By Jorge Avellan
November 15, 2011
DETROIT (My TV 20 News at 10) - A day before mayor Dave Bing is expected to make a major announcement regarding the fiscal and public services crisis Detroit is facing, a community organization marched to his office to demand answers about city services, such as the troubled bus system. My TV 20's Jorge Avellan was there and tells us what happened. click here to see video
Detroiters Rally For End To City Bus Slowdown
DETROIT (WWJ) October 31, 2011- Detroiters rallying Monday at the Rosa Parks Transit Center called on Mayor Dave Bing to improve DDOT bus service in the Motor City.
Taking part was the Detroit Area Agency on Aging’s Public Policy Manager, Brian White, who said Detroit senior citizens are having to travel further and further for grocery stores and medical care.
White said on-time bus service is a must because senior citizens are frequent targets of criminals and need to avoid lengthy waits for buses to stay safe. He said winter weather on the way is also a factor.
“If you look over [at] the east coast this past weekend there was over 30 inches of snow in some places. God forbid that that would hit Detroit right now,” said White.
“Where would our seniors be? Where would our students be standing out in 30 inches of snow? How much slower would the bus service be had we had that snowfall?” full article
Reimagining the Region: Building a New Detroit Metropolis
“This was about keeping hope alive – the past is not who we are.”
“This event allowed us to see successful strategies (from other cities) that can translate to our own community.”
“I feel confident our community can change and make strength in diversity a reality.”
These were just a few out of 180 positive comments from over 200+ audience members at the Reimagining the Region: Building a New Detroit Metropolis forum, centered around Andrea Torrice’s documentary series The New Metropolis, hosted at the Emagine Royal Oak Theater on September 15.
“Detroit has been deteriorating for over 40 years because of disinvestment,” said Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director of Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES), one of the sponsors of the event. “The suburbs had been secure, but over the last 15 years they’ve been experiencing the same decline as the urban core. There’s also been a lot of competition between municipalities. I hope this event starts to break down the barriers so that all communities, suburban and urban, can cooperate rather then compete. But the question is: how do we cooperate? This event gives community leaders the opportunity to come together and discuss how to do this.” full article
Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America
On May 12, Brookings hosted a forum to introduce the report and an accompanying new interactive tool, based on Brookings’ extensive analysis of transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information from the nation's 100 largest metro regions. The report reveals how well transit in each of these metro areas serves cities and suburbs and lower- and higher-income neighborhoods, as well as how effective transit is in helping workers in these communities reach jobs within their regions.
Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Puentes gave an overview of the study, which was followed by a panel of policymakers and practitioners to discuss the implications of its findings. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz moderated a dialogue on federal responses with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director of MOSES participated in this panel.
Ponsella Hardaway, director of MOSES, stands at a site near Woodward and East Bethune avenues that the group is viewing as a possible spot for a full-service grocery store.
Following the closure of the Farmer Jack store on Jefferson Avenue in 2007, Detroit residents were left with limited grocery options.
In fact, Detroiters have to travel an average of 10 miles to get to the nearest full-service grocery store, something many residents aren't able to do, said Ponsella Hardaway, director of Detroit's faith-based Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength.
“Detroiters have challenges in accessing fresh foods,” she said.
Founded in 1997, and including 38 congregations and 15 organizations and institutions from the metro area, MOSES is rallying to create a pilot program for a sustainable full-service grocery store model in the city. MOSES is reviewing several sites, including a lot near Woodward Avenue and Grand Boulevard, said Hardaway.
Ponsella Hardaway, director of MOSES, stands at a site near Woodward and East Bethune avenues that the group is viewing as a possible spot for a full-service grocery store. (Photo credit: Dustin Walsh Crain's Detroit Business)
“The idea is to drive a better quality market with ethnic sensitivity that leverages local produce,” she said.
MOSES is hoping to mimic the efforts of Jeff Brown, owner of Westville, N.J.-based Brown's Super Stores Inc. Brown secured funding to open four of his ShopRite grocery stores in low-income areas of Philadelphia.
Hardaway envisions a community center and cooking courses within the grocery store as well.
“Our dream is to build this from the ground up,” she said. “We want to create a pilot program that can be duplicated and provide healthy foods to Detroit's neighborhoods.”