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Detroit Voters: Always Ahead of the Country

There is much discussion on all media about voter suppression and outright sabotage. Due to pandemic, many people opted to vote absentee and many are voting early. Very little is mentioned that in the 2016 election- the one that brought Donald Trump, over 70,000 votes went uncounted in Detroit. Interestingly, it was the Michigan Democratic Committee that stopped Jill Stein from recounting votes. She was onto it, but for whatever reason, the leadership of the democrats in Michigan weren't having it. They were deeply invested in the newly elected school board members - all big money candidates- for the newly created Detroit Public Schools Community District. It was the same as the old one, except it was at large instead of district votes, and debt free. They left the debt on the taxpayers and now boast of being " debt free." Duh.

Trump won Michigan by 10,000 votes.

Detroit did not have anyone bringing guns to the polls to threaten us. Detroit did not have the postal service hours cut back, causing a backlog in votes being counted.

It all happened right here at Cobo Hall. That's where the absentee ballots are "counted." There is a special way of sabotaging our ballot count here: Broken seals. If a box of ballots has a broken seal, those ballots are considered "unrecountable."

One could speculate about these facts, but there are a few things that should be understood. The mayor's election by way of "write in" was believed by no one in Detroit. First of all, it's an overwhelmingly Black city. The "mayor is not only white, but did not even live in the city for the requisite one year before running for election. Thus, he was thrown off the ballot, only to be saved by Dan Gilbert, the billionaire Trump supporter, who purchased the election for Duggan in exchange for endless tax abatement for his developments.

The "Gilbert legislation," so it's called came the following term. This legislation passed in the Michigan legislature after a healthy round of campaign contributions. It allows developers to capture taxes on their own developments. Here's an example: Little Caesar's Arena is completely subsidized by Detroit taxpayers. But Ilitch Holdings is allowed to keep 100% of the profits for its events. Previous agreements, such as those with the now demolished Joe Louis Arena included a portion of the profits from events to be taxed - thus contributing to the public good of the city.

But those days are over. The developers now keep the difference between the former tax base and the increase in taxes their developments bring.

Here's another example. Ford Motor Company, ( all hail) purchased the infamous train station. I live in the shadow of the train station, in Detroit's oldest neighborhood, Corktown. When the purchase was announced, residential properties exploded in value. Despite there being no room to build in Corktown- unlike the rest of Detroit, which is wide open spaces for block upon block due to "Mayor" Duggan's demolition frenzies, construction is on the wild. We have little parking because there are no driveways. It's old. But charming, and most importantly, almost completely white.

I keep saying that there has to be covenants here. How else could a Black city have such a white enclave? How could it be that the only Black residents in Corktown are in the Clement Kern Gardens, which is the Section 8 housing complex around the block from me, now facing the wrecking ball. When i mention this to my nice white neighbors, they adamantly deny there are covenants and automatically tick off the names of Black neighbors who have been here since before the bankruptcy/gentrification.

Dan Gilbert/ Quicken Loans is one of the biggest employers in Detroit. He is not his own taxing authority. Although the residents of Wayne County passed a bond several years ago to build a new jail- the current one is a gulag- he has stopped construction because he does not want it downtown. He is ethnically cleansing downtown Detroit- Black people are being pushed out of businesses by skyrocketing rents, and out of the city by residential housing shortages in this once Promised Land.

The Detroit Public Library bond money goes first to the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, an unelected body who has our public money at their disposal to not only get the tax captures for the developers, but our actual bond money. The Detroit Public Schools money is funneled to dead Ilitch for Little Caesar's Arena. It's got to stop. But it won't with the puppet school board they installed and are now funding with hundreds of thousands in dark money.

So what does all this have to do with running for the Detroit School Board? Everything. Because if we do not restructure the apartheid system of financing, billionaires will rid Detroit of children because there will only be private schools for his white army of volunteer vote counters in our wildly corrupt elections.

But still we vote.

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