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Friday, December 18, 2015

Field Report Ordinance #61 and Marijuana Reform in Detroit. The Next Step

by Richard C. Clement


The 6 to 1 vote by the body of the Detroit City Council to approve Ordinance #61 for Marijuana Management and regulation in is a good start to work from. With modifications and input from the citizens of Detroit this Ordinance can be modified, re-codified to everyone’s satisfaction before March of 2016.

The good news first is that everyone agrees about the need to be licensed with the City as a business.

Without taxing the churches, a license fee amount agreed upon by all would bring significant revenue to the City’s coffers to be re-distributed to quality of life issues like park maintenance, road repair, recreation centers for children and seniors, etc.  A percentage of that revenue would go for the management of the industry with a new Department of Cannabis at City Hall.


This department would consist of a few administrators and representatives from Building Safety, Fire Marshall, and Treasury that would be responsible for the establishment, management, and quality of Marijuana used in the City of Detroit.

Other issues can be resolved by adhering to the following steps.
  1. If you support the efforts of my friend and esteemed Pastor Marvin Winans, then you should google search the following topics, Harry Ainslinger, Michelle Alexander, Hemp Concrete, and have him meet me at Miles Green Acers Compassion Center at an agreed time and date. Then have Brother Marvin make an appointment at (313) 224-4535 to see me in the office so we can talk about a solution about (but not limited to) weed, blight, and other things to make this city right.
  2. Skip to Step 7 otherwise proceed to Step 3
  3. If you are or planning to be a cannabis business owner, it is strongly recommended that you “know the neighborhood”. If you the owner or your landlord establishes a good relationship with your neighbors, then everything will be fine.  Issues like parking, security, and operational hours are things to consider when moving into a new building. If the neighbors (including religious institutions) within the proximity of the business approve of your location, then you may be granted a waiver to remain at the location by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  4. Skip to Step 7 otherwise proceed to Step 5
  5. Upon presentation of signatures from 5000 registered electors in the City of Detroit, the citizens will direct City Clerk Janice Winfrey to place Ordinance #61 to a referendum up or down vote of the people. This vote is required to be held at the next regularly scheduled election in 2016.  (August or November) During this time, the ordinance is suspended and cannot be enforced.
  6. Detroit voters have the opportunity to implement language that would be acceptable to all stakeholders, addressing issues like zoning regulations and yearly license fee amounts as an ordinance with 5000 valid signatures from registered electors who live IN the City of Detroit through the ballot initiative process.
  7. End process.

When it is all said and done all interested stakeholders like native and longtime residents of Detroit will have a say in the direction of the future of Detroit.  Otherwise, we want to thank Councilmember James Tate of District 1 for stirring up the "pot".  He was recently selected as the keynote speaker at the Founders Day Luncheon by Detroit Alumni Chapter of Alabama State University on February 21st, 2015 at 11:00am at DeCarlos Hall and Banquet Center. Tickets are $40 each and can be picked up in Councilmember Pro Tem Cushingberry’s office. 


Working for Weed Peace in Detroit
We hope to see supporters of higher education, and friends of Councilmember Tate like my friend and colleague Pastor Marvin Winans come to our event. Friends and colleagues of Richard Clement are welcome to attend also. Please call (313) 224-4535 or email clementr@detroitmi.gov if you are interested in attending with the proceeds going toward needy students attending Alabama State University.





Have a Safe and Happy Holiday* and we want to see you all in 2016!
Where Holiday* = Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Your Personal Birthday, New Years,etc


Richard C. Clement  
Marijuana Policy Analyst
Office of Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. District 2


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ending the War on Pot in the City of Detroit with Democracy at the Ballot Box - Protecting the Right to Vote by Referendum

By Richard C. Clement


On Thursday December 17, 2015 at 1:15pm, the Detroit City Council will be voting to implement changes in Ordinance number #61 that will eliminate up to 95% of the Marijuana Dispensary businesses in the City of Detroit.  The reasons for their removal is that a number of community groups and Church pastors say that these places are illegal according to the State of Michigan.  This is the same State of Michigan that poisoned the water in Flint Michigan, committed Voter Fraud by re-establishing the Emergency Manager by making it referendum proof, and decimated public education with under-performing academies and a bunch of MBA’s running the education system instead of educators.

Another reason for the “swift passage” of this ordinance is that a sitting City Council-member has been promised a financial interest in a marijuana facility if this ordinance passed as written. The Council-member will get a 10% stake in a facility called “The Reef”.  A direct quote from the article states the following:

“I was there, and I can personally attest to the fact that Terrence Mansour is working on a deal to give a Detroit city council member and their significant other a 10 percent cut of the action from his dispensary to pass these new rules,” Brikho said. “It’s a pay-to-play system that is being created by these dirty, corrupt bureaucrats and the fat cats like Mansour who own them. This is a heist that is taking place. It’s criminal.”

After the national embarrassment of indictments, convictions, and issues of public trust, the only honorable thing to do is let the Citizens of Detroit vote on the ordinance in the general election in November 2016 through the referendum process. Council-member Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. believes that the Citizen Electors of the City of Detroit should be making that decision to restore trust and integrity in Detroit and it's elected officials.

Objections to ordinance

  1. Unreasonable Hours of Operation. Forcing businesses to close at 8pm based on unsupported data may be un-constitutional and may be challenged in a court of law.
  2. Unreasonable excuses to prevent consumption onsite of Marijuana after purchase or growing. If onsite consumption is allowed for Hookah Bars, Micro Breweries, and Cigar Bars, there is no excuse to prevent onsite consumption of marijuana on private property with the permission of the owner. Prosecuting these types of “crimes” is a waste of law enforcement, and legal resources of the City of Detroit.
  3. Removal of Drive through businesses based on unsubstantiated data and the faulty theory of the late Harry Ainslinger 1st Director of the US Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA)     
  4. Arbitrary and capricious zoning distances for MMJ businesses and neighborhoods that will Zone 90% of all marijuana businesses out of business while liquor stores and churches are allowed to cluster with no extra requirements. 
  5. Prohibiting Waivers for Marijuana Businesses
Solutions:
  1. 24hr operations with a special permit license
  2. Removal of onsite consumption restrictions from the ordinance
  3. Special Permit to operate a Drive through. These places should be zoned like a bank or drugstore like CVS, Walgreens, etc.
  4. Allow a special use permit for cultivation in commercial areas. 
    1. B4 industry, square footage
  5. 1000 Feet from a school under the US Drug Free Zone laws
  6. Community Benefit Agreement with the Marijuana facilities promising to hire Detroit residents, and help keep up the neighborhood adding to the uplift of the quality of life for residents. Including allowing business owners to select a school and perform 20 hrs. community service.
A ballot initiative to replace this zoning ordinance will give Detroit citizens a perfect opportunity to conduct business as long as they are being good citizens. Currently there are an untold number of Hair Salons, Liquor Stores, and churches that are right next to each other. Some pastors welcome the new business as it has been treated as a blight remover and employer.

The work being performed by these Marijuana business owners on their property rivals HGTV and it is something that should be honored because it raised the value of the property. For people who say that these businesses are “dumping” on Detroit, look at what they are dumping. Some of the revenue from these places could be used to fix public education and fund school districts like Highland Park Michigan, Inkster, and Detroit Public Schools for example.

Medical Marijuana has been the best blessing the City has ever had because lots of investors in state and out of state are headed to Detroit and Michigan to find property. Empty building that were not being used are being re-purposed and paying property taxes to the City, unlike Churches that are open and/or under construction unopened.

People, we need your support for letting the people vote on this issue.  We strongly encourage owners and supporters to contact Detroit City council-members (click here) and let them know how you feel about it.

The citizens of Detroit have too much sense and wisdom to be bought off from special interest groups, and un-informed clergy members who are stuck in the draconian era of 1939 of prohibition and don’t take the time to read. We are issuing an open challenge to Pastor Marvin Winans to visit one of these esteemed facilities right next to his church at Miles Green Acers on Woodward and 7 mile next to the Doughnut shop.  We will make sure that no one bites him and we hope that he and his pastor friends visit the ones on Woodward Avenue.  

We want the law to respect the will of the people instead of one person on the church steeple. We are a democracy not a theocracy!


Let the People Vote!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Detroit/Wayne County Property Taxes for 2016 - Plan Now to Save Later

By Richard C. Clement 

    Many Detroit Residents received certified letters from the Wayne County Treasurer in December of 2015 regarding their property taxes.  This letter is giving you fair warning that your will lose your home if you don’t pay the amount stated.  If you have contacted the Wayne County Treasurer and have a payment agreement then you are fine. If you own property in Detroit then you have an opportunity to redress your grievance about your property tax if you feel that the amount is not right.

     You have three opportunities to save your home, and lower your property taxes. December and January are the months to make the plan to appeal your assessment. On the first 15 days of February, the Board of Assessors allows a homeowner to apply to appeal their assessed tax amount. (ClickHere) for the details to appeal a City of Detroit Tax Assessment. To be successful at a hearing, you must do the following:
  1. Get a current appraisal of your home/property
  2. Keep up with your payment paperwork like receipts for payment and other maintenance work
  3. Find 3 homes that are comparable in size to your home and the selling price. If the homes sold for less than yours is appraised, then your taxes will be lowered.
  4. File an appeal before Feb 15th with the City of Detroit
  5. Get a hearing date from the assessor’s office
  6. A decision is rendered by the Board of Assessors
  7. If you are satisfied then you are done with it and the process ends here.
  8. If you are not satisfied with the decision you can appeal to the Board of Review in writing on or before the second Monday in March which is March 14,2016 to get an appointment.
  9. If you are not satisfied with the Board of Review's decision, then to protect your property rights, you must file an appeal with the  State of MichiganTax Tribunal

   Please be aware that some cases like buying a home dirt cheap in an auction, your property taxes may go up. Property taxes are driven from values in property surrounding your home in the neighborhood. Otherwise, there were many smiles from homeowners who left the 8th floor of the Coleman Young Municipal Center because of their savings.

     The second and third opportunities involve the certified letter from the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office.  When you turn the letter over to the back, you have two opportunities to save your home and, dispute the amount owed. The show cause hearing will give a home owner a right to dispute the amount owed or make arrangements to pay the balance. If you lose your appeal in this hearing, the next one is the notice of foreclosure hearing that will lay the groundwork for total loss of the home by March 31st, 2016.

     However, if you make contact with someone right now, it will never get to this desperate situation of losing a home and becoming homeless. If you need help paying your property taxes (click here) for detailed information on what can be done.

For housing assistance these are some contact agencies that can help:

Wayne County Department of Human Services – DHS (formerly Family Independence Agency) can be contacted at (313) 456-1000. This is a general number from which you can obtain the phone number and address of your local DHS office. You can also simply go to your local office and apply for State Emergency Relief (SER). Offices are located throughout Wayne County.

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund, Wayne County Office, (313) 899-1162. If you are a veteran with at least 6 months of wartime duty, you may qualify for financial assistance.

Wayne County Veteran Affairs (Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund), (313) 224-1862. If you are a veteran with any wartime service and an honorable discharge, you may qualify.

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) – (313) 842-7010, Help is available to those who qualify and is not limited to those of Arabic ethnicity.

City of Detroit Human Services Department, Central Operations Division – (313) 852-5634. (Detroit Homeowners only.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Field Report 11/16 - Marijuana Laws in Detroit at the NWAC

by Richard C. Clement 
     Medical Marijuana Cardholder and Aide to Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr.



                On Thursday November 16, 2015 at the Northwest Activities Center, the Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform held a meeting to address the proposed Detroit ordinances for Marijuana business in Detroit. CSCR members consist of the general public, marijuana patients, business owners, and government officials that support sensible and responsible Marijuana Laws.  Audience members were notified that if the ordinance is enacted into law as written, a ballot referendum will be initiated preventing it from being enforced will be filed. This ordinance was written to benefit a very small number of current store locations at the expense of other locations. If enough valid voter signatures are attained, then implementation of the ordinance will be suspended until the next general election in 2016.

While some in the audience chose to be very disrespectful of the speakers, the message was made very clear. Citizens will be given the opportunity to implement an ordinance that is sensible and, will treat Marijuana business like any other business in Detroit with only a 1000 buffer from a school.  All other provisions and proposals in the ordinances #21 and #64 will be repealed and made sensible. The citizens feel that they were being lied to by their government when provisions for a 1000 foot buffer around a religious institution was placed back into the ordinance after being removed by the City Planning Commission.  This was done after everyone spoke at public comment and left for the evening.

No other business in the City of Detroit or anywhere else gives a Church a 1000 buffer to do business, no other business is required to be 1000 feet from each other, and no other business is required stop operations at certain hours.  The felony provisions that prevent convicted felons from being a caregiver is another form of discrimination that creates joblessness.  Felons who have served their debt to society and have no intentions whatsoever to return to the system need to get some respect. Just look at Martha Stewart, Sam Riddle, Charlie Beckam, they are doing fine after being given a second chance and doing extremely well.

The issues of working hours, and drive through service shall be decided by the voters instead of a vocal minority that took the time to file a petition with the city clerk. We truly appreciate the service to the people by Councilmember James Tate. This is part of the job of an elected official and he is doing it very well. However, a decision of this magnitude that involves the survival of businesses, especially the African American owned ones like native Detroiter Melanie Faison of Miles Green Acers on Woodward and 7 mile, belongs with the people.

                 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Proactive Action for 2016 in Education, Property Taxes, and Veterans Assistance in Detroit

By Richard C. Clement

NOW IS THE TIME TO:

Make plans to appeal your  property taxes in December by assembling all of your receipts and  appearing before the City Assessors in February. This is  the primary method on lowering and getting affair  rate on your property.  Property taxes are determined by the aggregate value of property in your neighborhood. In some cases your taxes may increase even  though you purchased the property in a auction of foreclosure.  Regardless of that, we strongly encourage you to purchase property in our district.

Give a shout out to Rachel Orange our District 2 Public Relations Educational Liaison for utilizing her resources to personally help gain a partnership with Bagley Elementary School and the Wayne State Athletic Department. The Athletic Department provided school shoes to the entire first through fourth grade classes.  For more information contact Ms. Orange at  OrangeR@DetroitMI.Gov

Support the Black Out on the Avenue on the Friday after Thanksgiving and, Support the Fiber Art on the Avenue Campaign from  now until November 30th. Make your check payable to Detroit Fiberworks 19359 Livernois, Detroit MI 48221.

Thank a Veteran and, if know one that needs some help, Please contact 
John Gardner (jgardner@waynecounty.com) at  313 224-5659 with the Wayne County Veterans Services at 28 W. Adams, Suite 1710 Detroit, MI 48226

Programs like the MI Veterans Trust Fund, Soldiers and Sailors Relief,  and  Wayne County Burial Reimbursement help are available.  Emergency Grants are available to honorable war time veterans and their spouses and their dependent children

PSA Today: Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period starts Now Until Dec 15th 2015.

    This is a Public Service Message from Councilmember Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

    From now until December 16, 2015,  you are strongly encouraged to sigh up for health care coverage through the  www.healthcare.gov website.  Don’t believe the crap you hear in the news about  the Act because it works.  If you think we are trying to pull some bull on you, just ask the legendary Bass Master of Detroit and District 2 constituent  Edward “T-Money” Green who recently went to the hospital for a life threatening growth on his leg. From a simple scratch and by being a diabetic, his leg swelled up as big as the size of two footballs. After life saving surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, the bill was entirely covered. He sincerely thanks President Barack Obama for doing the right thing when he said that every American will have health insurance like other nations do for their people.  If you need assistance with enrolling into the plan, please call our office because we have a dedicated staff member, Sheree McLaughlin who is a navigator and has valuable information on how to get assistance in getting health insurance. To make an appointment with her please call our office at 313 224-4535. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Notice of Public Meeting 11/16/15 - Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform

by Richard C. Clement


An informational meeting regarding the City of Detroit’s new Marijuana laws will be held on November 16, 2015 at 7pm at the Northwest Activities Center. This meeting is sponsored by Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform to address the provisions of the new ordinance that are totally contrary to the will of people.   If no action is taken, this Ordinance will be implemented with immediate effect.  All owners will be served a notice to cease and desist from doing business and, be given 30 days to shut down. However, if a people inspired ballot initiative to repeal the objections in the ordinance is signed by 5000 people, the ordinance will be suspended until a vote of the citizens is taken in the next general election.  This process will also enable you to add things you want as a citizen with the ballot language.

We invite you to come to this meeting to be informed and enlightened about the many benefits of licensing and managing products from the Cannabis plant that will create jobs.  On WHCB1200AM Detroit, with Midred Gaddis, a caller said that Churches don’t create jobs.  This is not true because a lot of the Churches do a lot of excellent work in rebuilding homes.  With the removal of the 1000ft barrier, material like drywall, concrete and, an entire home can built with the plant.  This includes the buildings that are occupied by cannabis entrepreneurs who pay property taxes and pay utility bills.  

We want new business owners to respect the new neighbors by doing a community benefits agreements with the neighborhoods to UPGRADE the quality of life in the City of Detroit.  Urban gardening would benefit young and old alike because would learn how to grow food, medicine, and agriculture properly. Detroit Citizens are some of the best urban gardeners in the world who made the City much better because they take the time to do it right!


So if you want to have your voice truly heard regarding sensible Cannabis laws, please make plans to attend this meeting.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Field Report: The Protest on Livernois and Outer Drive on Thursday October 22, 2015 @ 9PM

by Richard C. Clement


The protest by the New Era Detroit organization on Livernois and Outer Drive that blocked traffic was handled by the wisdom of the elders in the crowd and the presence of  officers from the Detroit Police 12th precinct. We are extremely glad that things turned out well.  Shout out to Keith Williams, and State Rep Latoya Garrett who appeared and listened to the protesters.  While the message of supporting black businesses  was valid, blocking the street preventing customers from getting to the businesses that the black people own hurt their cause. Places like Kuzzos and Baker Keyboard lost customers because of their street blockage and was counter to the message that they wanted to send. Order was restored when the protesters started to sit down and talk instead of cursing and aggressiveness. 


We hope that some of them changed their mind on the importance of voting and how to deal with the problem of gerrymandering.  It is the gerrymandering of districts that create the voter disenfranchisement and, gives the young an illusion that their vote does not count.  By selecting large tracts of land  a political party winning an election in a Census year can draw new district lines and shape policies for the next 10 years.  The result of this effect is a gridlock situation where nothing gets done and the neighborhoods are not represented fairly in Lansing and Washington. You get laws passed that will only benefit the few at the expense of the majority of the people.

Making a law referendum proof by preventing the voters from deciding what the people want is a form of voter fraud at the legislative level.  Legislative Voter Fraud takes your takes your voice away from making changes in the process against the majority of the people. To change that you have to register to vote, sign a petition, and vote the change into law.  Laws like a declaring a misdemeanor for making a  referendum proof law against the will of the people can be handled by a ballot initiative signed by registered voters asking for their voice with their vote.

In a football game ever play run does not go for an instant touchdown. Therefore this is going to be a ground game all the way to 2020 of voting in every election. You also have to support the ballot initiative for a non-partisan commission to pick the districts at the Congressional, State, Local, and County level to get a true representation of a community.  By voting this into law, you will end the gridlock that goes on in Lansing and Washington and get a true representation of your neighborhood at the State and US Capitol.

Change is coming but it takes time.  Vote anyway.


Notice of Public Meeting 11/10/2015 Michigan State Fairgrounds and The Magic Plan

by Richard C. Clement

This MEETING IS CANCELED as of 11/09/15


Meet the developers and view the plans for the new Michigan State Fairgrounds by Entrepreneur Earvin  “Magic” Johnson and the Magic Plus Group at this meeting that is open to the public. The development of this area will create jobs and opportunity for many Detroiters old and new. This area will have a movie theater, new homes, and a theater complex that will add to the revitalization of our neighborhood.

Site Plan - State Fairground
This area is in a strategic location in the region for a large transit hub that would handle east west transportation via M1 Rail or High speed bus. Directions from Grosse Point to Wixom, Detroit to Pontiac, and Nationwide Amtrak services with connections to New York, Toronto, Chicago, Ohio and other destinations that can be reached from this location.   Group Member Marvin Beatty is a lifelong Detroit resident that is fully committed to the city and is committed to the hiring dedicated Detroit residents who want a job.



 If you want to see positive change and have knowledge in the future of Detroit, please show your support and gratitude for plan by attending this meeting. There is room for public comment of up to 2:00 minutes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What Does Take to Make a Great City? Home Repair and Restoration Training Programs

by Richard Clement 



Councilmember ProTem Cushingberry is pleased to report that 16 homes in District 2 have been selected to participate in the Detroit Neighborhood Repair Program. Beginning in the Fall of 2015 the Detroit Land Bank will sell these homes to the program using an investment of  $30 million dollars into the program from the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust Fund. The City of Detroit Housing and Revitilization Department will provide up to $850,000 in start up costs from a special escrow account.

A partnership with the AFL-CIO, Detroit Land Bank, and financial institutions are teaming up to purchase 200 homes in the City of Detroit for restoration and occupation. The target area will be the Bagley Neighborhood in Northwest Detroit.  Then the project will expand to the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood and other neighborhoods as selected by the program.

The core of a city is its neighborhoods.  Decades of disinvestment and high levels of foreclosures have devastated Detroit's neighborhoods. All neighborhoods are plagued by thousands of vacant and vandalized homes in need of extensive repair.  The net result of these negative actions makes it difficult for potential homeowners to obtain financing.  To reverse this trend, the Detroit Neighborhood Home Repair Program will create a business model with the following:

1.     A sustainable business model to acquire, repair, and finance abandoned homes and properties in the Detroit Land Bank Inventory
2.     Rebuild in three to five years between 250 to 300 abandoned homes using union labor and, employing Detroit residents in the repair program
3.     Securing funding from foundations, governments, and other private sources to bring cutting edge mortgage, finance, home owner counselling and, pre-apprenticeship training into the program.
4.     Create home-ownership opportunities, generate workforce training opportunities, provide union construction jobs and, foster neighborhood stabilization.

Target home buyers are those earning between 80% and 150% Area Median Income (AMI) of $26,325 for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a program range between $21,060 and $39,488. Incentives will be given to municipal workers including teaches, firefighters, and police, as well as UAW members, and current and former neighborhood residents. This program is an opportunity for anyone who wants a career in skilled trades. Targeted individuals like homeless veterans who need a second chance the opportunity will be made available also.

The addresses of the properties in District 2 are:

Addr# Street Name Zip NBHD
19205 Greenlawn 48221 Bagley
18689 Ilene 48221 Bagley
17547 Mendota 48221
18087 Mendota 48221
17132 Monica 48221 Bagley
18265 Monte Vista 48221
18220 Ohio 48221 Bagley
18461 Ohio 48221 Bagley
17184 Prarie 48221 Bagley
18964 Prarie 48221 Bagley
18200 San Juan 48221 Bagley
17165 Santa Barbara 48221 Bagley
17527 Stopel 48221
8700 W. Seven Mile 48221 Bagley
17180 Wisconsin 48221 Bagley
18506 Wisconsin 48221 Bagley



These properties have been identified as the show properties for a program that will help create opportunities and restore structurally livable homes with future homeowners. This will be an opportunity for someone to build their own home and learn a skilled trade at the same time. So if  anyone who wants to pursue carpentry, plumbing, cement masonry, bricklaying, or any other skilled trade please contact Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones Office and ask about the skilled trades task force and the Office of Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr regarding bank finance information.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Elections Canada 2015 - We Endorse Justin Tredeau for Canada's Next Prime Minister

By Richard Clement


Vote Canada Oct. 19th
On October 19th, our friends across the Detroit River will be selecting a  new Prime Minister and, we hope they select Justin Tredeau. Justin's father was Piere Elliot Tredeau one of Canada's most successful Prime Ministers(wiki definition Click Here). 

In 1969 he commissioned a study to decriminalize Marijuana so that people would not clog a corrections systems with small time drug offenders(click Here for Toronto Star News)

He also was a statesman because he could get along with everybody and treated people with respect. He is a change agent and, will be a good person for the Canadian people because of  his progressive stance on ending the War on Drugs against people.  He will spur better trade between the United States and, Canada through Detroit.  He will solve the differences with the Moroun's on the riverfront and, allow a creative repayment plan for the loan for the bridge by using Industrial Hemp as a commodity to retire the debt. (Click Here On Howe to Pay For A New Bridge)

We hope that the Canadian people  Elect Justin Tredeau, as Canada's next Prime Minister.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

City Charter Bug Fix Review: Barrow's Ballot is in Good Hands - Press Release


Dear Tom,

The next general election is August 2016 and at that time the Barrow plan would be in full effect.  The plan requires that two paper voting receipts be printed at every voting location when the polls close after 8pm.  One with a signature that is taped on the wall at the voting location. The other receipt is sent with the votes to the Elections Bureau for total vote counting.  Both receipts require a signature on them.  If there is a close election then a recount would be required by law otherwise the votes are certified by the clerk.

The question is, how hard is it for a printer to print two sheets of paper?

This concept is very workable before the 2016 August Primary Election. The next question is WHY you want to print the paper in the first place. What is wrong with a voting scoreboard with real time results that you can access on your phone, tablet, laptop, google glass, wristwatch, etc? How about voting online one day? If you must print two tally sheets at the end of the night, then do what you have to do.

It is the position of Councilmember Cushingberry to review this legislation with the Elections Commission and, personnel versed in Information Technology skills like network management, data security, and system design.  Tom Barrow’s work will not be in vain and the initiative to have fair and accurate accounting of votes will be implemented by the next general election. 

The real fix is to the bug in the charter that is forcing Councilmember Janee Ayers to run for office in 2016 and 2017 because of the departure of Saunteel Jenkins. The wording in the charter says that a vacancy has to be filled  by voting in the next general election.  It should read that a vacancy has to be filled when the vacant position is up for election at the end of  it's 4 year term

Fact: Candidate Jenkins was elected for a 4 year job. She left early for a new job so Janee Ayers was appointed to fill out the remaining time. 

Fixing this bug in the charter would save a lot of time and money in the elections bureau and, address both issues at the same time. If Mr. Barrow is interested in taking on this task please set up a meeting, call, or do what you do to get something started. 

Thank you for your service to our community Tom.
Sincerely,
Richard Clement - Legislative Aide to Councilmember Pro Tem Cushingberry


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What Does It Take to Make a Great City? 3D Home Printing

by Richard C. Clement


Currently, there are large tracts of land in the City that can support the development of neighborhoods ranging from moderate homes for homeless veterans, all the way to exclusive homes that would rival the ones in Palmer Woods in District 2. 

To help with re-purposing the land, 3D Printer technology may have to be implemented. Using a computer, all someone needs to do is to draw the house on the computer, and once everything is looking good on paper clicks on the OK button. The technology uses basic math with the X, Y, and Z coordinates, connected to a machine with a nozzle at the end.  The pumping mechanism pours the dimensions of the home in layers until completed.  To pour the plumbing, the mixing compound would be changed to make pipe and other parts.

Mixing materials composed from Industrial Hemp byproducts like concrete and other material will be able to create parts for a home like a plastic tube for water and hemp-Crete for sewer pipes. Entire tracts of land would be “reprinted” or, a custom made home printed to specification on a single lot in a neighborhood. Click Here to see a machine in China that can print up to 10 homes a day using 3D Technology.

We have the talent right here in the City as demonstrated by the 3D Musical Artists Onyx Ashanti (onyx-ashanti.com) who is rooted in the heart of Detroit. Mr. Ashanti is a prime example of the talent in our City of Detroit. An artist that prints his own musical instruments using 3D technology, he has soundly rejected the ideology of some in Corporate America that cannot find the talent in the urban cities, especially the Detroit Public Schools.

 

As long as you are outside the walls of a correctional institution and, have no intentions of going back if you have been there, opportunity is available to learn how to do something to add to the overall quality of life in the city. As long as you have an Android or IPhone and can figure out how to use 50% or more of the features on it, you can be trained to do any job in technology.

All it takes is a mentor and opportunity to contribute to the quality of life, entrepreneurship may be the way to go. You may have to work a few jobs to sustain yourself in the beginning, but when you reach your goal of success (as defined by you) your mind will be at peace.


So if you like to draw, a 3D home design may be a career for you to pursue. Work from anywhere at any time as long as you put in your hours at the agreed rate of pay, you will do fine.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Statement on the Flint Michigan Water Crisis

by Friends of  Councilmember Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr.

We strongly encouraging US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, US Attorney Barbara McQuade, and Attorney General Bill Schuette to intervene on behalf of the Citizens of Flint Michigan with, a court order to immediately switch the water supply back to the Detroit Water and Sewer Department (DWSD). 

This conduct is an extreme threat to the health and quality of life for the citizens, especially the children.  

The switch to pump water from the Flint River is an act of negligence and, will cost the State of Michigan millions in lawsuit settlements for health reasons. Therefore we are strongly encouraging State and Federal officials to investigate, repair the water quality, and prosecute possible wrongdoing on the people of Flint Michigan.

Friday, October 2, 2015

How to Comply with New Voter Photo ID Laws with your Selfie Stick and Cell Phone

by The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.



With your cell phone, you can make your vote count if you do not have proper ID. All you need is your Cell Phone, Selfie Stick, and a ballot to cast.  As soon as you are denied the right to vote because of lack of proper id, you then demand to vote with a provisional ballot.  Ask to take a selfie with the precinct captain with your ballot in hand, shoot picture and cast your vote. You may want to shoot a picture of the ballot while you cast it if you feel like it.  When court action is necessary to have your vote counted because of your identity is being challenged, you have video evidence to present to dispute the claim.  Voter fraud must be stopped and, this method will aid in your voting right being protected by law, and your vote being counted.



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Detroit Marijuana Ordinance Public Hearing: Monday, October 12th, 2015 @ 10am

by Richard C. Clement


Let the People Decide
The Detroit City Council has set the date of Monday, October 12th, 2015 at 10am for a public hearing on the proposed ordinance to remove drive through service and cap the number of Marijuana Service Centers in the City.   All persons wishing to file an appearance, support, or objection must file their written paperwork with Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey's Office.





Download the new ordinance as presented for public hearing from Council-member Pro-Tem Cushingberry's City of Detroit Webpage  on (www.detroitmi.gov George Cushingberry Jr's Newsletters and Documents Link)


If you would like to speak at this hearing and require more time, then the City Clerk must be notified at least 10 days in advance.  Upon approval a person will be given 4 minutes to speak. Otherwise you will be limited to two minutes.

After this hearing and if you want your facility to be re-zoned, please fill out this Application for Zoning Change form to re-zone your property with the City Planning Commission. If you are successful, you may be able to change the zoning of your property so that it will be in compliance with the new ordinance.

Download an Application for a City of Detroit Zoning Change 

If you have any questions please call the office at (313) 224-4535

What Does it Take to Make a Better City? Careers in Aviation and Rail Transportation with an expanded City Airport


by Richard Clement



Juliet and George at the MGM Grand
The first project is to expand the people mover to places like the Motor City Casino, MGM Casino, and the District Detroit/Red Wings Stadium. While the M1 rail is a great idea that we hope will prosper, the long forgotten Detroit People Mover is something that is already there in place. With a minimal amount of effort and construction, it has the potential of being something of a real mover of people to distant places in Detroit. Additional stops at the MGM Grand and Motor City Casino Hotel will increase the usage and functionality of the rail line. The construction unions will appreciate the work and the people will appreciate the effort to make getting around the city much easier.

The Mt Elliot Employment District is a project will create jobs and return an investment into the City. The project will enhance the business climate by allowing the expansion a business corridor along Van Dyke and Mt Elliot. It will allow Detroit City Airport to grow with new and longer runways that will miss the cemetery's and allow for the re-opening of McNichols to traffic. Another benefit of this effort is the re-establishment of Davis Aerospace High School back at the airport grounds.

By relocating Davis Aerospace High School on the Airport Grounds, the Detroit Public School system will be a national leader providing the nation with certified pilots and mechanics that will be the new Tuskegee Airmen of the future.  This school is extremely vital in the growth of the City because it will train students for careers in aviation and commercial airline service..  Students from Detroit and surrounding areas will be given an opportunity to get a career in Aviation and fly to bigger and better with an education and a skill.

Currently the City of Detroit owns much of the land around the Airport Property. This property can be used to expand the use of the airport by creating two longer runways so that passenger carrying airlines can use it. Major airline companies like Delta (www.delta.com) and Qatar (www.qatarairways.com) can provide a regional hub that will compliment Metro Airport with their high volume operation.  Detroit City Airport will rival Chicago’s Midway Airport and Bishop Airport in Flint with direct flights to  places like Havana Cuba, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Toronto CA, Vancouver CA, or any City within a 3000 nautical mile radius of the runways.

The Mt Elliot Employment District project will increase the value of property on Detroit’s east side and create satellite business in and around the expanded airport.  Parts suppliers, Cargo and Car rental places are example of some of the supplier business types that will be created with this public works project. If you would like to see this happen then business and community leaders must agree to pursue this endeavor.  People need jobs and this is one way to create them by doing a project that is for the good of the people instead of letting land stay idle and non-income producing.  

To make a better city you have to make something happen by organizing with leaders in Washington, Lansing, Wayne County, and  Detroit to support this public works project that will create jobs and opportunity for Detroit residents who want to work, earn, and learn.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Future of Cannabis in The Future of Detroit. Where are You?


by Richard C. Clement



In order for true Marijuana Reform in Detroit, the failed policy of the late Harry Anslinger must be put to rest. Marijuana is improperly classified as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical value because people like Mr. Anslinger were paid off by an industry who wanted to use wood for paper instead of a durable product of Industrial Hemp.  Mr. Anslinger was a bigot who hated African Americans so much that he was spreading false and misleading information that Marijuana made White Women desire sex with Black Men, made Black people think they are superior to Whites and, influenced religious leaders to say that Marijuana was created by the Devil.

It is this group think mentality that is the primary driving force behind the current policy that we are following today of incarceration for Marijuana crimes and the arrested development of the numerous potential benefits of using the Cannabis plant.

The following ordinance proposed by Council-member James Tate will remove 90% of all Medical Marijuana businesses from the City of Detroit through the bizarre use of zoning regulations.  If this becomes law, Medical Marijuana Businesses will be subjected to following restrictions in the City of Detroit.
  • Be at least 2000 feet away from each other “Controlled Uses Stores”
  • Be at least 1000 feet away from a School, Public Park, Church, or Religious Institution
  • Located only in Detroit Business Zones B4-B5 and M1-M5
Additionally, all drive through businesses that dispense Medical Marijuana will be eliminated.

This proposed ordinance is contrary to the will of the majority of the citizens who vote and patronize these places of business.  Yet these same patrons can drive up to places like CVS and Walgreens to get some of the most dangerous drugs that cause, heart attacks, suicides, and impotence. The numerous examples of Liquor Stores and Churches that are much closer than 2000 feet from each highlights the glaring contradictions of this proposed ordinance.

The singling out of drive through businesses as a public nuisance is troubling because if a drive through is good for Chase Bank then Pot should not pose any additional problems.  Will this extend to Marijuana Vending Machines in a private place? This proposed ordinance will force some MMJ owners to re-define their businesses as a place of sacramental worship as a religious institution to protect their investment into the re-construction of their property.  The religious argument to rezone Marijuana businesses may be against the tennants Religious Freedom Restoration Act that can be argued in a court of law.

Citizens who support these businesses are strongly urged to contact all of the elected leadership of the City of Detroit to voice your concerns and propose changes.  If the leadership does not listen then you the people have every right to initiate a people driven petition to create a NEW ordinance that will meet the people’s needs.

The real question is how is the City of Detroit and the residents going to benefit from the emerging Marijuana Industry?
  • First the proposed ordinance must demand that these businesses remain open and protected from prosecution by law. 
  • The Ordinance will create a City Department of Marijuana Management that will manage business needs with a nominal application fee of $1000.
  • The Department will be responsible for managing the needs of the business owners with services including but not limited to the following: 
  • The hiring and training of Certification Testers to evaluate and grade Marijuana being sold or transferred in the City of Detroit. 
  • Providing a directory of Marijuana Businesses providing Faith Based Services and resources to Military Veterans, Retired City and Wayne County Employees with PTSD and other symptoms treatable with Cannabis.
  • If some businesses are performing faith based services to clients and customers you may be eligible for a religious exemption as a faith based institution performing services under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Examples of providing faith based services are:
  • Using Cannabis to treat Veterans and Public Servants with PTSD symptoms from serving in Government.
  • Examples of (but not limited to) military service, working as a teacher, firefighter, Police Officer, or Civil Service appointee.
  • Providing Rick Simpson Oil to Cancer and Autism patients or any condition treatable with cannabis.

If you feel that the propose ordinance does not fit your needs, the people have opportunity to enact a ballot initiative to allow the people to decide on the issue of Marijuana Policy in the City Of Detroit and, its direction in the future of our City.

If you are a patron of any Marijuana Business and, want to see the revenue from Marijuana sales and manufacturing benefit the people. Then we are urging you to do the following:  

  1. Supporters of Marijuana must call and have meetings with your City of Detroit Elected Leadership to voice your support or opposition.
  2. Propose fair and equitable guidelines for building reuse as not to discriminate or deny opportunities to improve the quality of life through, entrepenuership, apprenticeships and higher education.
  3. Be prepared to sign a proposed ordinance to clarify the existence and direction of Manufacturing, Medical and Recreational Marijuana in the City of Detroit.
  4. Register to Vote, Sign the MI legalize petition, and actually Vote.


The future of Detroit includes the benefits of using the byproducts of the Cannabis plant. Don’t let others who do not have the best interest of the people in mind determine the Detroit Future. Education grow academies and curriculum policy change in public education will expand the importance to the youth to pay attention in class instead of harassing the teacher and dogging the “guest” teachers. To protect all of the children, some students need to really quit clowning around and get serious in the classroom.  Especially in subjects of Biology, Science, Math,  Hortoculture , Electronics, Solar Panel Engineering, Manufacturing, Algebra, and Technology.  As far as music skills, learning how to play an instrument will carry youth a long way in the educational journey of life. For some it might lead to a nice career and pay your way through school at the same time.

The tactical use of Marijuana will create better quality of life with the creation of jobs in manufacturing of concrete for roads, drywall products for home constructions, create bio-fuel for City vehicles, more money for education, and a revenue stream for Wayne County and the City of Detroit. 

We are one 2016 Presidential Election away from continuing the change or, going back to the failed policies of Harry Ainslinger that creates a thriving system asset forfeiture, incarceration for small amounts of Marijuana, building more jails to create more felons than fellowships, putting Canadian Citizens like Marc Emery back in a US Jail in Mississippi at the same time allowing Irving Rosenfeld to legally use Marijuana in all 50 states that is not grown at Alcorn State University in Lorimar MS but somewhere else, and so on.

Therefore it is imperative that you be a good citizen and peacefully petition our government to change the policy on Cannabis to improve the quality of life for the Citizens of the City of Detroit.

If not, then in 2017 President Chris Christie will open a drive through incarceration facility at the “newly completed” Wayne County Jail for Marijuana, while charging increased user fees at the local drive through, fast food restaurants.

Richard C. Clement – Legislative Aide & Marijuana Policy Consultant





"Free The Weed for the Jobs We Need"

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Historic August Weekend in Detroit on 8 Mile Road

By Richard C. Clement


Like a fine bottle of Wine
Getting better with Age
The Office of District 2 Councilmember Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. wants to commend all of the participants of People for Palmer Park, The Annual 8 Mile Gathering Fellowship, Crusin in the D, and all the people at Peterson Park who partied in the Spirit of Detroit this August. I want to give a special shout out to the 40th year reunion of the Mumford Class of 1975.



Some of the Class of 1975

WMUM Radio Personalities
Gerald Mc Bride and Richard Clement
It was an extreme pleasure to see old friends, classmates, neighbors, and the reason that all of us became who we are now. It was good to know that some of us are still alive and well.  To those of my Mustang classmates who are resting in heaven, I was honored to be your friend, teammate and drinking partner.  It has been 40 years graduated from Mumford High School and, to all of you all may the Spirit of Detroit inside you live on.




More class of the Class of 1975

Clement and Lake
The Annual 8 Mile reunion on the grounds of an old civil war camp was an extremely awesome event of unity. Old and new neighbors get together and fellowship in the most awesome manner at this location. There are never any acts violence here and it is nothing but love and respect for each other.




Pasteur School in the House
It was an extreme pleasure to introduce some of my friends to current Detroit Fire Department employees of Engine 44, with a brand new door. We were glad to see the support from Wayne County Sheriff, Detroit Fire and Police Departments.  They should feel good about covering a District with a strong history and a great future for the children that live there. Everyone knows the Neighborhood Police Officer but very few know the Neighborhood Fire Fighter. Want to give a big shout out to Sheriff Benny Napolean for his support and he is a proud product of Pasteur School.


Stop The Violence
The Gathering at Peterson Park was a true blessing of the neighborhood again in the Spirit of Detroit. This large city park accommodated three different groups who all played together in harmony.  A Winship Junior High School reunion, a Stop the Violence Rally, and a church group all used the park to fellowship together.  A deputy sheriff from Wayne County came to Stop the Violence and speak about the importance of education and reading. 


Wayne County Sheriff & Cush
Most of the prisoners in Wayne County Jails have the same trait in common regarding their reading skills. They are the most repeat offenders and the deputy sheriff did a wonderful job in communicating with the audience about police and community relations. This is another shout out to Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napolean and the employees that work under his command.


Cush and the Church
Working Together in District 2



Cruisn the D at Palmer Park
The effort to make Woodward South of 8 Mile road a part of a Cruise weekend was a smashing success. The span of Woodward between 8 and Mc Nichols (6 Mile for Native Detroiters) was populated with by the Crusin the “D” event that went around Palmer Park, 7 Mile, Woodward, 8 Mile and back.  This area has its own uniqueness because there are few restaurants and a park with a lot of trees where people parked their cars, stayed cool and watched the other cars go by.  It was a pleasure to welcome cruisers to the area.  

Crusin at Palmer Park
Participants at Woodward and Golden Gate drank cool vegan lemonade at the Golden Gate CafĂ© and watched the cars go by. Our office wants to send a thank you to Jerry White, Ms. Litita White and LG Graphics for participating in the inaugural classic car show held on the parking lot at Woodward and Golden Gate.  This location is a prime property for watching cruisers, especially the motor bikers go up and down Woodward.


Thank you Mejiers 

In 2016 a cruise from Campus Martius and Back is very doable. In collaboration with bikers, cruisers, and track clubs, this annual event will morph into an international celebration of the automobile.  Is a Cruise weekend marathon with runners running from 26 miles out to a finish line located at Campus Martius possible? This would have to be done before the Saturday of the event maybe on a Friday morning. Otherwise, the bikers and automobile group can do the cruise from Campus Martius to Pontiac in 2016 with proper time, planning and, support.


Cruiser(Left) with Organizer/CEO
Gregory Reed(Right)

Detroit is coming back and we are helping to keep it on track to progress.

We thank you all for your participation in these events in the Spirit of Detroit.

Keep up the good work in Detroit!

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