Minehaha Forman is a freelance writer living in Detroit. Born on a farm in Belize, Central America, she moved to the U.S. to pursue higher education and a career in writing. Forman’s work has been featured in many metro Detroit publications including Dbusiness magazine, Hour magazine and Corp! magazine. She has provided event coverage for Real Times Media and The Michigan Chronicle for three years, covering the popular Pancakes and Politics speaker series and other events. Prior to working with the Chronicle, Forman was a blogger with The American Independent News Network where she covered Metro Detroit politics and the 2008 presidential election. She will continue to provide commentary and coverage of Detroit politics as a blogger and feature writer for The Michigan Chronicle’s website.
Website URL: http://truthordarestories.blogspot.com/
I never thought I'd say this but poor Mayor Dave Bing. Forgive the poorly drawn artwork, but when one is forced to make decisions they don't agree with that's a loss of power. The more I follow Detroit's controversial consent agreement, I realize what a tough place city officials, especially Mayor Dave Bing, are in. With so few solutions on the table and a crisis on hand, they've been cornered into making decisions they themselves don't fully support.
I was there at Bing's victory party on election night three years ago when black and red balloons swirled through the air and hopes were high for the newly elected mayor. Bing undoubtedly knew that night the he had his work cut out for him and that the years ahead would be rocky. And that he might have to concede powers to the state. Now, here he is, after three years of battling with unions and privatizing city services to and stave off an oncoming financial storm, the bricks are still falling... fast. I'm afraid to say motor city mayor is stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to the state takeover and the financial crisis the city faces. In a way, he's already condeded much of his decision making freedom due to this political bind.
I understand how he could be privately be against the agreement that would but a nine-member board in charge of the city’s money (or lack thereof), and yet publically support the same agrement. Having an up-close and personal view the budget pitfall the city faces, he is forced to take a meager compromise. What’s worse: the messy end of the stick which is what consent agreement offers? OR being ousted by one emergency financial manager (EFM) OR filing for bankruptcy? Of the three bad deals, the consent agreement is the better, according to Bing.
So Mr. Dave Bing for navigating this tough situation. I don’t support anyone coming in and taking over—EFMs, and advisory board members alike—but I also am pragmatic and know something has to give. But what? Federal help has been suggested, but it would take more than a few months s to secure such federal resources (if at all).
Sure, if I had the answers I’d be mayor... or better, a high paid state apointed financial advisor. Obviously, I don’t. I know one thing though: I wouldn’t want to trade places with Dave Bing. But I would like to hear thoughtful solutions that could help save Detroit from being taken advantge of during this vulnerable time.
When I heard the Rainbow PUSH Coalition along with other community organizations were staging a funeral for democracy, I thought it was a bit melodramatic. Of course, there are always challenges to voter rights, but to say democracy has crumbled and died was a bit much.
But after attending the "funeral" I got a better idea of the purpose of the event.
"There are a number of ways to protest something other than a press conference or a march. You can do it through the arts and sarcastic symbolism," said Rev. Alexander Bullock, President of Rainbow PUSH Michigan and the NAACP Highland Park branch.
Sarcastic sybolism. That would explain the theatrical mourners, the coffin, the hearse, and the pamphelt comemorating democracy's loving memory. Any type of creativity is welcome and after taking it in, I couldn't help but find the dark humor of the affair. From african style drumming and dancing to props, songs and speaches, Demoracy went out in style. In terms of attendance, one would think democracy's funeral would draw more than 50 people, but then again, maybe not. Maybe that's why it's "dead" in the first place. Apathy.
But Bullock says he's still optimisitc:
"I thought it went well. It’s not how many people show up, it’s how many people you reach (through media). The message was clear enough so people could get it. The mock funeral was part of a series of events leading up to a major, major march in August. We seek to organize and inform."
People say the darndest things, the funniest things, and even some really eloquent things. For people who like wordplay, or are amused by quotations, this is fun stuff. Every week I'll scavange the best Detroit-themed quotations. From making budget "soup" to "disgusting" bus rides, there's something for everyone. Straight talk. Just quotes. Verbatim.
“Our job is to educate children, and by the same token, we’re going to close some more schools.”
-Detroit Pubic School’s Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts on shrinking DPS to match population.
"You're here because you made a bargain with the government."
-Bobby Ferguson's lawyer Gerald Evelyn to Ferguson contactor Brian Dodds during testimony after plea deal.
"It's making soup. It's good stuff."
-Governor Rick Snyder on state budgetting
“Mitt Romney is gonna open up a can of whopass.”
-Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on his prediction for 2012 election
“I was not aware of any suspension of license due to change of address.”
-Pastor Marvin Winans on why he was driving with a suspended license
“People are disgusted with bus service.”
-Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh describing DDOT busses
“I have not done anything wrong.”
-Wayne County executive Robert Ficano regarding Wayne County corruption scandal
"It’s going to take more than campaign promises and stirring speeches to move transit forward.”
-Executive Director of Transit Riders United (TRU), Megan Owens, to crowd of transit advocates in Detroit.
"I really want to thank the bus riders."
-TRU Volunteer accepting an award for transit advocacy service.
"We're about getting deals done and getting them done quickly.”
-DPS Real Estate Manager Tammy Deane to crowd of potential buyers for DPS’ abandoned property
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