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Monday, October 12, 2009

What it takes to make a Great City: Wrapping up to your responsibilities to your community and self.

The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.
October 12, 2009

There was an old saying around the City of Detroit where the citizens took an oath of responsibility to the community regarding giving back. They always told us younger ones that if you borrow something from a loved one, you want to return it in the same manner that you received it. This was ingrained in us from the time that we were born and when we raised children ourselves. To move the City in a positive direction, this motto must be sustained by the generations before and after us. The baby boomers are rapidly reaching retirement age, and the generation X and Y people will give way to the new millennium babies born in the 90s. Some of the children of 2000 will be changing the diapers of the baby boomers very soon!

Our Friend George and a few old school friends Roscoe,Malik,Oscar, and Norman, were discussing the issue of what it takes to make and maintain a great city. Retaining and attracting younger and working residents that will sustain neighborhoods to provide decent city services to its residents. We also discussed business ethics and investment into businesses that operate in Michigan. And instead of talking about it we wrote down some of the guidelines while we watched a replay of a meeting by the State House of Representatives appropriations hearing on developing revenue for funding educational programs and reading proposed house bills on generating revenue through agriculture programs in urban areas of Michigan.

This is the list that we developed to ponder for future action.

1.Pay your rent and maintain a log of your assets and debts. In order to end the disorder in your finances, record keeping and do a 6 month to 1 year budget. This means multiplying your food, gas, utilities,rent or mortgage by 12 and making that a fixed cost in your budget. Everyone needs a place to sleep with a shower and reasonable accommodations. Do the same for your medical expenses and credit card debt. Then you project your income over 6 to 12 months and see how you can do your own line item vetoes of expenses.

When you have a clear picture of your financial condition, then you can make plans accordingly. If you decide to go to school, then you should pay close attention to your student loans and the length of the loan. You will be responsible for paying it back so take the time to project that over a 4 year period. To calculate the full value of a school loan you must determine why you are taking it, what you are going to do with the training and degree, then make provisions to pay that back also.

A good program to use is Microsoft Excel and Quick Books that will allow you to use your downloaded statements from your financial institution and incorporate them into a personal financial plan.

2.If you own a business “Keep your Word”! All business from Corporations to small business need to “quit lying and be honest with your customers”. Some of the best advertisement comes from word of mouth. Meaning that after you advertise your services and perform the job to the satisfaction of the customers, the word of your efforts will get around to other people through the good words of others.

3.Quit Making children and walking away from them! Wrap it up! An important step in maintaining a great city is being responsible for the development of its youth. One of them is being responsible for your children and their conduct. To improve the economic and civil stability in a neighborhood, men and women must stop the practice of making children and walking away from them through neglect, disrespect, and blatant abandonment. For about 5 minutes of pleasure and an entire community is affected by the leftovers of “the feeling”. As our friend George says, “The Feel is Ignorance and we have to wrap it up because the feeling is the same”.

When these children are unleashed upon the public through the various school systems, they bring additional costs through increased suspension and detention time. Often times these children come to school disrespecting staff and with no moral and leadership from the parent, they often wind up in trouble or taking classes that they can pass easily with the smallest amount of work. This has to change because the world is not made on easy street and the handouts are few and over with.

4.Equal Treatment starts with respect to yourself and your community. Parents especially the males should get involved with the school system at all levels. If some parents have a skill such as carpentry, culinary arts, agriculture, or other legal and personal skill, they should consider supporting vocational and college prep programs to sustain the growth of the City and the community. There was an old football coach who said to us during practice on a hot August day that “If you quit then you ain't worth a s _ _t.”!

President Obama alluded to the same theory when he paraphrased this statement. We can no longer afford to sit back and consume products without creating a marketable product to trade in return to the world. And to do this, youth and adults need to devote a few hours to learning something new in the mode of giving something back to the community and enhancing your own self worth.

We hope that some of these guidelines can be adopted by our children so that by the end of this next century, the world will be a better place that when we were here. If you would like to discuss this with our friend George, feel free to contact him at the office or schedule a town hall meeting with him so that we can all communicate to formulate a vision for the future.

Office Address
S0687 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-2276
Fax: (517) 373-7186
Toll-Free: (888) 347-8008


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Richard, me, troop and Cush were reviewing your work ,I took exception to youcharacterizing the kids as leftovers and problems coming into the school, all children coming from broken homes are not like that. they wont all automatically be in detention.Everybody is an individual and make their own path, is not acceptable to make this statement a generalization, otherwise I enjoyed this aryticle, signed--- CAREN - Good Stuff on the Internet