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Friday, March 29, 2013

Restoring The Revenue: Managing the Emergency Financial Manager with a Push from Cush.

Reclaiming and Re-Investing Detroit
By George Cushingberry Jr.
Candidate for Detroit City Council District #2

Kenneth Orr the appointed EFM for the City of Detroit, was on Cynthia Canty's show on public radio WUOM 91.7 FM.  He was again trying to assess what the city needs. What Detroit does not need to do is to attack its retirees and employees by balancing the budgets on the back of their labor.  If I am elected to City Council, I will not let that happen and do the following for the citizens of the City of Detroit, especially the ones in the new District #2.

First, stem the tide and make plans to refinance quickly by finding NEW WAYS to RAISE revenue. Continuous cutting does not grow anything, if you don't do any long term planning and investment. Statutory revenue sharing can’t be promised past two years. John Engler was a pro and Dennis Archer was a neophyte when it came to legislative issues. (Engler) knew the law reducing income taxes would stay and the appropriation would only be bound for two years. (Article 4 Section 31. Michigan Constitution). To fully understand this situation please read David Ashenfelter (a man I respect as a journalist since I still have a press card) article on the Handshake deal in "Bridges Magazine" (click here to read it) as reported on Canty's program.

Expand the 911 charge to cell phone towers so that each call may be assessed a fraction of a penny as an amendment to the utility users tax. (Review the House Fiscal Agency reports on the Restitution of Revenue 2007-2010)

Accept that property taxes invented in the 19th Century have run their course and must be allowed to cease to exist.

Take a look at the federal carbon tax proposed by President Obama.

Add our health care coverage to the exchanges so that we can piggyback the city and its retirees.Immediately apply for federal grants which we have neglected asking for like safe routes to school. When Rev. Mike Murphy ran the program they had planned to tear down Greenlawn between Fenkell and Puritan so the new combined school children in Ellla Fitzgerald/Mary McCloud Bethune wouldn't be subject to the devastation in their young psyche.

Get the water dept. to replace manhole covers! 

Apply for a state recreation bond grant to build a new state of the art recreation facility and regional health resource center at the Old Johnson Center facility on Cherrylawn and Chippewa. This can be accomplished with co-operation from corporate health systems and insurance providers with a pledge match the funding. We all need more physical exercise! Our regional health in Metro Detroit could be a model for others. We had a swimming pool in the 50's and 60's why not now!  Next to violence, one of the biggest killers in our community is the lack of ability to swim or stay afloat in deep water.

Getting treatment on demand for people suffering from substance abuse and mental illness is a priority. This can and will help reduce crime.  This will also help move money from corporate prisons to schools and health care needs because as Sheriff Benny Napolean once stated, a large number of the people that his employees encounter have substantial reading problems that lead to a frustrated person committing crimes because of being comfortable with the lifestyle, giving them temporary success.

To gain legitimacy, Kenneth Orr should be seen picking up paper on the streets in the neighborhoods instead of being a behind the desk dictator sent in from Lansing to loot the resources of the City of Detroit. Now you see why we need some, smart, sophisticated, stable, and stallions on city council. If you choose me to represent you on City Council in 2013, I will make sure that this happens for the benefit of the people of the City of Detroit.

What it takes to Make a Great City: Neighborhood Residents and Business working together to bring peace and prosperity.

Supporting City of Detroit Business Establishments
By George Cushingberry Jr. Esq.
Candidate for Detroit City Council District #2

My people, how lame and anti-Detroit y'all can be by saying you can't come to Will’s Place or other food operations cause they sell alcohol. Some of you will go to places that refuse to come to the city like Red Lobster that sell alcohol but that's ok.  Some of you complain that I do not have events at Black Business and that is not true.  Baker’s Keyboard, Mr. Mapps, Will’s Place, Penthouse, and other businesses have been Detroit institutions for a very long time.  These business owners and others have long weathered the storm of the economy while others have failed.   I also encourage and support the young business owners (35 and younger) who are stepping up to the plate.  We need more young (and old) Magic Johnson types to come in or evolve from the streets and schools of Detroit for the public good.

How long will this self-hatred last! Black Entrepreneurs in Detroit are suffering and they have the best food.  These business owners have been around Detroit for a very long time.  Some of them could have been franchise owners and CEO’s but chose to stay in the city because of the loyalty of customers, love for the city, and wanting to be their own boss. Kenisha, Channele and I were very pleased with the food at the Penthouse (Varsity Lounge on Google). Youngsters can eat too!  We marveled at the ingenuity of Detroit black business who have merged and worked together to survive. We all liked 7 Mile Shrimp from Dot and Etta’s and, it has been reborn inside Wills Place on 7 mile and Greenfield. 

Mother Cushingberry is still getting fresh food and produce cooked to order from down south. Welcome to the new user friendly Detroit that supports business in the neighborhood. Support Local Businesses and by doing that, you money gets circulated within the community in which you live by; owners maintaining their property, owners paying property taxes, and owners creating jobs and stimulating the neighborhood economy.  This will draw more people to the city and increase the need for people to be hired for the purposes of being police, firefighters, and other jobs as needed to sustain the City of Detroit.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Righting the Wrong in Detroit with Financial Accountability

By George Cushingberry Jr. 
Your Candidate for Detroit City Council District #2

A true public servant and friend Saul Greene came and asked me to introduce a bill to rationalize pensions.  This was shortly after Ken Cockrel lost the election to Dave Bing. According to the administration, the pension was underfunded and unstable. This was a stark difference to what the pension plan participants were saying.  Pension plan participants knew that The City of Detroit’s pension plan is solvent and, this has been an ongoing battle with administrations in the past and present to loot the fund to reduce costs and responsibilities to plan members.

With the data that I had at the time and, under extreme concern for my constituent’s well-being, I introduced this bill for sole purpose of pocket vetoing it.  A pocket veto is a dignified method of making sure that a bill never sees the light of day of a vote. As chairman of the powerful House of Representatives  Appropriations committee, I had the power to make sure that this happened in an orderly manner. The plan was to have City Retirees, UAW, D.P.O.A., and A.S.F.C.M.E. members to attend the hearing, call legislators, and just raise the holy roof in Lansing opposing this bill.   This would have been it for ANY bill that would have attacked the retirees in the City of Detroit.

To my shock and dismay, Mayor Bing gets rid of Saul and left me hanging out to dry in 2010 with my current and potential constituents. The Mayor allowed the lie to be perpetuated that his bill proposal was all mine. They claimed they had a plan that I sponsored and it became by law a deficit reduction bond. This failed administration as my friend Malik Shabazz calls it sold the bond and didn't make the course correction the council told him we had to make to keep things afloat.

What we need is someone with political, academic, and practical experience in city and all levels of government. So the derivative bond, deficit reduction bond, Republican anti Obama care plus, the current feather bedding with turn around experts by the state has indeed created an emergency. While I believe the people of Detroit will come out to vote and rectify the situation, I DO NOT support the Emergency Financial Manager because it creates more bureaucracy and even more lack of transparency. In 2014 we must focus on firing the current Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. I also asked Mike Duggan to run for Governor in 2014. We should invest first in those who stayed here in Detroit with loyalty credits on their property taxes based on length of time in the City.  This and other ideas are what it’s going to take to get the state right.

Now that we have an un-elected manager in control of the finances in my City, my voice on the council will serve as an ELECTED Financial Manager/Activist for the people. Therefore I am asking you to Push with Cush and support me for Detroit City Council in District #2.

The Committee to Elect George Cushingberry Jr. to City of Detroit City Council, District #2

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Reflection on the Felony Conviction of Kwame Kilpatrick

           A sad chapter of Michigan history closed with the felony conviction of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. He's added his name to the dubious list of  former Detroit mayors Richard Reading and, Louis Mariani as those of convicted felons. All of the danger signs were there but we prayed for him and, tried to get him to listen to those who helped his formation. We all lost a piece of our hopes and aspirations because of the filthy and lucrative love of money. Make no mistake about it, his actions took on the fake history of "that's the way its always been", and this is simply not true.

George Cushingberry Jr.

List of Mayors of the City of Detroit via Wikipedia - Good Stuff on the Internet