Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
Politically active Detroiters and other metro area residents convened on Saturday, March 9 at Detroit’s Northwest Activity Center for the general membership meeting of 14th congressional district democrats also knows as the Mighty 14. Residents from the Grosse Pointes to Pontiac - and most points in between-met to discuss a number of hotbed issues ranging from financial takeovers to potholes in city streets.
“A number of you may have driven here as did I,” so you know that the issue of potholes is a serious one.” said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters , D-Bloomfield Township, who will make a run in 2014 for retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin’s seat.
Peters addressed a much broader range of critical issues facing residents of the 14th congressional district, offering harsh criticisms regarding trade deficits with Japanese auto makers and strong support for President Obama’s call for new investments in clean energy research and development.
“I’m very encouraged to hear President Obama calling for $2 billion in new clean energy research and development,” said Peters, who is also co-Chair of the bipartisan House Auto Caucus. “By making investments in 21st century clean auto technologies, we’ll help break our dependence on foreign fossil fuels and create thousands of good paying, middle-class American jobs. On Friday, March 15, Peters introduced the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act to help drive the administration job creation initiative.
Peters added that he opposed the installation of an emergency manager for the city of Detroit, stating that he and veteran politician Congressman John Conyers were exploring the constitutionality of the issue.
A contingency of political notables spoke to the crowd of more than 300 to emphasize the importance of regaining control of the Michigan House of Representatives and avoid voter apathy.
Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, D- Michigan House of Representatives, spoke passionately about the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which allows global corporations and state politicians to vote behind closed doors and rewrite state laws governing citizens’ rights. Tinsley-Talabi, denounced ALEC calling it a “keystone pipeline that does environmental damage, without creating a single job.”
Gubernatorial contender state representative Vicki Barnett, also railed against ALEC resolutions coming out of the GOP House, and emphasized her support for worker and consumer safety.
Barnett closed with this ominous warning, “If Governor Rick Snyder says it’s not his agenda, it is actually code that he is going to sign that bill,” adding that women’s agenda issues like mandatory vaginal ultra sounds should be paid for by the state if they are going to be required by law.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 15:09
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
If ever the words of the Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson were screaming out loud today in the state of Michigan – and more specifically in the city of Detroit – it is now! In case you have forgotten, let me remind you what the framers of our Constitution and ultimately these United States declared to the world:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The key phrase here is “consent of the governed”!
The Governor of the state of Michigan has imposed upon the citizens of Detroit what amounts to be one man with the power to dictate their very future and quality of life in this city. Mr. Governor, you did it! And now you must own it!
Mr. Kevyn Orr has credentials that any mother or father would be most proud to claim for their own. It is not the man, it is the plan and the process by which he has arrived in town. Lest we forget - 2.3 million Michiganders by a margin of 52% - voted to repeal Public Act 4!
The Governor of the state and certain members of the state legislature went against the consent of the people, changing the law to suit their own purposes and to enshrine a repeal-proof law in which the people would have no say. Yet the people will always have their say!
For those who say that democracy and the right to vote is not a factor in this equation: You are totally wrong! Read your constitution! Remember how we got here in the first place! Many folks stayed home and did not vote from around the state. Many voted against their own interests leading to policies which are choking the quality of life out of their communities today.
One cannot reduce the value of the right to vote today and then expect to motivate the people on the value of their vote tomorrow! Mr. Orr knows that voting matters because he worked with the Obama campaign during the last election on the issue of voter protection. How can he now ignore the fact that the city of Detroit – under his tenure – may very well become the nation’s “olympics” of voter suppression. City services such as public lighting, police, fire, water, education, economic access are all vital to our community. They are obtained and provided in many cases by the public policies of those whom we elect to office. Our right to elect public officials to represent our community should not be traded on the bargaining table of economic distress. For many, this is a new poll tax. One can simply make the argument that based upon your inability to pay your bills, you should – in fact – lose your right to engage in the electoral privileges of our nation.
Where will this slippery slope end? Will some legislature introduce a bill that suggests that since some municipality is under financial distress that they should no longer be able to participate in national elections? Are we headed down the road to suggest that due to economic distress, you are not entitled to the educational benefits, national healthcare or the guarantees of the Constitution of the United States?
Emergency managers perform 3 particular functions: Cut, Slash and Sell! Our city cannot cut its way into the future or slash its way into stability or wind up selling every asset that it has to stimulate growth in the economy. What in Detroit will you sell to the highest bidder? Will the time for the Emergency Manager be extended for 18 months at a time because the Governor does not like the plan of the City Council when submitted, thus eliminating the Emergency Manager?
Mr. Orr represents Wells Fargo – one of the nation’s largest banks engaged in foreclosures in the United States. At least 7,800 foreclosures are occurring right now on Wayne County’s new list. Mr. Orr represents the Amway Corporation – in which Richard DeVos, a founder – was a lead voice in implementing the right to work effort which is now law in the state of Michigan. Coming from the Jones Day law firm with at least 828 partners and 2400 attorneys throughout the United States, Europe and Asia – they are among the world’s most prominent firms.
Yet on the issue of diversity in the state of California, their firm was given an F for diversity by the Greenlining Institute for having one black partner in the state. In their Washington, DC office – a city with a majority of African American residents - where 239 attorneys practice, they only have 4 African American partners and 2 African American associates.
In the city of Chicago, with a major African American population – out of 179 attorneys, they have one black partner and one black associate. It is important to remember when coming to a city like Detroit with a majority African American population that diversity does matter and that input from the community is essential.
As we travel down this road of emergency manager, we must remember that the Chrysler Corporation – which Mr. Orr helped to restructure - had 2 ½ financial bailouts going back to Lee Iaccoca and President Jimmy Carter. The second beginning with President George W. Bush on his way out and being enhanced by President Barack Obama during his first term in office - providing billions of dollars in aid to the corporation. No, we do not regret or resent the auto companies for any loans or aid they received. We support the US auto industry – just as they were instrumental in supporting our nation during a time of war where Detroit was known as the arsenal of democracy. Mr. Orr also was a key factor in the restructuring of the banking industry leading to 1.7 trillion dollars in bailout monies (TARP) supposedly to be invested in financially distressed communities which has not yet found its way into cities like Detroit.
If Detroit is truly “the olympics of restructuring,” according to Mr. Orr then where is the bailout money for this city? Anyone who attempts to restructure Detroit must also engage in some restructuring of the banks, the job providers, the state legislature and the Wall Street bond investors. Where is the new revenue? Where are the new jobs? 18 months is not long enough to erase a 50-100 year problem. The issues that confront us must not result in the creation of 2 Detroits; a Detroit for those who have and another Detroit for those who have not. Our security lies in citizens being prioritized, their voices being heard, and their quality of life being budgetarily made the number one issue. Mr. Orr appears to be a nice gentleman. But this is not about a nice, efficient, articulate and U of M Wolverine named Kevyn Orr.
Everyone must be at the table! Everyone – particularly the citizens of Detroit who have never left this city – must be included! The people have a right to protest, declare unfair and challenge this imposed dictatorship on the city of Detroit. Remembering the words of Marvin Gaye where many Detroiters have simply caught the Inner City Blues which “which makes you wanna holler and throw up both of your hands.”
Let us be clear: The individual whose hands are directly tied to the future of our city is the Governor of the State Rick Snyder. Mr. Orr may be out front, but behind the scenes calling the tune is our dear friend “The Nerd” - Governor Snyder!
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 11:14
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
As I write, Chaka Khan’s empowering “I’m Every Woman” loops in my head – like a soundtrack. (By the way, have you seen her lately? All slim, trim and more fabulous than ever). It’s Women’s History Month and the lyrics to that iconic anthem should be resonating with all women, and those who love us, as we celebrate ourselves and the countless contributions we make everyday – both large and small - that keep the world turning.
No matter how small or far-reaching the radius of your world is every choice you make is important. Nielsen shines the light on women’s choices and our dynamic impact as consumers with two new global reports: Does Gender Matter and 10 Things to Know About Today’s Female Consumer.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – “Vive la différence.” Yes, we know that girls are just as smart as boys and women can do pretty much everything a man can – but, like it or not – our brains are wired differently. And, that’s ok. Women are master multitaskers and there’s a scientific reason for that. Who knew, right? Nielsen’s NeuroFocus research shows that “ability” is driven by what happens to developing brains in the womb. Traits like big-picture thinking and multitasking are hard-wired in women’s brains, along with “gut” reasoning, social and verbal skills and the worry/empathy tendency. We balance work (either outside or in the home), take care of our families – nurture, budget, shop, schedule, run hither and yon – and keep it tight with ourselves as best we can. Men’s brains, on the other hand, are pre-conditioned for concrete thinking, goal-oriented tasks, logical solutions and competition/defense. (Cheryl’s translation: give them one thing to do at a time if you really want something to get done).
How we think and respond influences the way companies and advertisers design their messages to us to achieve their economic bottom line. See how much power we have? These types of insights tell them that women respond to concepts that are authentic. Touch our hearts and you might earn our dollars. Even those of us who may be tomboys at heart, messages that focus on conflict simply aren’t going to resonate.
And, you know how we love a bargain and will hunt high and low to find the best price? That’s something American women have in common with our sisters around the world. A Nielsen survey of more than 29,000 people with internet access in 58 countries shows that we women are browsers, no matter where we live – going for the best deal (in the store or online) while men are more likely to pay a higher price. That’s because men are typically on a mission to just win (uh, get the item no matter what).
Here and across the globe, women are responsible for $12 trillion of the $18 trillion of global buying power. So, if marketers want our business, they need to offer products and services that reflect our needs. Consider these facts:
Women worldwide are optimistic about their roles, with 90% reporting they believe their role is changing for the better.
Worldwide, 70% of women surveyed have cut household spending over the past year in clothes, gas, electricity and entertainment outside the home.
Women in the U.S. spend significantly more time on social media sites than men. We’re online users of social media 44% more than men; and visit social media sites on our mobile devices 39% more than men.
African-American women between 18-35 are 72% more likely to publish a blog or express our preferences online via links or “likes” than the average adult in this country.
In the United States, African-American households are 127% more likely to include a single parent – usually a woman. (These are my people as I am one of them and I live by the mantra, ‘If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’).
Women in the U.S. talk 28% more and text 14% more than men every month.
Globally, women are 25% more likely than men to rely on friends or family for personal finance advice.
There’s so much more wonderful information on www.nielsenwire.com that affirms women’s power and influence as consumers. Take time to visit the site during March, and feel free to belt out a couple of lines along with Chaka, “I’m every woman. It’s all in me . . .”
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 16:38
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Britney Spear, Regional Content Editor
Job growth in Michigan continues to be a major point of concern for state officials. Governor Rick Snyder is expected to announce plans to kick off a two-day event that will connect residents to employment opportunities. The summit will involve many of Michigan's business, academic and government leaders.
Slated to speak on Monday, Mar. 18, the governor will likely - the anticipated event during the opening session of an economic summit at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Planned speakers also include Business Leaders for Michigan President and Chief Executive Doug Rothwell and Michigan Economic Development Corp. chief Michael Finney.
Snyder has expressed he wants to summit to focus on helping residents find meaningful job opportunities. Protesters see the event differently. Planning to rally outside during the governor's speech, they view it as a plot to put corporate interests ahead of the needs of ordinary residents. Many cite recent cuts in education spending, taxing pensions and right-to-work legislation to limit the power of unions as acts they believe only further this initiative.
Summit supporters express they feel it will be an opportunity to better match available talent with available jobs. As a state with one of the lowest rates for residents with an education beyond high school, it has become increasingly important to prepare prospective workers for the jobs they seek. That includes older workers who've had to restructure their careers in the midst of a recession, and younger workers who might not be trained in areas that provide the most opportunities. In the future, most available jobs will require a higher level of education than what most have.
Increasing the amount of skills training available might be a viable solution to getting more residents employed, and filling the jobs that are available. Helping people refocus their skill set to appeal to employers prepares them with the tools needed to compete in the current economy. Will the anticipated summit meet such goals?
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @MissBritneySp
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 09:24
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
Although vehicle fuel economy has improved 40 percent since 1970, the total amount of fuel used has increased by more than half, says a University of Michigan researcher.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1970 to 2010, Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute examined the impact of changes in vehicle fuel economy, distance traveled and vehicle load (number of occupants) on fuel consumption and the potential effects of future changes on reductions of fuel used for personal transportation.
Sivak found that during the 40-year period, vehicle distance traveled increased 155 percent overall, but because vehicle load fell 27 percent, occupant distance traveled rose only 84 percent.
Vehicle fuel economy (of the entire fleet of light-duty vehicles) improved from 7.7 gallons/100 miles to 4.6 gallons/100 miles. However, because of the decrease in vehicle load, occupant fuel economy improved by just 17 percent.
“As a consequence of the changes in vehicle fuel economy, vehicle distance traveled and vehicle load, the total amount of fuel used increased by 53 percent,” Sivak said.
Looking forward, Sivak said that a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy for the entire vehicle fleet would result in an 18 percent drop in the amount of fuel used—due to a rebound effect in which about 10 percent of the gain in fuel economy would be lost due to an increased amount of travel.
“Importantly, however, changes in fuel economy of new vehicles take a long time to substantially influence the fuel economy of the entire fleet,” he said. “This is the case because it takes a long time to turn over the fleet.
Consequently, an 18 percent reduction in fuel used by vehicles purchased in a given year—due to a 20 percent improvement in their fuel economy—would result in only about a 1 percent reduction of the fuel used by the entire fleet.
“The required long lead time to substantially influence the fuel economy of the entire fleet has been used to argue that policy emphasis should be on reducing vehicle distance traveled through an increased fuel tax—which would have an immediate fleet-wide effect.”
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 08:27
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