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Community Advocacy Organization

“Justice Means Telling Our Elected Officials to Do Better.”

Created by: Charity Treat

Rep. McKinney Joins Detroit Residents in Call for Stronger Housing Protections, Accountability for DTE and Consumers Energy. Working class Detroiters held press conference in Lansing to demand the democrat trifecta keep their campaign promise of putting people over profits.

Today Detroit constituents, community leaders and elected officials held a press conference during lobby day at the Capitol to address critical issues impacting Black, brown and working class communities in Michigan. Members of Detroit Action and Representative Donovan McKinney (D-14) denounced the lack of accountability for utility companies DTE and Consumers energy, while demanding state elected officials work together to pass housing protections such as statewide rent control, fully funded right to counsel, and adequate compensation for overtaxed homeowners.

Years of disinvestment, systemic racism, and the pandemic have wrecked working class families in Detroit and beyond. Owners and renters who are overburdened with housing costs are in desperate need of relief and looking to state leaders to address the disproportionate impact on communities of color, and bring housing stability to millions.

Generations of Black wealth in the city of Detroit was stripped from our neighborhoods and families during the 2010-2016 foreclosures. The impact is still rippling every single day, especially in the city of Detroit where for over 10 years we have had families' homes be placed in foreclosure and sold for pennies on the dollar to greedy developers. Yet, our elected leaders are saying that they can't do anything about it,” said Branden Snyder, Executive Director of Detroit Action. “Tens of thousands of voters in Detroit mobilized and backed candidates that promised to stand up for our poor, working class Black and brown families. Justice means telling our elected officials they need to do better and do more for the people who voted them in.”

Lansing’s newly elected democrat trifecta has the opportunity to act unopposed on campaign promises that will positively impact working class Michiganders who are struggling. However, some representatives continue to ignore the calls to rein in greedy corporations like DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, who’ve proposed the highest increase in state history. These rate hikes would disproportionately hurt Black, brown, and working-class people, while providing subpar and unreliable service.

“One of the biggest things that happened to me is that when my son was born 15 months ago, we came home to a power outage. My newborn son had to spend his first four days on this planet in a hotel room. Now myself and my wife we come from means and we're able to afford that. But all the rest of those folks in our communities, they don't have the same means we have. They have to suffer in pain,” said Rep. Donovan McKinney. “In my area, there have been a lot of deaths since the February ice storms. Seven people. Think about the rest of those folks who 1) aren't reported, but 2) if you extrapolate that number across the state, think about how many deaths people are going through and there will be more power outages.”

Grassroots organizations like Detroit Action believe holding local governments and corporations accountable is vital in shifting the power to the people. Ultimately, demanding transparency is one of the ways residents can help in our shared struggle for justice.

Rent is too high. Mortgages are too expensive. People aren’t able to afford to live in the communities they grew up in and serve. Passing laws that help improve the quality of life for working families should be a given. Commonsense ideas that help working families thrive in our society – such as raising the minimum wage, stronger renter protections, oversight for corporations – are the only way we can make our great state a place where people not only live, but thrive. We cannot build toward a brighter future unless we raise standards and restore security to Michigan’s working class communities now,” said Scott Holiday, Political Director of Detroit Action.

“Discrimination is happening on all levels of government. We're here to support, and we're here to fight with you. Enough is enough,” McKinney added. Watch the full press conference HERE

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