APATHY SEEN IS BEING KILLED - We live in an age of genocide
People are being killed not because of their beliefs or values. They are being killed for what they claim to own. The law of the land is a European world construct supporting the belief of ownership. Wars are waged without regard for who is involved, they occur based on what one lays claim to. Capitalism is rooted in this, without a claim to something there is no perceived value.
When we place value in things owned, the owner is a steward maintaining the value. Observe land we claim to own and how effectively it is being cared for. There are a number of ways owners place trust in others to maintain value, for example as employees or resident custodians. There are other influences as well affecting value and these include market conditions, environmental changes, the health and well-being of the owners / stewards selected, and adjacent property both individually and as a collective neighborhood. One of the most oppressive determiners of value is the market of today with the various financial tools being used on property value.
We can take preventive, guiding measures that instill value through trust and rules for use. These zoning ordinances influence by law what activities can take place on the land, which in turn impacts neighborhood values and the ability to draw produce from the land in various ways.
The public has a right to lay claim to properties which sit housed by the city and classified as excess. Through using our tax dollars that property maintains value or faces decline. Groups around the city have actively discussed placing land under Community Trust and would petition the city to deed excess property into such trusts ran by neighborhood cooperatives.
Detroit needs a task force created bringing these discussions of land ownership and trust to a public forum, engaging our city departments openly so the process is transparent, participatory, and well documented for uniformity. Current practices in Detroit fail the test of uniformity and that is the undoing of trust.
Examples of lost trust include the following
- Piles of petroleum coke in areas zoned M4. A zoning ordinance which does not address hazardous waste. M5 zoning would be required under permission granted. We don’t want food or other human contact goods delivered to these contaminated areas after they have petcoke sitting on land that was unlined and not covered to prevent blow-away.
- Over half of property taxes have not been requested by the city for FEAR that there will be questions on how to process and have insufficient staff. Documented uniform procedures should be placed in the hands of the public and a rewards program established which engages in the collection of back-due taxes targeting non-resident owners and most specifically BANK OWNED properties. Alternatives for collection should include quit claim with deed transferred to waiting community trusts. Allow our communities to create and retain value LOCALLY. We encounter this land DAILY.
- Ensure all controlling government and regulatory bodies embrace transparency and participation by the public in stewardship of services impacting their quality of life. We should not be complacent being under corporate control, which amounts to enslavement when we find ourselves unable to access control.
- Our representatives in government must be held to their oath of office. It is proposed a public reading and affirmation by those elected and appointed of the trust placed by the public in our representatives occurs at the start of each meeting following Open Meetings Act.
I am submitting this testimony during public comments at Detroit City Council on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. I would appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns contained in a public forum with those parties in government, corporations, foundations, and the public present. Action must be taken as soon as possible.
City of Detroit resident and activist