect the law until a trial date occurs.

And so the man has to wear a tether now. So what! This means is that you can find a web site to follow his every move. And, you can contact him to with a text, email, or video message because he will be carrying a laptop computer with him. He will be working for the people of the City and you can see where he goes every day.

I hope he has a video camera with him so that he can do a podcast. And he still has to take the drug tests too. Given this fact, he should be allowed to have a drink of a alcohol shot of his choosing. Every Democrat should be allowed the opportunity to have a toast to the man who will become our next President.

He is carrying two sets of communication now. One a city issued blackberry and another one that is a private phone. A computer expert friend of mine said to me that “most legal professionals are not computer literate. They need a lot of help with the computer toys”. Most of us either consult with an expert, usually a son, grandchild, or a certified computer geek. All his lawyers need to do is; to have a group email account with the courts address, the prosecutors, and the local newspapers. Then he could push the send button and everybody would have been happy. Instead he spent a night in jail and pissed off the judge.

Now that the man and his legal staff have learned their lesson on technology, let Kwame Kilpatrick go to Denver to do his appointed job as a Super Delegate to cast a vote for Barack Obama, Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States of America.

And he can send anyone and everyone a text message from his blackberry on the convention floor….

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take back Detroit! Reclaiming our neighborhood one home at a time.

Greetings, my office is now starting to take complaints and register homes in my district that are dragging down the value of the neighborhood. As you know, some of them were excellent structures that were allowed to decay by neglect and blatant abuse by the banking and investments industry. And with all of the people who need work, a good job will be to restore the homes in the community by the members of the community.

Rep. Cushingberry’s plan is to seize control of the property in the interest of the members of the community. Theses homes can be restored and occupied with a little Detroit love and a few trips to Home Depot, Lowes, and taking carpentry classes from Detroit Public Schools, Wayne CCC, or some of the retirees in the neighborhood who have a little time on their hands and some love for the youth.

In order to make this program successful, I want you to send me the following information about the property; Address number and street name with a picture if you can send one. Send it to the following e-mail address: or Yes you can even call me at 517-373-2276 and leave a voicemail message. We accept cell phone pictures, video, as well as other documentation. Once this information is gathered, my office will proceed in the following manner.

If the home is occupied, my office will assert squatters rights and other legal avenues on the condition that the occupants pledge to upgrade the property to city code in 60 to 90 days from the date of filing. The cost of the home could range from $1 up to %50 of the equity in the home. If no repairs are done then the person must vacate immediately. If repairs are performed the must be up to city code to be approved. If the repairs will take longer than 60 days, you will be granted an additional 60 days to complete the job.

The condition of these properties is a criminal shame as to "shock the concious of the court" if taken before a judge and jury. These properties in our neighborhood are a nuisance and, have an adverse effect on the asset property of the remaining residential owners.

I will be working with a team of Lawyers and other City of Detroit officials to acquire this goal of reclaiming our city away from the financial carpetbaggers who want to loot the remaining assets of the City for personal and regional gain at the expense of the citizens.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Two More Years! - Thank you for your support in the August 5th, 2008 Primary Election.

I want to thank all of you for your support and vote. Your involvement in the democratic process of voting supports our existence in our City, State, and Country. You can be guaranteed that I will continue to be an activist for you in Lansing by speaking up, standing up, and pumping up our community for the rich heritage and a oasis of talent in each of you. I have been and always will be a true jobs, justice, peace, and equal opportunity Democrat.

Let me assure you that I will work to resolve the Johnson Center situation because I know that our community needs to have a City supported community center within walking distance for Senior Citizens and, a place to run and have fun for the youth. We all remember the lessons learned at that center and I hope to pass the legacy on to our children.

I hope that the supporters of the other candidates can work together and stay active in our community so that we all may prosper together for the benefit of the children and the people who will come after us. Each one of you are a piece of the legacy and history of the City of Detroit. Built on the shoulders of a rainbow coalition, from the American Indians, to the pilgrims, the immigrants from Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, the Middle East, and especially the Caribbean, helped in some way to leave, and continue to leave a legacy to the City by doing something positive.

This is a tradition that is being passed on to our children in the pride and
responsibility that we as parents put into our children. People, I am asking you to come together so that we all can march on to bigger and better things in these next 2 years that will help uplift us all.

I thank you, GOD bless all of you and lets make these last two years rock!

Friday, August 1, 2008

What is good about Detroit? Cars, Belle Isle, and other things...

As I campaign in the district, I was thinking about all the good things that Detroit has to offer an individual. My mind quickly thought of Belle Isle, the people’s park. An urban getaway at the foot of Lake St. Clair and a Detroit icon since Detroit was declared a city. The beach, golf courses, museum and planetarium are world class and as always just needs some maintenance and some Detroit Love.

While you hear the negative press rip the city, other cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angles, Philadelphia, and Newark have 10 times the corruption issues that Detroit has. These Cities receive 1/10th of the publicity that Detroit has and yet, the City of Detroit rolls on. Sometimes the major Detroit newspapers are acting like the Harper’s Weekly of the 2nd black re-construction era in America.

Some of the finest automobiles are built in Detroit. Cars like the Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and DHS with 90% American made parts made by the men and women of the UAW. And the new electric VOLT car will be built in the City of Detroit.

Children’s hospital is a world class institution and the talent in Detroit is legendary. Starting from Henry Ford, musicians such as Anita Baker, The Winans, The Clark Sisters, Earl Klugh, Diana Ross, sports stars such as Dave DeBusher, Willie Horton, and Jerome Bettis are the tip of the talented iceberg.

Most of these people were students in Detroit Public Schools and did extremely well despite the verbal abuse and neglect the teachers face. And the teachers are super dedicated to the students because many of them do graduate and grow up to be fine citizens.

The loyalty to the sports teams is unmatched. The recent success of the Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings do not overshadow the blind faith and dedication of the Detroit Lions. These fans come game after game to have a party good time in the City and follow the ups and downs of the Lions like a cult despite 51 years and counting of not winning a championship. And one day the people will be consoled, when the Lions win the Super Bowl.

Just like the Auto Industry and Motown changed the face of the world, we will lead the country out of the dumps by being the first major city to recover from the recession/depression that we are in now.

We are melting pot of citizens from various backgrounds and experiences. Together we can make a mix of Detroit power to start creating products and services that will be respected and used worldwide. And working in cooperation with land grant colleges and universities like Michigan State, Detroit and the State of Michigan will lead a new revolution in the greening of America.

What is good about Detroit? Urban Farming and the total “Overgrow of the Government”.

Urban farming is a skill and hobby passed on to generations of Detroit residents. In the height of World War II, the federal government sponsored Victory Gardens in which homeowners were encouraged to grow a little garden in their back yards to help with the war effort. When people did not have to purchase food, the money went to the defense department in form of the auto plants being converted to the manufacturing of military hardware such as tanks, jeeps, and aircraft.

Hardcore Detroiters from Mayor Coleman Young days remember the ‘Farm A Lot’ program in which the city passed out seeds to residents at the neighborhood city halls. This was sponsored by the executive leadership of the City so that they can cultivate the neighborhoods and empty lots into food production centers.

As I was working in my garden, I was thinking aloud to myself about what’s GOOD about the City of Detroit.? The first thing that came to my mind is Eastern Market and the rich selection of Michigan grown plants, vegetables, and fruit. In the summer months, you can listen to live music, shop for food, have a good meal, and enjoy that atmosphere of being around people who like the same things you do.

And for a large number of Detroiters, urban farming was a way of life in addition to going to the market. Some people even sell their home grown food at the market. Nothing tastes better than some homegrown eastside sage cultivated south of 8 Mile Road and east of Woodward. The west side comes in with broccoli, potatoes and collard greens. Together with fresh mint, cabbage, corn, and other spices, Detroiters have been overgrowing the neighborhoods for years. Collectively, Detroit Residents can and will outgrow any agribusiness in the world.

Some people justified having dogs to protect the crops from ‘early picking’ by neighborhood kids and squirrels. When the crops were harvested, neighbors traded food between each other in a spirit of giving. Detroit residents carry on a rich tradition of growing fruits and vegetables in their own backyards. And as times get tough, growing your own food may become another vehicle to the revitalization of the Detroit. Before I end this article, I want someone to e-mail me the cost of food and vegetables among the bloggers. How much does it cost for 1 pound of tomatoes, 1 pound of corn, and pound of broccoli. And as I go through the responses, a winner will be selected to receive a gift certificate to shop at Eastern Market or any business in my district. - Good Stuff on the Internet