Friday, August 26, 2011

DETROIT Peoples Movements Assembly April 2011

Detroit’s People’s Movement Assembly

April 28th 2011 a People's Movement Assembly was held in Detroit to create a grassroots approach to find solutions for the city's problems and as a direct response to the mayor's "right-sizing" plan to shrink the city.  The PMA was held at Sacred Heart Church with around 250 people in attendance.  The energy was high and the event was successful in creating resolutions.  

Groups that helped to anchor the process included the Detroit Environmental Justice office of the Sierra Club, the 48217 community, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Michigan Welfare Rights, and Detroit Great Lakes Bioneers.  To prepare for the PMA the organizing group held a two day facilitation training with Project South and led a city wide tour of areas that would be most affected by the Detroit Works Project.

The Detroit PMA is a collective of community groups and individual citizens that have been meeting around the Detroit Works Project and discussing alternative visions for land use.  We come together around the shared principles of Environmental Justice, The Environmental Justice Principles of Working Together, the United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Earth Charter for guidance. We are making our best effort to solve the most significant problems of the day. In doing so we are committed to building.

Therefore, in alignment the above principles, and all peoples’ struggles for freedom, self-determination, and dignity, we demand, will build and fight for:

Health and Healing Justice:

What we will build:
  • Reframing health and healing as a human right, not as a privilege.

  • Healthcare belongs in the commons not the "corporate/private" sector.

Our commitments:
  • Engage Future City web class in helping us build a community resource database. It will include health and healing resources, information, and education. We hope to eventually include the intersection of the other six PMA topics.

  • We can't only house information on-line. Therefore, create a monthly flyer distribution network, to get resources and information into the neighborhoods.

  • Participate in building the Midwest PMA health and healing justice network.

Media Justice:

  • ·      We demand media that comes from and centers those actually affected, empowering folks to create our own media, lift up what we have, and move from message to action.

  • ·      We will be a people's media network, scaled to the level of change we want, to harness our power and hold the city accountable. We will prioritize low and high tech media, analyze and influence the local and national discourse, and model transparency.

  • ·      We will build a reality where communications is a human right, build media education for youth and others that teaches us to consume critically, support strategically and create with vision, and build free hot mesh wireless!

Environment as a Human Right:
  • ·      We collectively support the 48217 community efforts to address the environmental injustice they face.

  • ·      We need a culture shift that sees environment as a human right
  •       §  We see the value of creating a public education campaign that: calls for all of us to love the environment, establishes a pollution hotline, retells the story of the environment, set up awareness and solutions in context

  • ·      We want to foster a positive spirit, nurture diversity in relationships as well as healthy connections to each other and mother earth
  •       §  We want to host community listening sessions
  •       §  We will consider gathering at least annually to better communicate environmental concerns in our community

  • ·      We believe that we need to create new models and be the change we want to see: an eco-village in Detroit, new systems of waste management, phylo and bio-remediation, green commons, green walkways, rain barrels

  • ·      We want to advocate policy changes, bombard city and state officials to become environmental justice advocates. "We will connect with, develop, and leverage funding resources across our campaigns and work to really live our environmental awareness."

Food Sovereignty:

  • We commit to create an education campaign around healthy foods

  • We commit to collectively creating and supporting alternative distribution networks including worker-owned cooperative models and scaling up existing local food producers to get healthy and affordable food to people

  • We commit to supporting policy change on local and national levels

  • We commit to demanding a moratorium on new fast food chains and will work towards a full boycott of fast food chains in the city

  • We support value-based local businesses

  • We will host our own Food Justice PMA in Detroit and we invite all to attend

Neighborhood Stability:

  • We commit to asking our own communities what their needs are and creating citizen governance

  • We commit to look for the common analysis by polling our neighborhoods and adopting neighborhoods to create stronger communities

  • We demand businesses and factories in the city hire local residents and use grassroots community based research methods

  • We commit to create a Sanctuary City – for safe stable neighborhoods

  • We commit to create and develop an alternative plan.

  • We commit to oppose government take over

  • We commit to build intercontinental social movements.

  • We commit to regionalize

  • We commit to strengthen/engage existing processes and existing plan.

  • We commit to build community home first

  • We commit to create regional support

  • We commit to find someone who can do a city audit

  • We commit to use alternative media strategies to uplift existing community work

  • We commit to utilize the DWP summit meetings to voice concern, use sign-in sheet to get commitment today’s Action Steps

Education Transformation:
  •           We commit to coming together after the PMA to Formulate Strategic planning group for community empowerment regarding education and moratorium on all school and library closures

  • ·      1st meeting May 6th 1264 Meldrum – Earthworks open to youth, parents, teachers, community

  • ·      We will commit to show up to rallies that support Catherine Ferguson Academy (a school dedicated to educating teen mothers and their children).

  • ·      We commit to connecting school and community (churches, non-profits, etc)

  • ·      We commit to investigating and discussing community charters as a strategy to Explore alternative plan to closings i.e. community charters
  • ·      We will commit to sharing resources and ideas in alternative media, so that people are informed on political happenings and can learn from successful models implemented locally and beyond. Specifically publication in Critical Moment’s education section

  • ·      We commit to fighting for libraries to remain open and including public libraries in discussions about the future of Detroit’s education

Media coverage of Detroit PMA:

Create Solutions for Detroit:

What is community engagement:

Peoples Response to the Detroit Works Project:


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