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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Progress on The Avenue, New Business In District 2 - Questions and Solutions

By Richard C. Clement

With the addition of the Bucharest Grill on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion, parking has become an extreme priority. To solve that problem a building or two can be removed, including the median in the middle of the road.  What are your thoughts on a pilot project to allow for parking in the middle of Livernois with a bike lane protected with a smaller median? 

The next issue is traffic enforcement to control the speeding and parking violations.  What are your thoughts on installing traffic strips connected to a camera to control the excessive speeding?  

The camera would photograph licenses plates of offending vehicles for processing by the law.  The tactical use of technology would accomplish the goals of controlling excessive speeding, increase parking spaces, and generate foot traffic while revitalizing empty buildings at the same time.

If you are interested in doing something like this for the Livernois Avenue Of Fashion, please contact Council President Brenda Jones At Large, City Councilmember Janee Ayers At Large, and Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr District 2. The first three votes are very crucial to the cause of improving the quality of life of the neighborhoods.  

With two or more additional Councilmembers supporting this effort, this project would be given a chance to address the needs of the business owners and the surrounding community.  

Please contact a Detroit City Councilmember at www.detroitmi.gov/Government/City-Council by voice, email, and In-Person on this important matter.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Nov 8th, 2017 Marijuana Petition Ballot Drive Is Underway In Detroit

By Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst


With the new state law regarding Medical Marijuana allowing local units of government to regulate businesses within their borders, local Ordinances regulating these businesses have to be redesigned. Currently, there are 4 Petitions circulating by two user organizations that will accomplish this task. The Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform and The Sons of Hemp (Website: www.sonsofhemp.org) have undertaken the challenge.


Richard Clement
Marijuana Policy Analyst
City of Detroit

All signatures on petitions need to be gathered by June 15, 2017. At least 5000 valid voter signatures are required on petitions submitted to the Detroit City Clerk’s office. For the four petitions listed above, signatures must be of voters who live IN the City of Detroit. When the signatures are certified by the City Clerk, these petitions will be given letter designations and, appear on the November 8th, 2017 ballot to be voted on.

  •           Petition 1 is to repeal the current ordinance outright
  •         Petition 2 is to redesign the Licensing Ordinance
  •         Petition 3 is to redesign the Zoning Ordinance
  •        Petition 4 is to redesign the Licensing Ordinance with residency requirements


Petitions 2 through 4 will accomplish the same basic goal of removing liquor stores, parks, and reducing the distance between valid churches to 500ft. These proposals will open up more areas by giving the Board of Zoning Appeals wide deference to approve qualifying business.  Testimony from residents will be limited to people who live within 300ft of the proposed new business. Closed schools will not count in the Drug Free Zones along with Day Care Centers that don’t exist.  Waivers may be granted if the property owners grant their approval such as a Pastor or,  Day Care Center owner. 


Petitions 1, 2, and 3 are sponsored by the Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform, Petition 4 is sponsored by the Sons of Hemp, a group of African American Marijuana Business owners who has language modeled after the proposal in Oakland California that required 51% ownership by Detroit residents. The overall goal of all of these efforts is to improve the quality of life at the local level. For instance neighborhoods using revenue from retail sales can re-open Recreation Centers and Schools in the City of Detroit.

The people have spoken loud and clear on Marijuana with their vote many times. Look for a petition to sign at your local place of business for these local petitions and, the statewide initiative to regulate Marijuana like Alcohol to be placed on the November 2018 General Election.

Business owners reading this article are strongly encouraged to list your place of business as a petition signing center in the comments section.


So take the time to sign Petitions A, B, C, and D.  
Whatever it takes to keep the Weed Free.

   

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 Street Repair Schedule in District 2 - Improving Neighborhoods For Me And You

By Richard C. Clement - Legislative Aide to George Cushingberry Jr.

      Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. is proud to present the following list of repairs scheduled for streets in District 2, as a part of a 63 million dollar improvement plan in 2017.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Department Of Public Works Street Maintenance at (313) 224-0033 or, go to their website.

http://www.detroitmi.gov/Government/Departments-and-Agencies/Public-Works/Contact-us

video
Department of Recreation and Riverside Park Redevelopment




STREET
FROM
TO
Ardmore
Curtis
John C. Lodge
Baylis
Fenkell
J.C. Lodge
Belden
Puritan
Lodge
Chippewa
Meyers
Appoline
Clarita
Winthrop
Greenfield
Dexter
Fenkell
Puritan
Fairfield
Seven Mile
Curtis
Grand
Linwood
Wildermere
Greenlawn
W. McNichols
Puritan
Hubbell
Eight Mile
Curtis
Hubbell
Jeffries Fwy
Grand River
James Couzens N/B s/d
Six Mile (McNichols)
Audrey
John C Lodge N/B s/d
50' W of Monica
Ohio
John C. Lodge N/B s/d
Schaefer
Audrey
John C. Lodge S/B s/d
Wyoming
Monica
Kendall
Ewald Circle
Wildermere
Manor
Curtis
Margareta
Mansfield
W. Outer Drive
Santa Maria
Margareta
Rutherford
Mansfield
Mendota
Santa Maria
Curtis
Merrill Plaisance
Woodward
Pontchartrain
Pickford
Greenfield
Prest
Pontchartrain
Merrill Plaisance
7 Mile Rd.
Puritan
Livernois
Belden
Santa Clara
Wyoming
Pinehurst
Sorrento
W. McNichols
James Couzens
St. Martins
Schaefer
Lesure
Stoepel
W. McNichols
Thatcher
Ward
W. McNichols
James Couzens
Whitcomb
Vassar
Pembroke
Wildemere
Puritan
J.C. Lodge
Woodingham
W. McNichols
Puritan

Friday, May 26, 2017

2017 City Council Candidate Review For District 2 - Truth to Power and Experience

By The Friends Of George Cushingberry Jr.

Source: Independent Street Research Group

After independent review of the candidates credentials and performace at a recent candidates forum, these are the findings of the group. The debate was sponsored by the United Precinct Delegates of Detroit and Michigan. These are bare bones results given to each candidate running for the District 2 seat on Detroit City Council.
   








Candidate Name

Experience
Linda D. Bernard
Inexperienced

George Cushingberry
Respected by his colleagues, George Cushingberry has a long history and track record of serving the people’s interests and getting things done.

George Cushingberry has deep roots and committed to education with a campaign of financial, legal and spiritual literacy. His specialty is finance, budget management, and oversight. He is very adamant about this and has called out many a department for not having their papers in order. He also compliments departments and businesses that practice transparency in financial management policies. Frequently visits K-!2 schools reading to children and donated his City Issued Vehicle to the Police Department for their use.  

The plan is on track to remove State of Michigan oversight and reverse the damage of Emergency Management in City Government. Cushingberry is a consultant to the Detroit Public School District School Board to move Davis Aerospace back to airport grounds, reversing a horrendous decision of Emergency Roy Roberts to strip certifications and the attempt to dissolve the Tuskegee Airmen program.

Mr. Cushingberry is responsible for the upgrade and overhaul of City Technology. Departments that were running Windows 3.1 and software for the Fire Department was drastically overhauled with the help of fellow councilmembers and the Information Technology staff under the leadership of Chief Information Officer Beth Niblock.

Mr. Cushingberry is a strong advocate for the Department of Recreation regarding the future of the City with recreation centers. He is currently listening and working with ALL stakeholders to develop a fair and inclusive Marijuana Ordinance that will serve the needs of the people and benefit the entire community. The new marijuana ordinance will be in compliance with State law.  The ordinance seeks to address concern of residents that the Marijuana Industry be more than just be a bunch of African American consumers with no reinvestment back into the community.

Statewide effects of a local ordinance will allow agriculturalists to grow and manufacture products ranging from home construction materials, road concrete, and other products made from the male plant.

Four years ago, certain news media outlets lambasted the choice of Brenda Jones as Council President and George Cushingberry Jr as President Pro Tempore. Four years later, these people were completely wrong. So much has been accomplished and the oversight to keep things right are in place.  Now is not the time to experiment with others who talk the talk and get exposed during the walk. After further review of the facts, Brenda and Cush have led the push for a better and brighter Detroit.

On or Before August 8th cast your vote for the best candidate! George Cushingberry Jr.  Detroit City Council District 2.

Roy McCalister
Inexperienced  

Helena Scott
Inexperienced

Virgil Smith
Irresponsible and cannot be trusted
 
Tyra Dear Williams
Inexperienced

Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017 Endorsement News For George Cushingberry Jr. - Press Relase


By The Friends Of George Cushingberry Jr.

George Cushingberry Jr. welcomes the support of the following organizations for his re-election to the Detroit City Council in District 2. We appreciate the work they do very much.  


Michigan Regional Council of Millwrights and Carpenters  




Local 24 Hospitality Workers Union




Laborers Local 1199 



www.laborerslocal1191.org


13th District Congressional Democrats



Metro Detroit AFL-CIO



Virgie Rollins
14th Congressional District
We are thankful for the support in removing Virgil Smith from being endorsed as the candidate over George Cushingberry for Detroit Council District 2 by the 14th Congressional District. While we do support felons getting jobs and getting first, second, third, and fourth chances, this is not the job for him.

We are on a path to undo the damage of Emergency Managers and State Supervision of our city. Neighborhoods are composed of a community of schools and recreation centers that serve children and senior citizens.  Experience and knowledge is a crucial element in leadership and for the Detroit City Council, George Cushingberry has been a team player and catalyst for change.

We cannot afford to go back to the days electing carnival barkers and puppets manipulated by State and Federal legislators who don’t give a damn about our city. Doing this would be a fatal mistake if you do not re-elect George Cushingberry. He has demonstrated that he will fight for the people through measured protocol and tactical implementation of plans. Some of the overt examples of what has been done already are Recreation Centers and City Airport expansion.

Join us as we reflect 50 years after the Detroit Riots on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion by attending one or more of our events listed on our website starting June 1st

If you would like to support the Re-Election of Councilmember Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr. with an endorsement, please visit our website at www.cushforcitycouncil.com  and click on the Endorsement page link. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Native Detroit Marijuana Business Owners File Federal Lawsuit For Inclusion

By Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst

The Sons of Hemp, an African American group of Marijuana Business Owners has re-filed a Federal three count lawsuit against the City of Detroit regarding the uneven enforcement of the Detroit Marijuana Zoning Ordinance and the impact upon native Detroiters owning businesses.  


The 3 counts are as follows:  
Count 1 – Racketeering under existing RICO laws
Count 2 – Selective Enforcement with Bias based on Race
Count 3 – Due process 

The larger picture is the structure of the ordinance as written. Bizarre interpretations of rules based on religion for example, are in conflict with the 1st Amendment and given too much leeway in decision making by the Board of Zoning Appeals. There are some religious institutions owned by the Detroit Land Bank that are given preference over Marijuana Care centers even though the church itself has done absolutely nothing for the community.

 
Detroit at Night

For any other business in Detroit, people who live within 300ft of a proposed property have the legal right to file a letter of objection or support. For marijuana businesses testimony is being taken from people who live as far as 10 miles away from the distance of the facility and, their objections are given favor over people who live within the 300ft distance.

There is also empirical evidence showing that there are outside interests from other states and countries paying off elected officials and neighborhood groups to create an artificial cap on the number of facilities they want to see in the Detroit area. 

Another glaring example of racism in the marijuana industry was the drive through service provided by Natures Choice on Grand River Avenue. They were forced to shut down while, Caucasian owned business in Colorado claim to be the first drive through dispensary in the United States of America as reported by NBC News. With US Attorney General Jeff "KKK" Sessions in charge, the days of shooting people for pot may return soon, just like Tom and Rollie at the Rainbow Farms camp in 2001.  The new face of prohibition wants to return to the good old days of mandatory minimums, and filling the jails with non-violent pot users again. 
Website: Rainbow Farms Memorial - Vandalia MI 
Website: 2012 Detroit Proposal M - Marijuana Decrim  Yes 65%   No 35%
Case Informaition

US District Court Judge Avery Cohen 
United States District Court
Eastern District of Michigan
Case# 2:17-CV-11093
Sons of Hemp v City Of Detroit


Monday, April 24, 2017

Commercial Air Service At Detroit City Airport May Be Closer to Becoming A Reality At KDET

By Richard C. Clement
Legislative Aide to Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr.



The recent plans advertised to shut down Detroit City Airport has created a world-wide uproar in the aviation industry. Now a grown up, former Johnson Center, 8 Mile Road youth and resident wants to give back to his home town by bringing commercial air service back to Detroit City Airport. Marcus K Channey CEO Metro Airways has a plan to install Commercial Air Service at the Airport by November 2017. As a result of the hearing conducted by the City Council's Budget/Audit and Finance committee, some good things have happened. 
Website: Metro Airways

He has guaranteed that %2.5 of revenue generated by his airline will be reinvested into the City in the form of improved infrastructure like recreation centers and aviation education. The Benjamin O Davis high school will become a feeder program for the Airline to hire pilots and mechanics for lucrative careers.

Metro Airlines 
The airport has drawn interest from international carriers like Al Qatar, Virgin Atlantic, and Southwest that want to have an alternative choice and provide additional service to the tri-county region. The relocation of 5 professional sports teams in the City Limits will substantially increase the value of this land. Team owners and Very High Ranking Government Officials have already made City Airport the place to be because of the close proximity to the stadiums and downtown. The plan to reconfigure the Airport with an additional runway has the support of many aviation professionals and Team Owner Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans.


Richard Clement and Dan Gilbert Discuss City Airport 

City residents will not have to drive so far to catch a flight, airlines will not have to overbook flights and forcefully drag people off of their aircraft because of their draconian policies. A joint project with developers like Magic/Redico LLC, and Rock Ventures would include assistance in building a new Benjamin O Davis High School.  Less that 2% of all people who participate in sports ever make it to the professional level from high school. Students would have a better chance of getting an S.T.E.M. career job then trying to be the next Beyonc√© or LeBron James.



New Runway  33L/15R in RED 

People who can afford to fly into Detroit on corporate jets do not need to be run out of town with a shuttered airport.  The new aircraft engines and technology has enabled pilots to fly non-stop from places as far as France on a single tank of gas. The airport’s current configuration will allow for passenger planes that can carry up to 130 people to come and go as they please.  






According to Mr. Cheney Detroit City Airport is a Public Use Airport and a FEMA designated facility in case of an emergency. In addition State and Local law enforcement frequently use the airport because of the public use designation.  The upgrades to the airport will cost the City of Detroit zero dollars because all of the funding is restricted FAA funds.  Finally the biggest beneficiary of the Airport will be the Detroit Public School Community School District and the children who want to study aviation as a career.   

Friday, April 21, 2017

Position Statement On Flint MI Keeping Detroit Water And Sewer Service

By Richard Clement - Legislative Aide

Council President Pro Tem supports the decision of the Executive Leadership of Flint Michigan to continue to receive water from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. The Karegnondi (KWA)  water project is an example of the result of using construction and financial resources for purposes other than improving the quality of life. The existing water lines from Detroit could have been extended to where the Karegnondi water line is now at a substantially cheaper price.  An examination of the KWA Pipeline Map, a simple one mile extension of the current DWSD water line along Wheeler Road was much shorter  to build.  
The damage to City Of Detroit retirees behind this action of the State Appointed Emergency Managers can be reversed through methods of, but not limited to:
  1. Pension Fund Managers file claims for damages in State and Federal Courts 
  2. Pension Fund Managers file criminal charges
  3. DWSD constructs a connection to existing KWA line and assumes ownership dissolving the KWA
  4. Other actions that can be taken to offset damages to City Retirees in a court of law or legislatively to remove state taxes from pensions and adjusted health care co-pays.


By using correct actuarial data, the figures used to create the bankruptcy will be recalculated from the point of the discrepancy. With this move our city will be officially free of State Financial Review Board oversight on December 31, 2017 at 11:59pm.  During this transition the City will be able to pursue complete control of finances and, do something about rising health care costs. Co-pays for retirees and current employees will be reduced.  Therefore I am asking you to support my fellow colleagues on Council in our efforts to right the wrong to City Employees and Retirees


Thursday, April 20, 2017

City Airport is an Asset to the City of Detroit As A Working Airport

Position Statement
We have over 17,000 empty buildings in the city and, we do not need to build new ones on the grounds of the facility. The article written by Daniel Howes of the Detroit News (DN Article Link) is totally incorrect and if allowed to proceed will create even more blight in the city.  We are looking into busing students from adjoining districts to Benjamin O. Davis HS to learn how to fly instead of closing more schools.
Detroit City Airport  Live Air Traffic Tracking from FlightAware.com

High Priority Customers of Detroit City Airport
Rayethon Python 1 - Twin Engine Jet 

Commercial Air Service can be started within 3 months from the date on this newsletter with a small effort and minimal money. We will make more money when we lease out our City Information Technology services to Delta Airlines to improve their computing services. If you support Detroit youth to attain aviation careers, then support the Council on Re-Vitalizing Detroit City Airport.

What Does it Take to Make A Great City?
Re-opening Detroit City Airport to Commercial Air Service


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Field Report - Sensible Marijuana Policy Practice for Local Units of Government

By Richard Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst 



At the 46th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, industry leaders, students, and politicians met to share the moment and discuss strategies to manage the re-legalization of Marijuana in Michigan.  On December 20th, 2017 Gov. Snyder signed into law sweeping legislation to allow local units of government to regulate and tax Marijuana businesses in the State.  Under the new law, Cities and Townships can design local ordinances that can limit the number of facilities within their boundaries. County Governments stand to make the most gains with a 35% cut of all revenues going toward their budgets.

Richard "Free The Weed"  Clement
Joe White - MI NORML,
Former St. Rep Jeff Irwin(D) Ann Arbor

As it stands now, the current Marijuana Ordinance in the City of Detroit has been applied in such a manner as to allow unscrupulous activity such as people starting up Day Care Centers to prevent the opening of a facility. Another example in Northwest Detroit is using a mothballed City Parks and Recreation center as a Drug Free Zone instead of a recreation center for seniors and Children to shut down another facility.  The current Detroit Marijuana Ordinance has allowed this type of behavior to flourish. The current City ordinance must be modified by an agreement with all of the people to stop and control this type of conduct.


Yes there needs to be regulation for Marijuana businesses in Cities and Townships.  This August and November, citizens have an opportunity to enact sensible cannabis laws that reflect the will of all of the people by ballot vote.  Petition Initiatives that will have sensible variance requirements that are in line with any other business in a City.  New ordinance language will keep businesses 1000 feet from a school and removes the strict restrictions on Churches.  


Some congregations do not mind having a business next to them and, resent that their place of worship is aiding and abetting unethical behavior between business owners. Customers are upset that certain pastors who are in front of the line wanting to shut down Marijuana businesses, are in front of the line complaining when they are asked by their government to pay for their impervious water bills. Customers are enraged that people who do not live within 300 feet of the business come to Zoning Board Hearings to object to their business location, take precedent over the people who live there by law.


People’s attitudes are changing toward Marijuana because they have finally realized that the War on Drugs is a stupid war based on racism and mis-information. It is getting close to 100 years since Harry Ainslinger and J Edgar Hoover made arresting people of color for Marijuana a ritual of passage.


The time now for the City of Detroit law department to place an immediate moratorium on shutting down businesses in Detroit until, the citizens can vote on an ordinance on licensing and zoning that is acceptable to a majority of the people.  The collection of 5000 signatures for a ballot initiative will signal to the City Law Departments to cease the closure of these businesses until the people decide the issue with their vote. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Committee Hearing On City Demolition Program April 12, 2017

Press Release

President Pro Tem Cushingberry has called for a hearing before the Budget/Audit and Finance Committee regarding the Hardest, Hit, Funds and Demolition programs policies and procedures on 

Date:   April 12th, 2017
Time:  1:00pm (EDT)
Place: Coleman Young Municipal Center 13th Floor 2 Woodward Ave Detroit MI 48226





At this meeting representatives from the following City Department and Agencies are required to attend.
  • Detroit Building Authority (DBA)
  • Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA)
  • Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Dept. (BSEED)
The goal of this hearing is to determine the status of City's Demolition Program and explore the tactical use of unused weatherization funds. When it comes to Weatherization, the City Of Detroit has one of the best asbestos removal programs that has been recognized on a national level. This hearing will be live-streamed on the City of Detroit Government website on Channel 10.  Public comment is welcome and limited to 2 minutes. 
Cushingberry Lectures HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on ramifications of budget cuts.

The Budget/Audit Finance Committee is composed of the following council members:
Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry, Jr., Chairperson District 2
Council Member Jane√© L Ayers, Vice Chairperson  At Large
Council Gabe Leland, Member  District 7
Council President Brenda Jones Ex-Officio  At Large

Detroit City Council Standing Committees 2017
Areas of responsibility:
  • Budget
  • Finance
  • Auditor General
Meeting Starts Promptly on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m.
If you have any questions on this upcoming hearing, please do not hesitate to contact the office at (313) 224-4535  or CushingberryG@detroitmi.gov 







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