The Observation of Joyce Moore
Recently, there was a gathering of individual members of Citizens’ District Councils (CDC). The reason for this gathering was because there is a need to re-establish the presence of Citizens’ District Councils in their communities and to consolidate their presence through the Coordinating Council on Community Redevelopment. Citizens’ District Councils have the highest authorized citizens group that can participate in the development of their communities, such as rehabilitation of houses, new construction, creating job training programs to name a few, with the ultimate goal, to stabilize neighborhoods and the tax base they represent.
The main discussion of this gathering was the upcoming election on April 5, 2011 for CDC’s. According to Public Act 344, Section 125.74 (a) “Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, for each district area, a citizen’s district councils of not less than 12 nor more than 25 members shall be selected in a manner that ensures that the citizen’s district councils are to the maximum extent possible representative of the residents of the area and of other persons with a demonstrable and substantial interest in the area. The majority of the citizen’s district councils shall be composed of citizens living in the development area.” Each CDC must meet the minimum requirement of twelve members to be a voting, legitimate board. There are three ways an individual who lives in the boundaries of a CDC can be placed on the board: 1.) by having their names placed on the ballot through petitions, 2.) as a write-in candidate by having their name along with their address written on a ballot and, 3.) as an appointee by the mayor.
Another issue of concern was approximately $500,000.00 dollars proposed to be allocated for administrative services to CDC’s that are not funded. These services can consist of flyers to be circulated within the boundaries of each CDC to let residences know of upcoming meetings. Secondly, these services can provide for a newsletter to let residences know what’s going on and what kinds of programs are available to assist them with such things as utilities, taxes and rehabilitation of their homes. Several in attendance indicated that these administrative services were not being provided by the City. The issue then becomes, where is the money and who is getting it?
If you are a CDC member and would like to participate in this effort, please contact Joyce Moore at (313)465-3299.
Ed. Note: to read more about why Citizens’ District Councils are important, click on the following VOD articles regarding why Mayor Dave Bing’s “Detroit Works Project” violates state law requiring consultation with CDC’s: http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=757 and http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=824.