The Abatement Debate

City of Detroit

Over the past forty years or so, Detroit has toyed with various tax gimmicks; increment financing, abatements, etc. to attract manufacturing, sports stadiums and/or other building projects. The intent was to shortcut the redevelopment process. By almost any measure, this strategy was a flop. City and state government recently approved massive public subsidies for millionaire […]

Rev. Williams’ Revelation

City of Detroit

The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, GA, ignited a cauldron of controversy by suggesting black America is losing “its soul” at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. His description of single mothers and absent fathers as tantamount to “abortion after birth” was, in truth, on point. However, like ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback […]

Code enforcement = blight removal?

City of Detroit

Detroit’s campaign to bring the nearly 40,000 rental properties into compliance with the city housing code by 2020 defies logic. These codes were intended to prevent neighborhood deterioration. This blitz, however, will accelerate abandonment and decimate both low-income and middle-class communities. Rental property owners will have six months to register their units, bring them up […]

American Flag

The Depths of Detroit’s Political Impotency


Michiganders will go to the polls this year to elect a governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Unfortunately, the state’s largest city will only play a cameo role in the outcome. If recent voter participation is a future indicator, the majority of Detroiters will exercise their right to watch the results from the sidelines. […]