Archive for October, 2006

This voter guide is based on my personal research and conversations, and is not a complete reflection of all the positions that are up for election this year. Some positions, such as Member of the State Board of Education and several judicial positions, are not included, not because they are unimportant races, but rather I was unable to develop an informed choice by the time of this posting (and will probably just decide on the day I vote). Every voter should do their own research, but if this voter guide helps, please feel free to print it out and take it with you to the polls!

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Ace Deuce

After 3 fabulous years in Detroit, I find myself back in Ann Arbor for the next 6 months. Thank goodness I’ll be tucked away from the hum of campus life. It was hard to leave Detroit, the work I was doing there, and the framily that been my lifenet for the past 3 years. But I’m ready for the change, and so a new chapter begins. On Tuesday I’ll be heading to the hospital for my ACL reconstructive surgery operation. Wish me luck!

An update from the Michigan Environmental Justice For All Tour:

THE SAGINAW NEWS
Environmental justice tour to visit Saginaw
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

By: Jill Armentrout

A statewide “Environmental Justice for All” tour will stop Thursday in Saginaw to explore the impact of environmental health threats.

Eliminating lead poisoning and educating residents about dioxin risks in the Saginaw Bay watershed are focuses of the midday stop.

The Campaign for State Action on Environmental Justice is leading the tour from Detroit to Saginaw and Grand Rapids, where low-income and minority communities often are at greater risk of contamination hazards, organizers said. Continue Reading »

Election Day in Michigan is coming, and the race for Governor is pretty contentious. Dick DeVos has been plastering his billboards all over the city of Detroit. He has the audacity (and money) to make that kind of statement in a pro-Democrat city. So, the other day my roommate and I stumbled upon this great billboard, located near the intersection of Michigan Ave and Rosa Parks, near the ramp onto I-75. Kudos to the creativity and reclamation of a city billboard!


First the Shocks (2003, 2006), then the Pistons (2004)…and now the Tigers have a chance to make it!

Okay…so I’m a root-the-team-when-they’re-winning kind of fan. 🙂 Last time I remember this feeling was when Atlanta won the World Series in 1995. Only, this time I claim much more pride as a Detroiter!

The City of Detroit has announced that it is accepting request for proposals to rehabilitate the G.A.R. Building, located at Cass, Grand River and Michigan Ave. This building has been boarded up for a long time, years before I moved to Detroit in 2003. It was one of the first buildings that caught my eye, which isn’t hard because it’s situated on an odd corner created by the intersection of three major streets. I always loved the way the building looks, like a lone, anachronistic castle waiting to be rediscovered.

This photo comes from DetroitYes.com, which has a huge photo collection of old/abandoned buildings in Detroit, what the website owner calls the “Fabulous Ruins of Detroit”. The building has an interesting history and was originally built by veterans of the Civil War who fought for the north. I wonder who will pick up the city’s RFP and what their vision for the building will be. It sounds like the city is strongly considering proposals that preserve the historical aspects of the building — I’m hopeful this building won’t go down as another demolished structure.

I’ve been meaning to write about how excited I am to be part of the Radical Women of Color Bloggers‘ blogging community! It’s one of the main reasons I decided to actually start a blog. Prior to learning about them, blogging seemed like another individualistic, elitist, white, hetero-normative thing to do. Little did I realize how blogging can be used as tool to uncover and fight racism and oppression, as well as provide a platform for self-transformation. Yeah, it’s that cool.

To draw from some readings I’ve been doing on Margaret Wheatley, this online community is more than just creating a critical mass of radical voices in the blogosphere. I think that the revolutionary aspect of this is the critical connections we are creating with each other, and the Radical WoC Bloggers is giving us a medium to strengthen and broaden these connections.

A Radical WOC Carnival is published monthly, for the purposes of bringing together our voices, and this is its vision statement, worth re-publishing over and over agin:

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From the Campaign for State Action on Environmental Justice:

GET ON THE BUS!

Michigan “Environmental Justice for All” Tour
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Detroit-Saginaw-Lansing-Grand Rapids
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Campaign for State Action on Environmental Justice invites you to participate in the Michigan “Environmental Justice for All” Tour. From Detroit, to Saginaw to Grand Rapids, the tour will explore environmental and health impacts on communities of color and low-income communities, where environmental burdens compromise people’s right to a clean, safe, healthy environment.

Elected officials, environmental and environmental justice activists, students, members of the media, and others are invited to join us in this effort to learn more about environmental concerns in communities around the state, to highlight the work that is being done by grassroots groups in those communities, and to promote environmental justice policy that protects all communities from environmental harm.

Tour starts from, and ends at:
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
2651 Saulino Court
Dearborn, MI 48126

Seating is limited. To reserve your spot, contact Kathryn Savoie, ksavoie@accesscommunity.org, (313) 216-2225.

A donation (minimum $10) is requested to help defray the costs of the tour, including lunch, dinner, and materials which will be provided along the way.

Michigan “Environmental Justice for All” Tour is organized and supported by: Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Campaign for State Action on Environmental Justice, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Ecology Center, Michigan Environmental Council, Our Kitchen Table.

From Detroit Summer:

What are your hopes and aspirations for the children and youth of Detroit?

Detroit Summer is asking adults and youth across the city of Detroit this simple question. We invite you to share your response to this question by sending your answers to any of the following places:

  • Post it your response in the comment form below.
  • Mail of drop off at: 3611 Cass Ave. (north of MLK Blvd.)
  • Email detroitsummer@yahoo.com.

The upcoming November (11/9) Community Potluck will be the one-year anniversary since Detroit Summer first initiated potluck dinners at the CCNDC Community Center. As part of the celebration, your responses to the Hopes & Aspirations Survey will be read at the November Potluck on November 9th. Potluck dinner starts at 6 PM at 3535 Cass Ave.

Grace Lee Boggs often cites Magaret Wheatley‘s writings. Lately she has been referring a lot to the quote below, where Wheatley draws comparisons between Newtonian science and quantum physics as they relate to organizing. This is a different kind of approach to thinking about the impacts of our every action in our daily lives. It helps give me more hope and resolve to continue on.

In a web, the potential impact of local actions bears no relationship to their size. When we choose to act locally, we may be wanting to influence the entire system…From a Newtonian perspective, our efforts often seem too small, and we doubt that our actions will make a difference. Or perhaps we hope that our small efforts will contribute incrementally to large-scale change…

But a quantum view explains the success of small efforts quite differently. Acting locally allows us to be inside the movement and flow of the system, participating in all those complex events occurring simultaneously. We are more likely to be sensitive to the dynamics of this system, and thus more effective. However, changes in small places also affect the global system, not through incrementalism, but because every small system participates in an unbroken wholeness. Activities in one part of the whole create effects that appear in distant places. Because of these unseen connections, there is potential value in working anywhere in the system. We never know how our small activites will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. I have learned that in this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of “critical mass.” It’s always about “critical connections.”

Wheatley is an organizational consultant, who has some pretty interesting writings posted on her website. I’m still reading and reflecting upon her work, but so far I appreciate the connections that she draws upon various disciplines and bodies of thought.