background preloader

Econ research paper

Facebook Twitter

Detroit Parks Closing: Mayor Dave Bing To Abandon 50 Recreation Areas After Belle Isle Deal Collapses. Mayor Dave Bing announced on Friday that the city of Detroit will close 50 parks across the city — just days after Detroit City Council vetoed a plan he supported to lease Belle Isle to the state. Bing said during a press conference Friday morning that 50 parks will no longer receive any maintenance or recreation support from the city. Another 38 parks across Detroit will shift to limited maintenance. (See a map of the parks scheduled to close here.) However, 19 parks have been chosen in accordance with the Detroit Future City plan prepared by the Detroit Works Project, a keynote part of Mayor Bing’s administration.

Those parks will receive “top-notch,” and in some cases, improved services, Bing said. Plans to extend hours at six recreation centers will also be scrapped, Bing said in a release, as well as plans to hire 10 fulltime and 40 part-time employees to work on new programs at the recreation department. “We looked a gift horse in the mouth,” said Bing. How Detroiters Got Dozens Of Parks Reopened And Made The City Better For Kids. While Detroit’s systemic problems often seem too large to tackle -- like an ongoing foreclosure crisis and a broken transportation system -- others have simpler solutions. One such solution has made a huge difference for the city’s children, who now have a couple hundred more safe neighborhood parks than they did a year ago. It's thanks in part to church leaders who, along with other local groups, agreed to take responsibility for over 70 public parks and urged Duggan to make them a priority. “We were able to [open the parks] in part because of the ministers in this community," Duggan said earlier this month at his State of the City address.

"I said, ‘What is one thing we can do for the young people?’ And they said, ‘You’ve got to get these parks open.'” When he told the group that the city could reopen some parks, but not all, "the ministers in this town took the lead," he said. Community leaders Mushin Muhammad, Lorenzo Blount, Jomo King and Richard Berlin. Why Detroit's mayoral election matters. On Tuesday, Detroiters headed to the polls for a primary election to winnow the field of mayoral and city council candidates ahead of a general election later this year. Yet the city is bankrupt and under the stewardship of a state-appointed executive official who has effectively relegated the city's elected mayor to a largely powerless, figurehead position. And even after a new mayor is elected, he or she will still have to play second fiddle to the acting emergency manager for at least another year. Given Detroit's odd predicament, the mayoral contest may feel like a pointless exercise in democracy.

The city's largest newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, rebutted that notion in an editorial this week, proclaiming, "Don't think that your vote doesn't matter, Detroiters. " "It's easy to think that your vote Tuesday won't matter," the paper wrote. Detroit wound up in this situation due to a 2011 state law, signed by the newly elected Gov.

Marc Ambinder Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. Unemployment Rates for the 50 Largest Cities. Unfunded public pensions and corruption broke Detroit's back. WASHINGTON, May 26, 2014 — Detroit is the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy. Its long-term debts are estimated at $18.2 billion. Of this, about $9.2 billion is in unfunded retirement benefits. Nearly half of Detroit’s liabilities stem from promises of pensions and health care to its workers when they retire. The causes of Detroit’s financial collapse are largely the result of its own unfortunate history of corruption and financial excess, and only partly caused by global economic trends and their impact upon the auto industry. Detroit has been a one-party city for many years, never a good thing. READ ALSO: Orr files Detroit bankruptcy plan with big 34% pension cut Racial politics has also played a part in Detroit’s decline. Thus, the first African-American mayor of Detroit equated the police with criminals.

Mayor Young rewarded his base. Young’s successor, Kwame Kilpatrick, resigned in the midst of a “pay-to-play” and sex scandal in 2008. According to The Economist: Which Detroit Parks Are Closing: City Closing 50 Recreation Areas (MAP) Tall grass stretching up to your knees. Garbage. Rusted play structures. That lonesome image will become the reality in 50 parks located in neighborhoods across the city. Already poorly maintained, these playgrounds and greenspaces will be abandoned by the City of Detroit this year, Mayor Dave Bing announced Friday. Bing and Recreation Director Brad Dick both blamed the city’s dire financial situation, saying that there isn’t enough money to even attempt to maintain the city’s parks. Dick said that the Detroit Works Project’s Long Term Strategic Plan was consulted as recreation officials decided which parks should remain open. In a statement, the city said the parks were chosen “based on lack of utilization, lack of park amenities, and/or sheer acreage to maintain due to the fact they are in close proximity to a Premier Park.”

Dick, a Detroit resident, said that closing parks was a personal decision that would affect neighborhoods adversely. Detroit water shutoff protesters to appear on 'Daily Show with Jon Stewart' DETROIT, MI -- The Detroit Water Brigade, a group of activists involved in protests after Detroit began shutting off customers for overdue payments, says some if its members are going to appear on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. " The members will not be in the studio but appearing in a segment, representatives for the group say. Although they believe it will air Monday at 11 p.m., it could also be pushed to an episode later this week, "The Detroit Water Brigade and Water Warriors from across Detroit are making their Comedy Central debut with a segment on the Daily Show," says the Detroit Water Brigade website.

"We think it's insane that people in suits wake up in the morning thinking about how to shut off the water on poor families, so we're fighting back: with humor. " The "Daily Show" website lists documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras as Monday's guest. The Detroit Water Brigade has planned a "Daily Show" screening party to be held at Anchor Bar, 450 W. Detroit water shutoffs to go second round; millions unpaid to city. DETROIT, MI - Initial reports seemed optimistic, but according to a report from The Detroit Free Press, the water shutoffs in Detroit could incite residents all the same this summer.

The Free Press reports that the city has over 73,000 active residential accounts that owe $47 million in total unpaid bills. Last year, there were over 79,000 "delinquent accounts" that owed $42 million total. These numbers bring into question the payment plans and methods through which the City of Detroit is trying to mitigate the unpaid bills. All last summer the city came under fire from civil rights groups and residents alike for turning off water to delinquent accounts. The Free Press reports that $6 million has been raised to help low-income households pay their bills. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has been adamant that free water cannot be an option. The Detroit Water and Sewerage department expects to deliver 800 water shutoff notices per day beginning this month. Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Dad Cost Taxpayers $1.17 Million In Legal Bills. Court records released Wednesday to the Detroit Free Press show taxpayers have spent a grand total of $813,806 on defense for the cash-strapped Kilpatrick, with most going to his five court-appointed attorneys and some going to an accountant, investigator, transcripts and jury consultant.

The legal fees for his father Bernard Kilpatrick, who was convicted on one tax count and is serving 15 months, cost taxpayers $352,777, putting the total Kilpatrick family’s fees at nearly $1.17 million. (See the Free Press for the full breakdown of costs.) Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison in October after his conviction last March. Prosecutors charged that he ran a criminal enterprise out of City Hall while serving as Mayor of Detroit from 2002-2008. Among other accusations, the prosecution alleged that Kilpatrick used donations from his fund for the needy to support his own leisure activities. Not everyone wants Kilpatrick in jail, however. Public Corruption Scandals And Sentences. From then until now: A look at Detroit's corrupt political past. A lot of you are probably happy that disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to spend most of his life in federal prison.

I don't like people that steal from me and my children either. A lot of you probably think that Detroit's corruption started "40 years ago" -- that's code for Coleman A. Young, Detroit's first black mayor and a Democrat. But what if I told you it is not just a Democrat thing? It's not just a black thing. Over the past 80 years, five Detroit mayors and four county executives have either been sent to prison, were the subjects of federal probes, or were removed from office. It's true. The year was 1929, Republican Charles E. On the night of his removal, Jerry Buckley, a popular radio show host who bitterly fought for Bowles' removal, was shot dead from the hotel lobby from where he broadcast. Kilpatrick isn't even the biggest corruption scandal to rock Detroit. Louis Miriani was the last Republican mayor of Detroit, serving from 1957-62. Coleman A. It's politics. “Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit”

By Todd ZywickiFebruary 10, 2014 A couple of weeks ago I attended the premiere of the new movie “Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit.” It is a terrific movie and traces the dual collapse of the American automotive industry and the city of Detroit. Of particular interest is that the filmmaker, Ben Howe, tells the stories of the downfall of GM and Chrysler onthe one hand and Detroit on the other as being intertwined and deriving from the same causes. I appear several times in the second half of the film discussing the perils of crony capitalism and Detroit’s downfall and the role of bankruptcy in its recovery. At one point the film has a screenshot of a printout of my recent essay that I wrote for the Law and Liberty blog, “The Corporatist Legacy of the Auto Bailouts.” Indeed, the parallels between the automakers and Detroit became even closer in the days following the premiere of the film.

Continue reading. Detroit Public Schools: Bankrupting Minority Students’ Futures. Corrupt educators are threatening school reform. By Robert C. Bobb April 25, 2013 Robert Bobb is a former D.C. city administrator, former president of the D.C. Board of Education and the D.C. State Board of Education, and the former emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools. His e-mail address is The recent 65-count cheating indictment against 35 Atlanta school officials, including the superintendent, has reignited an intense national debate on the use of standardized test scores as a key feature in teacher evaluations.

The Atlanta case may seem to be all about teachers and administrators who faked students’ test scores to improve their own ratings. An exploding culture of corruption imperils public education in the United States. Nevertheless, these issues have been ignored by many education reformers. In Atlanta, Superintendent Beverly Hall and cohorts were determined to register dramatic hikes in test scores, not necessarily to enhance the quality of education. Meanwhile, children suffered. 4 Detroit police officers suspended following probe. Residents and officials Sunday said the recent suspension of four Detroit police officers means the department is serious about weeding out corruption now that a decade of federal oversight has ended. The Detroit News reported Saturday the four officers were suspended after two separate investigations, including a federal probe into alleged wrongdoing in the department's disbanded Narcotics Section.

"We're in dire need of a functional narcotics division to address the drug problem in Detroit," said Willie Bell, chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. "And after coming out from under the consent degrees, this is no time for corruption to set in. Both the chief and the board want to get to the bottom of what has transpired with all these suspended officers, and take whatever action is necessary. " The city agreed to three consent decrees in 2003 after allegations surfaced about police brutality, witness mistreatment and deplorable conditions of confinement.

Detroit Police Chief And Former Deputy Charged With Theft. DETROIT, Feb. 11— Detroit's Police Chief and his former civilian deputy were indicted by a Federal grand jury today and charged with stealing $2.6 million from a police undercover operations fund. The indictment of the Chief, William L. Hart, a 67-year-old career member of the department, came after an 18-month investigation by Federal agents into what they said was the disappearance of money from a secret fund used to pay informers, buy drugs and conduct undercover investigations. The indictments were a blow to Mayor Coleman A. Young, who appointed Chief Hart 15 years ago and who relies on him as a political ally and adviser.

The Mayor was also a business partner of the indicted former deputy chief, Kenneth Weiner, who was convicted last month in a separate case involving investment fraud. In his first campaign for mayor, 17 years ago, Mr. Tonight the Mayor told reporters, "This is obviously a very sad day for Detroit. " The Chief is to be arraigned on Friday. Some of Mr. Mr. Mr. What’s Happening in the Detroit Housing Market? Since the city filed for bankruptcy in July, Detroit’s housing market has garnered international attention, with Chinese investors betting on a comeback and economists evaluating whether recovery is in sight. We talked to Zillow Senior Economist Dr.

Svenja Gudell to get a pulse on Detroit real estate now and in the months to come. “There’s no doubt Detroit is already an ailing city, and the population decline that is both a symptom and a cause of economic problems there is a troubling trend for the housing market, which had recently seen signs of life,” she said. “If the city continues to hollow out, it’s unlikely the housing market will continue to recover.” Historically, the Detroit metro began its turnaround in November 2011, after home values fell 52 percent from their peak.

This brick colonial in North Rosedale Park is in line with the Detroit median home value. But is an uptick in home values enough to galvanize demand after Detroit’s economy hit bottom? Related: Detroit Firehouse - Latest News on Detroit's Fire Department.