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The coalition of Concerned Citizens of Detroit

Here at Revin’Up Detroit, we’re always trying to let people know what Detroit is all about and what “fuels” the severely battered city. In this particular case it is the courage to speak and to come together when times are at their worst.

Free Detroit No Consent is a coalition of concerned citizens from Detroit whom are rallied against the loss of voice and services for Detroiters. We desire transparency in our government. We demand the right to participate in government as offered through the US Constitution, its amendments, the Michigan Constitution, and the City of Detroit Home Rule Charter.”

That’s how the FDNC describe themselves! You can tell , simply by watching their videos how passionate the citizens of Detroit are!

Image:PeRshGo

Video: FreeOurDetroit

Source: FreeOurDetroit

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Art where you least expect it!

The Heidelberg Project is a unique platform for artists, creative minds or just ordinary citizens of Detroit. Its “rainbow-like” painted houses and “shopping-cart” decorated trees are only a few of the organizations many creative ideas!

“It’s an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community on Detroit’s East Side. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 28th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives.”

Video: ItravellI

Image: Jamie

Source: The Heidelberg Project

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Mary Barra: Detroit’s First Lady

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GM announced today that Mary Barra, the company’s current executive vice president of global product development and purchasing will replace Dan Akerson as CEO on January 15 2014. Mr Akerson had already announced his retirement a few months back, after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advance stage of cancer. “Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and I need to spend all my time with my wife fighting this disease,” he said in a statement. The change is part of the company’s recent management shuffle that included the appointment of former Cummins Inc executive Theodore Solso as board chairman and the naming of finance chief Dan Ammann as president.

Ms Barra is a second generation GM employee and has spent her whole working life at General Motors, since she started in 1980 as a co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division of the General Motors Institute at Kettering University. She has a reputation for speaking her mind and “she has a bias for action”, Akerson said in a 2011 interview. The appointment will make her the first female CEO to run a global auto maker and arguably, it will make her the highest-profile female CEO in the world.

“I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,” Akerson said in a message to GM employees. These days Detroit is desperately trying to reinvent itself, renewable energies, bankruptcy and a leaner greener auto industry. A GM statement called Barra “a leader in the company’s ongoing turnaround, revitalizing GM’s product-development process resulting in the launch of critically acclaimed new products while delivering record product-quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction.”

The next 5 years will show if Mary Barra and GM can be part of a global american comeback!

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Detroit: Decline, shutdown and a green future!

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The past decade can certainly be described as Detroit’s worst nightmare, the city went through home foreclosures, a shrinking population an increasing crime rate and a very personal matter. The collapse of the american auto industry! While General Motors was eventually saved by the U.S. Government and Ford managed to get away with a black eye, Chrysler wasn’t so lucky! The brand was practically bought by multinational automaker FIAT. The Italian auto-giant is now the majority shareholder and therefore eligible to make crucial decisions, concerning the brand’s marketing strategy and model lineup. Since the collapse of the industry in 2009, all of the big three have recovered and eventually started mostly successful comebacks.

But the breakdown had a devastating effect on Detroit itself. It is a well known fact that the motor city has had financial problems since the mid 1980s, but no one really knew about the actual extent of the case, until the inevitable happened. On July 18 2013, the city of Detroit officially filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and was named “the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history with debts of more than $18 billion. The decision came only 4 months after Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder hired bankruptcy expert Kevin Orr, who then became the city’s emergency manager. Orr had put his main focus on persuading Detroit’s creditors to accept 10% of the amount they are owed by the city, after he had been given the power to rewrite Detroit’s contracts and liquidate city assets. Although these problems might seem severe enough already, it gets worse. The city had failed to sustain its infrastructure and basic services such as emergency response.

And in some places, it shows! Abandoned houses, trash piling up next to tires that were thrown out onto the streets. Residents have gotten used to these circumstances by now, even to the fact that there are barely illuminated streets at night, cars and houses are being vandalized and in some cases, set on fire. All these facts considered, one would expect the city’s police department to be prepared for these kind of “incidents”. Wrong again! Detroit Police take an average of about one hour to respond to an emergency call, compared with a national average of only 10 minutes.

On December 3 2013 a federal judge decided that Detroit can use bankruptcy to confront their massive debt of more than $18 billion. The city is now facing some controversial methods in an effort to liquidate its debts, like selling more than 500 paintings and sculptures from the Detroit institute of Arts, including some paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse, or cuts to retiree pensions with liabilities of about $5.7 billion and healthcare benefits with $3.5 billion, combined more than 50% of Detroit’s total debt.

Despite ongoing struggles and legal arguments, there are still more than 700,000 residents living in Detroit and they’re not willing to give up. The latest idea from Detroit is an unusual one, considering its industrial past. “Detroit renewable energy” is “a consortium of renewable-energy generation and distribution companies committed to providing the City of Detroit with safe, reliable and cost-effective solutions for clean energy and waste disposal.” The company is converting the city’s solid waste into steam and electricity to make the city more independent from coal, imported oil and fossil fuels and ultimately reduce its carbon footprint. The results should be clean streets, the ability to provide all of Detroit’s households with green energy and to give the financially battered “Motor city” a chance to start over.

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