Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Mayor Duggan to meet with the neighborhood

Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit - File Photo

The City of Detroit recently announced that Mayor Mike Duggan will have his annual District 7 Community Meeting on Monday, August 20. This event will start at 7 p.m. at the Straight Gate International Church (10100 Grand River Ave.) and is expected to conclude at 8:30 p.m.

This meeting is an opportunity for residents, business owners, and other interested parties in Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods to bring any questions or concerns they might have directly to Mayor Duggan in a public setting. Representatives from the various City departments will also be on hand.

The annual meeting is required by the Charter for the City of Detroit, which mandates that the Mayor hold at least one of these meetings each year in each of the seven City Council districts.

Anyone with any questions or concerns about our local government is invited to attend this meeting.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Open Streets comes to Rouge Park

Detroit Grand Prix exhibit car - Photo by Frank Nemecek
An estimated 1,400 people came out for the inaugural edition of Open Streets Rouge Park this past Saturday. A three-mile loop of roads was closed inside Rouge Park from 1 - 5 p.m. to allow a coalition of non-profits, government agencies, and businesses to showcase all that the largest park in Detroit has to offer.

This included everything from tours of the newly redeveloped Scout Hollow as well as:

  • Archery demonstrations from Elite Archery, which is the company that maintains the Rouge Park Archery Range;
  • Lacrosse demonstrations from Detroit City Lacrosse;
  • Hiking on the miles of park trails;
  • Bike rentals from Wheelhouse Detroit and cycling events; and
  • Race car exhibit by the Detroit Grand Prix.
All of this was in addition 28 other events, displays, and information tables.

Bike rentals by Wheelhouse Detroit - Photo by Frank Nemecek
"There are so many wonderful amenities in Rouge Park, and this was a great way to highlight the natural beauty that exists in Detroit’s largest park," explained Lisa Nuszkowski, one of the event organizers. "We hope that Open Streets gives more Detroiters the opportunity to experience the city’s public spaces on foot and by bike."

How to get a felony removed from your record

Jail cells - Stock photo by TryJimmy/Pixabay
I'm always amazed at how many people - who seem like model citizens at first glance - have a felony conviction on their record. Usually, it's for something that they did in their younger days. Since then, they've learned from their mistakes and have become better people.

It's frustrating, therefore, that these folks are still haunted by something they did years or even decades ago when they were a very different person. They have trouble getting a job, renting a home, or receiving credit because of their criminal history.

Luckily, it is possible to get a felony removed from your record under certain conditions. My advice here is specifically for people who live in Michigan. Individuals in other states should contact an attorney in their home state.

In order to begin the process, an applicant must have completed serving any sentence connected to their felony conviction. This includes probation and parole, if applicable.

Once that is completed, one can submit an application for pardon to the Pardon and Commutation Coordinator at the Michigan Department of Corrections. This application must be completed in full and notarized before sending it in. The form itself is available online here.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our Tip of the Week feature. Please check back next week for more advice on your home, money, and life. Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more great content.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A few thoughts on the Michigan primary election


The primary elections are over. My friends Sylvia Santana and Karen Whitsett will soon represent Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods in the Michigan Senate and House respectively. My friend Marshall Bullock will also represent the area north of Warrendale in the Michigan Senate. Rashida Tlaib will soon be my Congresswoman and I have so much to talk with her about as it relates to Warrendale.

While they didn't win yesterday, I admire the way my friends Jeffrey Nolish and Rico Razo campaigned for the Michigan House in districts east of Warrendale. I look forward to great things from both of them in the near future.

In the governor's race, Gretchen Whitmer is going up against the Jihadist Bill Schuette. After Schuette's stint as Michigan's Attorney General - where he stood against Internet freedom for consumers; refused to protect the Constitution when it came to the Emoluments Clause but still found time to blur the boundary between church and state - I cannot stress enough how important I believe it is for Whitmer to beat this troglodyte.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how important I believe it still is for all of us to support Matt Clayson for MSU Trustee. I believe he is uniquely qualified to help Michigan State University rebuild in the wake of sexual scandals that have rocked the school.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Anecdotal thoughts on the governor's race

A friend of mine, who I've had the pleasure of knowing for more than a decade, Brenna Lane posted some anecdotal thoughts on the race for governor of Michigan on her personal Facebook page. She addressed some things that she had seen about Democratic candidates Shri Thanedar of Ann Arbor and Abdul El-Sayed of Detroit.

With her permission, I wanted to share her thoughts with everyone as a guest commentary. The following are her observations on Shri Thanadar's campaign as well as her personal experiences with Abdul El-Sayed, which I publish here with only minor editing.

Stock photo by Sanja Gjeneor/Pixabay
Some anecdotal thoughts on the Governor's race here in Michigan:

Story #1
In my economically distressed neighborhood in Highland Park, there are Shri Thanadar signs everywhere. While driving home yesterday, I saw a van in the parking lot at Dean's liquor store at McNichols and Second. It was unmarked, but two men stood at the open back doors, one handing bundles of Shri signs to the five or six men waiting in line to receive them while the other counted cash and gave it to a man who had a bundle of signs under his arm.

I later saw my neighbor go by carrying a Shri Thanedar sign. I asked him if he was pulling it out and he said, "no, I'm putting them in all up and down the block." I asked, "Willie, why are you supporting this guy?" and he replied, "because they gave me $20 if I put out 20 signs."

Story #2
During my junior year of high school, I attended Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills. Abdul El-Sayed was in my grade. We had Calculus and AP Physics together. He was generally kind, humble, and very smart.

One time, I was waiting for our bus with my girlfriend who had presented a paper in one of her classes that day. She was dressed up for the occasion - wearing a skirt (out of character for her) and it was the first day she had ever worn makeup to school (the first time her mother ever allowed it). She was heavy handed with the makeup, and her look that day was a stark contrast to the way she normally dressed, which was a much more conservative, nerdy-bookish look.

Four guys on the basketball team, all seniors, approached us and asked my friend if she was planning to "go to 8 Mile" (that is, become a prostitute). They continued by asking her how much she would charge, making hand signs mimicking oral sex and thrusting their hips as they laughed. She was trying not to cry, I was telling them to fuck off.

Abdul El-Sayed was walking down the hall, saw what was happening and got between us and the guys. He asked them if that's how they thought men behaved. He asked "do you feel proud right now? getting laughs from your friends at the expense of her feelings?"

I don't remember everything Abdul El-Sayed said that day in high school, but it was basically like "you guys are seniors, this girl is a sophomore, pick on someone your own size or better yet, don't be the kind of man who picks on anyone."

The called him a f****t, and her a whore again a few times and then left. Abdul El-Sayed apologized to both of us. He said that things will be different when we were out of high school and the boys grew up to be adults.

Although I'm still not sure he was right on that last part, Abdul El-Sayed was standing up to bullies that were bigger than him and pushing back against toxic masculinity when he was 16 years old. Even if I didn't love his politics, I would still vote for this guy because of his character. He truly is a servant leader.

This is a crucial primary. Please - get out and vote. And if you employ people, please give them the time to vote.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Nike Community Store to give $50,000 to nonprofits in Detroit

Nike Community Store in downtown Detroit - Press photo by Nike
Nike has announced that applications for the next round of funding through the Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF) are now being accepted through July 31, 2018. With the goal of building stronger communities and giving kids positive experiences with sport, play, and physical activity, the Community Store in Detroit will award a total of $50,000 via grants of $5,000 to $10,000 each to local organizations that are focused on getting kids active.

Six Community Stores throughout the nation will award a total of $300,000 in grants—ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each—in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Ivy City in Washington D.C., East Los Angeles and the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn. NCIF is administered with the support of the Charities Aid Foundation of America and funds projects that help kids unleash their potential through physical activity, sport, and play.

NCIF is an innovative approach to grant-making that engages a committee of Nike employees to advise where grants are awarded to support the work of local organizations in the communities where they live and work. Since its launch in 2010, NCIF has awarded more than $4.97 million in grants to 502 nonprofit organizations in the United States: This includes 401 grants in Oregon and Southwest Washington, where NCIF began; nine grants in Memphis, where the Nike North America Logistics Campus is located; and 92 grants in communities where Nike has Community Stores: downtown Detroit; South Chicago; New Orleans; the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; East Los Angeles; and Brooklyn.

“We know that active kids do better--at school and in life. That’s why the Nike Community Impact Fund supports grassroots organizations that are focused on getting kids moving, “said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Global Community Impact. “We’re proud to support the important work of our community stores’ neighboring nonprofits, schools, and community centers as they bring positive experiences in play, sport, and physical activity into kids’ lives to help them reach their potential.”

At the Barney McCosky Baseball & Basketball League in Detroit, the NCIF grant in 2017 went toward equipment and uniforms for multi-sport activities that allow youth whose family may not be able to pay for traditional league play to find their place in a program that will help them to develop and build safe relationships while learning the basics of the game.

According to Barney McCosky Baseball & Basketball League President Isaac Orton, V, “We’ve been constantly growing over the past two years, and this grant has allowed us to have the proper equipment and uniforms we need, while maintaining our practice fields and gyms, so we can continue to grow the program and reach more kids. We’re thankful to Nike for this grant that has allowed us to continue to support these efforts.”

Applications for Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Ivy City in Washington D.C., East Los Angeles and the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn are due July 31, 2018. All grant awards will support projects that deliver impact through the lens of sport and physical activity.

The online grant application along with the required information can be accessed at nike.com/ncif.                 

Monday, July 02, 2018

5 tips to get more things done


I find some great advice as I go about my work and life. One of the more powerful ones was a compilation of five hacks that will enable you to get more stuff done in your day.

The video above was created by Antonio Centeno of Real Men. Real Style and writer Thomas Frank. I have tried each of these things in my own work and my personal life. I can vouch for the fact that each of these five tips goes a long way towards reducing procrastination and getting more things done in your day, without adding much stress to your life.

It's my pleasure, therefore, to present "5 HACKS to Get Things Done!" as my Tip of the Week for the week of July 2. Please check back next week for more advice on your money, home, and life.