In March 2017, CVA presented these demands to engage in the City of Detroit’s Islandview and Greater Villages planning process. Right-click above to download a flyer and share!
In August 2017, CVA received a written response from the City, mostly a set of dismissals and excuses to deflect our demands. Read CVA’s full reply to the City’s response here.
In March 2017, we told the City:
“This is not how you do community engagement:
- You’ve already made a lot of decisions without us
- You have been talking and planning with developers in private, long before talking to the community
- We are the most impacted, yet we are the last to know the least amount of information about these plans
- The process is moving very quickly without giving us enough time to respond
“We’re not going to let you reshape the neighborhood without true community involvement. To us, that looks like:
- Regularly consulting with community representatives throughout planning
- Openly sharing information with the community through the whole process
- Briefing the community on all meetings that have already happened, and inviting representatives to all future meetings with developers, small businesses, consultants, city departments, state representatives, and anyone else working in our neighborhoods
- Black people and poor people living in this community are your most important consultants, and need to be at the front and center of decision making
“Plus, there has been no discussion of gentrification!
- When we say gentrification, that means renovating and reviving an urban neighborhood through wealthy people moving in and investing. Changes are made to appeal to the newcomers instead of the people already there, property values and rents go up, and poor people and small businesses are forced out.
- The city has some nice sounding ideas about “green infrastructure” and “welcoming neighborhood entrances” but these things will be welcoming gentrifiers and don’t really seem intended for the existing community
- Without serious, specific commitments to supporting affordable living for the residents already here, and for those who have already been displaced, these new investments are going to lead to people in our community losing their homes here
- Where will Black people and poor people fit into these plans? Right now, they don’t. There is no serious plan on how to deal with poverty and preserve the Black community here.
- The long term residents have been neglected for years, and we are still being neglected, while wealthy investors and speculators get incentives.
- There must be space for Black people and other underserved communities in the New Detroit. You can’t replace this community with a richer, whiter community.”