The Cases For And Against Community Benefits Proposals On Detroit Ballot

Jake Neher/WDET

Rashida Tlaib (left) and Mike Jackson (right)

On Tuesday, Detroiters will have a chance to put their stamp on future development projects in the city, including deciding how many local workers are hired for major projects.

There are two competing proposals that would enforce community benefits agreements: Proposal A and Proposal B.

Which one is best for Detroit taxpayers and residents? Should voters approve both or neither?

From the Detroit Free Press:


If approved, Proposal A would require a community benefits agreement for projects worth at least $15 million seeking tax breaks or a land transfer of at least $300,000…

The competing measure — Proposal B — would be applied to fewer development projects because its thresholds to trigger community involvement are higher.

Proposal B would affect projects with an investment of at least $75 million seeking city subsidies worth at least $1 million.

Supporters of each proposal join Detroit Today to make their case.

There is no community benefit if the developers choose to go somewhere else,” says Mike Jackson, executive secretary-treasurer for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, who opposes Proposal A and supports Proposal B. He says Proposal A creates too many uncertainties for developers.

But Sugar Law Center attorney and former state representative Rashida Tlaib says Proposal A is the only proposal that would actually bring about real benefits for Detroit residents.

There are winners and losers in this whole so-called Detroit comeback - comeback for who?” says Tlaib. ”If you get away from the islands of various developments, you see a huge increase of poverty, decay, and just a tremendous amount of need even in our education system. And we see that in community benefits agreements across the country addressing those quality of life issues.”

Click on the audio player above to listen to the entire conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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