Our Declaration

The people of the city of Detroit declare ...
  1. Unconstitutional and illegal
    The State takeover Consent Agreement, which was approved April 4, 2012 (the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination) under the Emergency Manager law, Public Act 4, is unconstitutional and illegal. It leaves Detroiters with a government that is illegitimate and with which we have no obligation, legal or moral, to cooperate. In fact, for the sake of those who have struggled for voting rights, and for the future of our city, we have a moral obligation to resist it.
  2. Does not address financial problems
    This takeover is not about a financial deficit, mismanagement, or the incompetence of Black leadership.
    Takes control away from the
    African American majority
     Over a period of years, the State has withheld from Detroit well over $220 million in agreed upon revenue sharing funds. Most urban centers around the U.S. are suffering the same problems as Detroit. We are not an exception. Imposing Emergency Management does not address the financial problems. In fact, implementation of Emergency Management will cost the city millions of dollars in additional expenditures. Emergency Management takes control away from the city’s Black majority.
  3. A calculated assault on democracy
    This takeover is about disempowering the duly elected African American  City Council and Mayor, and handing over the city budget, as primary instrument of control, to white politicians and others who serve corporate agendas. It is a calculated assault on democracy. It comes just as Detroiters have approved a new charter, one mandating council by districts, which for the first time would enable the election of a Latino member. And now under continuing threat of Emergency Manager, five members of the Council have failed to represent the people’s best interests.
  4. Voter suppression for the
    November 2012 election
    The agreement gives the Governor control of our Elections Department funding, which is now overseen by local officials. Lack of adequate funding could limit efforts to get the vote out, affecting the outcome of the November 2012 elections, as well as the 2014 gubernatorial race, and even public efforts to repeal PA 4, the Emergency Manager law itself.
  5. Imposed only on African American cities
    The only cities that have had Public Act 4 imposed on them are cities where African Americans are the majority. Having an Emergency Manager dictator has not solved the problems of these cities.  It fact these cities are now worse off than they were before.  We have only to look at the ways in which the DPS Emergency Management has wrecked our public school system to know that these policies will not solve the city’s financial problems.
  6. A racist test case
    The Consent Agreement and the Emergency Manager strategies are racist and white supremacist in effect.  Public Act 4 is a way to take away the power to govern from the duly elected Black officials, and place it in the hands of Whites and cooperative Blacks who will do the bidding of the corporations.  Public Act 4 is being tested in Detroit. If it succeeds in taking away the democratic rights of Detroiters to elect our own representatives, Republicans will push to have other states enact the same unconstitutional legislation. Republicans are watching around the country, just as they are watching to see if the anti-immigrant laws will prevail in Arizona.
  7. Selling the city's assets
    The corporations want to take back the city of Detroit because it has many valuable assets, including its location on the Detroit River and its importance as a central hub of interstate and international business. Corporations already have plans to privatize some of the city’s treasures, like Belle Isle and the Water Works.  Corporations cannot take control of the City as long as the Black majority in Detroit is democratically represented in the City government. 
  8. Two Detroits: one thriving,
    one abandoned
    The Governor is spearheading this plan that will result in pushing Black people from the heart of Detroit.  If this strategy succeeds, there will be two Detroits:  a largely White, gated Detroit at the core and along the River, and pockets of devastated Black and Brown neighborhoods around the perimeter. 
  9. Ruthlessly anti-union
    The Consent Agreement (Annex D) guts the unions.  It is the most ruthlessly anti-union policy seen in Michigan in decades.  Without unions, workers lose rights and protections that were fought for and have been in place for nearly a century.  Although the unions have already given major concessions, the Consent Agreement effectively removes the law giving legal redress to public employees.  While stripping away workers’ rights, the Consent Agreement also endangers workers’ hard-earned health benefits and pensions.
  10. Rebuild Detroit for the people,
    not the corporations
    Refuse to lend your support to an illegal takeover government. Imagine creative ways of non-cooperating with illegitimate government. Organize as citizens, unions, block clubs, community-based businesses, bus riders, students and teachers, taxpayers, homeowners, and city workers - employees of departments and services. Build an alliance of individuals and organizations working to make Detroit the city that we want.  Create alternative forms of service, build alternative institutions, find alternative ways of strengthening and protecting our neighborhoods. Resist the takeover of our city.  Rebuild Detroit for the citizens, not the corporations.

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