Michigan Needs to Adopt a More Inclusive Approach to Policy
By Michigan Chronicle Editorial Board
Michigan, like many states, faces a variety of complex challenges and issues that require innovative and collaborative ideas and solutions. From economic inequality to environmental sustainability, leaders must find and use viable ways to balance competing priorities and diverse perspectives to reach desired outcomes.
Yet, too often, policy discussions become polarized, with leaders adopting an “either or” approach that pits one solution against another. This “either or” approach can be either counterproductive or limit the volume and quality of ideas to reach maximum solutions.
In contrast to the “either or” dialogue, Michigan needs an “and” approach to policy discussion, ideas, and solutions, all of which create a healthy and productive level of tension among leaders with various points of view. This approach, sometimes written as the “Power of And” or using the ampersand symbol as in the “Power of &,” emphasizes the importance of bringing otherwise polarized sides closer together to provide the needed stimulus for leaders to bring nuanced thinking to problem-solving.
At its core, the “Power of &” approach recognizes that most issues facing the state of Michigan and its people require a multifaceted response. For example, consider the state’s economic challenges. Some leaders might argue that the best solution is to attract large corporations to the state, while others advocate investing in small businesses and entrepreneurs. Instead of choosing one approach over the other, the “Power of And” approach encourages leaders to explore how both strategies can work together to create a thriving economy.
This approach requires leaders to engage in honest and open dialogue, acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of diverse solutions. It also requires a willingness to compromise and collaborate, recognizing that no one solution is perfect and progress often requires incremental steps.
At this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, held from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2 on Mackinac Island, policy leaders from the business, political, educational, community, and philanthropic sectors across Michigan will convene, focus, and debate “Why Michigan needs an “and” approach instead of “either or” policy solutions.”
Conference creators believe that diverse Michigan leaders can learn to adopt the “Power of &” when addressing solutions through making policy while bringing polarizing sides closer together to facilitate nuanced thinking to problem solving.
According to Conference information, the “and” approach will be adopted during policy-making discussions on an array of topics, including Individual Freedom & Collective Action, Sustainability & Economic Growth, and Investing in the Future & Financial Responsibility.
Individual Freedom & Collective Action:
One of the most pressing challenges facing Michigan is how to balance individual freedom with the need for collective action. For example, when it comes to public health, some individuals might argue that they have the right to refuse vaccinations or to wear masks, while others might advocate for policies that mandate these measures for the
The State of Black Detroit is Key to Detroit’s Economy
By Donald James SENIOR WRITER, REAL TIMES MEDIA
Detroit’s economy is moving in
the right direction, despite national economists’ projections of mild recession-like conditions in the United States over the ensuing months. According to a Detroit Economic Outlook forecast completed by the University of Michigan earlier this year, Detroit’s economy is projected to continue growing at a steady pace.
“We expect Detroit’s resilience in recovering from the pandemic to date to translate into continued growth – even amid a challenging economy,” said Gabriel Ehrlich, director of the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics and lead author of the forecast.
For African Americans in Detroit, the nation’s “biggest and blackest” municipality, the economic engine is powering forward as high employment rates in communities across the city have come down significantly. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in March 2023 stating Detroit’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, the lowest in 23 years.
Helping to attack high unemployment numbers in Detroit, a city that’s 82% Black, are comprehensive and targeted training and employment initiatives available to the city’s adults seeking opportunities to work. One of the leaders in linking Detroiters with jobs and employers with
talent in the city is Detroit At Work, a city agency offering training and employment opportunities. Detroit At Work has been intricate in preparing Detroiters for jobs in-demand fields such as healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, construction & skilled trades, and the expanding automotive sector.
Through Detroit at Work, dozens of companies in Metro Detroit are giving Detroiters the first opportunities to fill good-paying jobs. Such companies include, but are not limited to, General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, Amazon, Google, Apple, and more.
And for those who believe there are no good jobs in Detroit to help drive the economy, Detroit At Work’s website lists the number of jobs available each day in the region. On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the daily indicator listed 7,272 available positions.
Another critical component to the growth of Detroit’s Black economy is linked to the 50,000 plus small Black business owners navigating opportunities afforded through entrepreneurship.
“Supporting Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship is critical to the economic growth and vitality of Detroit,” Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, said in a statement. “We need to do more to provide access to capital, resources, and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and businesses.”
Across the city, many Detroit leaders and organizations are working to provide needed resources and support to Black small businesses and entrepreneurs, including Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), Black Leaders of Detroit, Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance, JPMorgan Chase (Invested in Detroit), the National Business League, Detroit Action, and more.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of Detroit, driving innovation, creating jobs, and fostering a sense of community that is essential to the city’s survival,” said DEGC President and CEO Kevin Johnson, whose organization manages small business development and support programs such as Motor City Match and Detroit Means Business. “Supporting these entrepreneurs is not only an investment in the local economy but a commitment to the spirit and resilience of Detroit itself.”
Among the city’s Black entrepreneurs are several dozen developers making news, building, renovating, or facilitating mixed-use projects in Detroit City Limits. Like other Black entrepreneurs in the city, acquiring access to capital is critical for many Black developers, especially when it’s the bloodline to starting, sustaining, and completing respective residential and commercial projects around town.
Recognizing the importance of having access to capital/financial support, many local and national organizations are find-
Will Highland Park and Great Lakes
Authority reach an agreement to cross bridge over troubled water?
By Donald James
$1.00 Inside this week’s edition WHAT’S INSIDE Vol. 86 – No. 38 | May 24 - 30, 2023 Powered by Real Times Media | michiganchronicle.com City.Life.Style. B1 See POLICY page A2 See DETROIT ECONOMY page A2 See WATER page A2
The city of Highland Park residents and businesses are on edge these days as they anxiously watch and wait for a water payment resolution to be reached between their city officials and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). Based on a recent court order, the two sides have until May 31 to reach an agreement, and June 6 to submit it to the court. No one knows what will happen next if the two sides can’t agree on a plausible plan outlining how Highland Park will pay an estimated $24 million water and sewer bill to GLWA. Some Highland Parkers fear that GLWA could shut off their water, while others believe if GLWA recovers the sizable debt through property taxes, it would devastate the small city of almost 9,000. GLWA and Gov. Whitmer have said there will be no water shutoffs. While there have been many moving parts associated with legal confrontations between Highland Park and GLWA through the years, in early April 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected the city’s request to hear its appeal of a 2022 ruling that Highland Park must pay $24 million in unpaid water and sewer fees to GLWA. Weeks after the State Supreme Court’s ruling, Wayne County Circuit Judge Edward Joseph set the May 31 deadline for Highland
Mary Barra Talks EVs, Diversity, and Education at Pancakes & Politics Money. A5 BusinessSMALL MONTH 2023 4 Tips to Grow Cash Flow Your Small Business Holistic Owner to Regain Post COVID Cooking with Que Queues up Vegan Delights Michigan Chronicle Waffles and More at Waffle Cafe
Right To Choose
From page A-1
the rights of all women are continued.
cine and healthcare, may be adversely impacted by the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
al poverty crippling Black adults and children living in the city.
ing ways to help, including Black Leaders of Detroit, DEGC, Detroit Action, JP Morgan Chase, Capital Impact Partners, The Kresge Foundation (Ebiara Fund), Invest Detroit, and more.
In addition to strong and rising employment and entrepreneurship numbers in Detroit, if Detroit’s Black economy is to grow and prosper, it must include viable solutions to helping Detroiters acquire affordable housing options in the neighborhoods, downtown, and midtown.
“PPMI has been preparing for this moment since the results of the 2016 election were final. We recently filed a lawsuit to stop the 1931 law from going into effect, and we’ve also asked the state courts to affirm that the Michigan constitution does already contain a right to abortion. Our advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, is a founding member of the coalition that launched Reproductive Freedom for All, a ballot initiative to affirm the right to abortion and reproductive freedom in the state constitution,” said Vasquez Giroux. “The bottom line is that we will do everything in our power to keep abortion legal in Michigan, and if SCOTUS makes that impossible, we will do everything we can to ensure our patients can access the care they need.”
“How we address the housing inequities that will inevitably arise from Detroit’s revitalization will ultimately determine if the growth we’re experiencing is sustainable,” said City Council President Mary Sheffield. “Through the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance that my office sponsored, I’ve worked to actively address the growing need for affordable housing and the inclusion of all Detroiters in the city’s future.”
Elected officials are also working to keep Roe v. Wade intact thus holding off Michigan’s 1931 trigger ban. Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a statement saying, in part:
mission is the largest owner of rental housing in Detroit. Nevertheless, “homeownership” is one of the biggest drivers of generation wealth, which has prompted Rocket Mortgage and the Detroit Housing Network to partner and offer Detroiters access to the resources needed to buy affordable homes.
“The words ‘Roe overturned’ are no longer theoretical. I want every Michigander to know— no matter what happens in D.C., I’m going to fight like hell to protect access to safe, legal abortion in Michigan…”
Last summer, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council members Mary Waters, Latisha Johnson, and Angela Calloway announced a seven-point, $203 million affordable housing plan to increase housing services to Detroit residents, rehabilitate affordable housing, streamline approval processes, and provide down-payment assistance to new homeowners.
However, perhaps the biggest challenge Detroit faces is rooted in the ultra-high poverty rate, which almost a third – or more - of Detroiters are linked to.
More than legal implications, overturning Roe v. Wade would impact several systems across the spectrum. With the potential to drive both foster and adoption numbers upward, a ban on abortions could leave many women to choose a less safe route restoring ‘back alley’ and illegal abortion practices, including self-abortions. Moreover, African American women and women of color, who already have a long-storied history with access and inclusion in medi-
“What we are really concerned about is the impact on our patients. Access to abortion is already out of reach for far too many Michiganders, especially Black people and people of color who face additional barriers to care as a result of systemic inequalities and institutional racism. Losing access to legal abortion will impact those communities most, forcing people to become parents or expand their families against their will. Being able to decide and control if, when and how to become a parent is central to building and living a healthy, happy life,” said Vasquez Giroux.
In 2021, according to WalletHub, a financial wellness watchdog organization based in Florida, of 182 American cities surveyed for their respective financial needs, Detroit ranked as the neediest.
While many organizations are fighting to change the poverty level across the city that has festered in Detroit for generations, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and the Detroit Urban Research Center have collaborated to jointly fund opportunities for the University of Michigan’s three campuses to link with community-based partners to evaluate and strengthen intervention programs and policies to alleviate poverty in Detroit and other parts of the state.
Beyond the scope of pro-choice versus prolife, the fight for reproductive choice is one of freedom. As Michigan officials work to ensure each woman who finds herself in the position to choose has access to care without the threat of legal action, many wonder
what the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming days. Despite the decision, advocates on both sides of the argument are willing to continue their pursuits.
will take collective efforts by city, civic, and community leaders and organizations, businesses, educators, and faith-based and philanthropy entities. It will demand engaging in meaningful dialogue and action to reach common goals that will advance the underserved to be a part of Detroit’s bright future.
“The success of Detroit’s economy depends on the success of all of our residents,” Duggan said. “By prioritizing the needs of Black Detroiters and working to create a more equitable and inclusive economy, the city can build a brighter future for all its residents. We are building a city where people of all incomes are welcome in all neighborhoods.”
“Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a terrible break with nearly 50 years of judicial precedent and – more importantly – a blow against individual freedom. It is my hope that the majority of justices will reject the findings of this draft. If that is not the case, we need to stand with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Gov. Whitmer in support of their efforts to preserve the right to reproductive freedom,” said Chair Alisha Bell, on behalf of the Wayne County Commission.
to empower underserved populations across the state.
islature adopts it.
From page A-1
corporate boards to have more diverse representation and pass the legislation.
Some organizations assisting Detroiters in their quests for affordable housing include the Detroit Housing Commission, established in 1933. According to its website, the Com-
Better collection and analysis of criminal justice data: BLAC recommends data collection and professional analysis be initiated with the assistance of our Attorney General, Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), Association of Michigan Prosecutors and other stakeholders to collaborate, collect and analyze data strategically.
According to a report by the Urban Institute, Detroit, in 2019, had the highest rate of extreme poverty in the United States, with more than 25% of its residents living below the poverty line. And since then, nothing much has changed to combat the generation-
Increase school funding: Statutory changes to increase the School Aid Fund revenue by at least $3.6 billion and establish a permanent weighted funding formula based on student and community needs and universal preschool (0-3).
For Detroit’s economy to truly prosper, the city’s economic picture must vigorously, consistently, and equitably be “painted in Black,” devoid of the high percentage of generational poverty. And historic barriers of systemic racism across all segments of life in Detroit must be removed. Detroit’s economy is at its best when Black Detroiters are “equally vested and included” in the Motor City’s masterplan – now and the future. To be successful, it
greater good of all. Instead of choosing one approach or the other, the “Power of &” encourages leaders to explore how individual freedom and collective actions can work together to promote public health impactfully.
es – in an evolutionary think tank environment - they are more likely to generate new ideas and solutions that might not have been possible otherwise.
“It’s an extraordinary situation,” said Joseph.
‘That judgment is very, very large. The court’s concern at this point is that someone gets a bill in July, and it’s three times what their normal bill is.”
Ban no-knock warrants: Urging the House Government Operations Committee to hold hearings on HB 5013 and other legislation that would ban or limit the use of noknock or quick knock warrants, and urging the state legislature to pass meaningful reform and advise Gov. Whitmer to sign the bill after the leg-
Park is hopeful that this court-ordered facilitation by Judge Edward Joseph will allow for the extended payment plan that The City has wanted since 2014 and which DWSD/GLWA has refused because they wanted a tax levy.”
GLWA, whose administration office is in downtown Detroit, operates a regional authority that serves 3.8 million residents and 88 member partners across 112 communities in eight Southeast Michigan counties.
The health committee recommends reviewing state licensure policies to address the barriers that Black psychologists face in obtaining licensure in Michigan. Ensure equitable distribution of state health funds: Ensure all Michigan communities with a significant Black population receive adequate funds to address mental health issues.
cility was closed in 2012 because inspectors found it in poor condition, many Highland Park officials believe reopening the plant would be financially beneficial in the long run.
Protecting Black voting rights: Urge state officials to remain vigilant in the fight against schemes to disenfranchise Michiganders of color.
“We have to rebuild and operate our water plant again,” City Administrator Cathy Square told the Chronicle in a previous interview. “What we are being charged now, we could have rebuilt our water plant twice. Highland Park was designed to get water from its own water plant.”
Sustainability & Economic Growth: Michigan has a rich manufacturing history but is also traditionally linked to the natural environment. Balancing sustainability and economic growth can be challenging, but the “Power of And” approach can help leaders find solutions that benefit both sides. By exploring how sustainable practices can create economic opportunities and support growth, leaders can find workable ways to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for Michigan.
Effective use of the “Power of &” is not without challenges because it requires leaders to overcome their biases and preconceptions, which can be difficult, especially when individuals believe their way is the best and only pathway to reaching solutions. However, with the right mindset and commitment to hearing all sides of an issue, a collaboration can be reached with “and” versus “either or.” When facilitated, the “Power of &” will open doors and usher in new ideas for driving progress rooted in creative policy-making for change. When leaders are encouraged to consider multiple perspectives and approach-
In conclusion, Michigan’s adaptation of an “and” approach to policy solutions will foster healthy and productive interactions among policy leaders with different points of view. By emphasizing the “Power of And” and encouraging leaders to consider multiple perspectives and approaches, a heightened culture of innovation and creativity will surface and help the state of Michigan meet and exceed its most significant challenges now and in the future and excel as a model state for others to emulate how best to use “and.” Park and GLWA to broker a payment plan. However, it wasn’t lost on Joseph how daunting the payment would be for a city with a per capita income of and a 41% poverty rate.
Reject censorship in history instruction: Encouraging Gov. Whitmer to ensure the goal for Michigan schools should be history instruction that is presented by professionals with the subject matter expertise, pedagogical skills, and judgment necessary to present complex information to students that are grounded in provable facts and add to the understanding of modern-day America. Increase mental health supports for the Black community: Recommending Michigan set a goal of increasing the number of Black mental health service providers by 20% each year over five years.
“The authority remains committed to working with all parties involved, to come to an amicable solution within the time frame outlined by the Court,” Suzanne Coffey, GLWA’s CEO, said in an email. “
“BLAC members have worked hard to identify the needs of the Black community and we feel these recommendations will provide a solid first step towards breaking down barriers in education, community safety, health and business,” said BLAC Co-Chair Dr. Donna L. Bell.
Dr. Curtis Ivery
From page A-1
the chancellor embraces.
GLWA’s billing structure charges all the communities that are a part of its group a set amount each month. Each community pays its equal share of the bill. However, if one municipality fails to pay, GLWA redistributes the bill to the others. The bill gets paid because other communities are absorbing the elevated cost.
“Everybody is willing to help out their neighbors, but at some point in time, you got to help yourself out,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel told a local television news outlet. “We try to figure out how to keep those rates reasonable, but when you start realizing that part of your cost that you are paying is for another community that’s not paying, that becomes frustrating.”
“I think of transformational leadership as a thoughtful approach that causes people to change but also causes the systems and circumstances they are operating in to change too,” Ivory said. “Transformational change doesn’t just ask people to do certain things; it asks them to change their view of what’s possible and excites them to drive that change together because they believe that what they’re doing will create positive change for everyone. That’s how entire systems change because
Highland Park officials have asked the state for help and have looked at other options including filing for bankruptcy.
“The dispute between GLWA and Highland Park has been ongoing for nearly a decade, and the two parties need to come together to find a solution to the debt without transferring the burden to homeowners or businesses,” Whitmer said in a statement. “In the meantime, as they work toward a solution, the governor has brought the Legislature together to deliver $25 million that is intended to offset costs, keep water rates affordable, and, most importantly, keep safe water flowing to homes in the region. We remain hopeful that they can reach a resolution that puts residents first.”
“Payments plans have been rejected by GLWA staff numerous times since 2014 and during all the various court proceedings which ordered mediations,” Highland Park spokeswoman LaKisha Brown said in a statement. “Highland
people believe that they need to for themselves and others to live better lives.”
Once upon a time – from 1915 to 2012 - Highland Park owned and operated its own water reservoir and facility. It was built at the behest of Henry Ford to support the enormous water needs of his then-mammoth automotive Ford Plant in Highland Park.
Former Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp agrees. In a past interview with the Chronicle, Yopp estimated it would cost about $90 million to retool and reopen the 100-plus-year-old water plant and reservoir, which is actually located in Detroit. Funding, he said, would need to come from outside sources.
BLAC will hold a virtual town hall meeting to discuss its policy recommendations on Thursday, May 12 at 4 p.m. Join BLAC and a virtual audience in discussing the recommendations to support the Black community.
Investing in the Future & Financial Responsibility: Michigan must find ways to invest in the future while maintaining financial responsibility. This could involve exploring how investments in education, infrastructure, and other areas can lead to long-term economic growth while ensuring that the state’s budget remains balanced and sustainable. The “Power of And” approach encourages leaders to identify ways to prioritize investments in the future while being fiscally responsible and recognizing that both goals are necessary for Michigan’s success.
STATE OF MICHIGAN BEFORE THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ****
NOTICE OF HEARING FOR THE ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS OF DTE ELECTRIC COMPANY
CASE NO. U-21307
• DTE Electric Company requests Michigan Public Service Commission for Reconciliation of its Transitional Reconciliation Mechanism associated with the Disposition of the City of Detroit Public Lighting System for the Period of January 1, 2021 through October 31, 2022.
• The information below describes how a person may participate in this case.
• You may call or write DTE Electric Company, One Energy Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226, (800) 477-4747, for a free copy of its application. Any person may review the documents at the offices of DTE Electric Company or on the Commission’s website at: michigan.gov/mpscedockets
• A pre-hearing will be held:
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 10:00 AM
BEFORE: Administrative Law Judge Lesley Fairrow LOCATION: Video/Teleconferencing
The city had close to 70,000 residents at its peak but began losing population and corporate tax dollars after Ford moved its operation out of Highland Park in the late 1920s. The city also lost more corporate tax dollars when Chrysler Corporation World Headquarters left Highland Park and relocated to Auburn Hills in 1992.
Since the city’s water fa-
“Chancellor Ivery is a true transformational leader and an outstanding CEO, who is more than worthy of the CEO of the Year Award he just received, “ said Prof. James C. Mays, who teaches entrepreneurship and supply chain management at WCCCD’s Corporate College. “In his 27 years at WCCCD, Dr. Ivery has elevated WCCCD to become nationally recognized for excellence and innovation and preparing our students professionally and personally to do
Nevertheless, the focus is now on Highland Park and GLWA agreeing on a $24 million water bill payment plan. However, will the state be involved?
“I do believe the state should play a role in helping resolve this,” said State Senator Stephanie Chang, whose District includes Highland Park. “The ultimate goal for me and many of us is really to make sure we’re able to find a resolution that doesn’t put this burden on the residents.”
BLAC is housed in the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Members represent many professional backgrounds, including economics, law, public safety, health and wellness, arts and culture and media. They leverage their experiences and expertise to make recommendations to the governor on critical issues affecting the Black community.
To learn more about BLAC and this upcoming event, visit www.michi-
Andrea Plaid contributed to this article.
One key benefit of the “Power of & “approach is that it encourages leaders to consider broader perspectives and experiences. For example, when addressing issues of racial inequality, an either or approach might pit advocates for affirmative action against those who argue for color-blind policies. However, the “Power of And” approach recognizes that there is value in both methods and encourages leaders to explore how they can work together to create just and equitable policies
PARTICIPATION: Any interested person may participate. Persons needing any assistance to participate should contact the Commission’s Executive Secretary at (517) 284-8096, or by email at mpscedockets@ michigan.gov in advance of the hearing.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (Commission) will hold a pre-hearing to consider DTE Electric Company’s (DTE Electric) October 31, 2022 application requesting the Commission to: 1) approve the reconciliation of Detroit Electric’s Transitional Reconciliation Mechanism (TRM) plan for a 22-month period beginning January 1, 2021 through October 31, 2022; 2) approve DTE Electric’s reconciliation of its net revenue requirement plus carrying charges, including the underrecovery for Case No. U-20987 and trailing Operation and Maintenance (O&M) expense in the amount of $32.5 million; 3) authorize a TRM surcharge of $0.001498/kwh to be applicable to all customers on a bills rendered basis from September 1, 2023 through February 29, 2024, or a similar surcharge using a service area sales forecast that is aligned with a three-month period; and 4) grant DTE Electric further additional relief and authority as the Commission may deem necessary.
All documents filed in this case shall be submitted electronically through the Commission’s E-Dockets website at: michigan.gov/mpscedockets
Requirements and instructions for filing can be found in the User Manual on the E-Dockets help page. Documents may also be submitted, in Word or PDF format, as an attachment to an email sent to: mpscedockets@ michigan.gov. If you require assistance prior to e-filing, contact Commission staff at (517) 284-8090 or by email at: mpscedockets@ michigan.gov
Any person wishing to intervene and become a party to the case shall electronically file a petition to intervene with this Commission by June 7, 2023. (Interested persons may elect to file using the traditional paper format.) The proof of service shall indicate service upon DTE Electric Company’s attorney, Paula Johnson-Bacon, One Energy Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226.
The prehearing is scheduled to be held remotely by video conference or teleconference. Persons filing a petition to intervene will be advised of the process to participate in the hearing.
Any person wishing to participate without intervention under Mich Admin Code, R 792.10413 (Rule 413), or file a public comment, may do so by filing a written statement in this docket. The written statement may be mailed or emailed and should reference Case No. U-21307.
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page A-1 To apply: 844-756-4423 or Michigan.gov/MIHAF This project MIHAF is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAF0031 awarded to the State of Michigan by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. NEED HELP PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE? Get up to $25,000 with MIHAF. The Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund is for homeowners with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can help pay delinquent: • mortgage/escrow • condo/homeowners’ fees • property taxes • utilities • internet Scan to apply
mailed to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 West Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. All information submitted to the Commission in this matter becomes public information,
on the Michigan
private. For more information on how to participate in a case, you may contact the Commission at the above address or by telephone at (517) 284-8090. Requests for adjournment must be made pursuant to Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules R 792.10422 and R 792.10432. Requests for further information on adjournment should be directed to (517) 284-8130. For more information on how to participate in a case, you may contact the Commission at the above address or by telephone at (517) 284-8090. Jurisdiction is pursuant to 1909 PA 106, as amended, MCL 460.551 et seq.; 1919 PA 419, as amended, MCL 460.54 et seq.; 1939 PA 3, as amended, MCL 460.1 et seq.; 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq.; and Parts 1 & 4 of the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, Mich. Admin Code, R 792.10106 and R 792.10401 through R 792.10448. DTE1842 | 2023 Print Ad Customization/NOHs/NOH U-21307
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Jalen Rose Leadership Academy teaches sustainability
Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is a high school on the northwest side of Detroit that strives to be an environmental pillar in the local community and set an example for those around them.
Tamika McCombs, scholar enrollment coordinator and business manager at JRLA, said, “If our students are interested and engaged in sustainability initiatives, others will be too – it’s a team effort.”
As a former fourth and fifth grade science teacher, Tamika was immediately interested when she heard about DTE’s MIGreenPower program. The program enables any DTE Electric customer, including institutions like JRLA, to attribute a portion of their electricity use to Michigan-made wind and solar.
Weathering the storm:
Learn how DTE prepares for extreme weather and restoring power outages
Warm weather is right around the corner for Michiganders – as are the summer storms that come with the heat and humidity. DTE Energy’s Cornelia Butler oversees storm preparedness programs for DTE. Here she explains how DTE prepares for extreme weather, so the lights stay on for our customers. Cornelia also shares how DTE staffs for storm restoration –even before the weather hits — so we’re prepared to quickly and safely respond to customer outages.
When does DTE know if a storm will result in outages?
First, we watch the weather up to 14 days of it hitting Michigan. Our meteorologist watches weather from across the country and reviews models that anticipate how our service territory could be affected.
“MIGreenPower was the fuel that I needed to get started, because I already had some underlying ideas on sustainability for the school,” said Tamika. “Part of my job is student recruiting, and I’ve been looking for new ways to enhance JRLA’s access to environmental awareness and impact, which I know will be attractive to new scholars and families.”
In addition to their exciting new MIGreenPower enrollment, DTE recently gave JRLA a grant to help replace some of the lighting in the school with more energy-efficient LED lighting. The school also has a STEM coordinator who hosts biodomes in his classroom to demonstrate how plants decrease carbon emissions; he even built a community garden outside the school for the students to help grow and maintain.
Tamika said JRLA’s principal, Wendie Lewis, is enthusiastic about any environmental initiatives the students or staff come up with. The school is currently working to reinstate their recycling program which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are slowly working towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly building for our students,” said Tamika.
DTE, Wayne Metro host Spring Savings Event in Northwest Detroit
Making Michigan cleaner starts with building up our communities, which is why DTE Energy and Wayne Metro, one of our partnering organizations, hosted a Spring Savings Event earlier this month for customers in Northwest Detroit’s Belmont neighborhood. The area is south of Castleton, between Prest and Robson streets, just north of Plymouth. This outreach event is part of a geo-targeted approach out of our Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program, which provides energy-efficient home upgrades and resources to income-qualified customers who fall within the federal poverty guidelines.
Hosted at the 180 Church on 13660 Stansbury, the neighborhood event featured do-it-yourself home weatherization workshops, mortgage and property tax assistance presented by Wayne Metro; along with the Detroit Fire Department, who was also on location passing out smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Event attendees had the opportunity to enroll in the EEA program to receive free home energy efficiency upgrades that include but are not limited to installation, furnace tune-up/AC replacement, and water heater replacement, among other weatherization upgrades. The family-filled event also included free lunches, giveaways, games, and arts and crafts for children of all ages.
Applying a whole-home approach to delivering energy-efficient products and services to customers, while maximizing quality of life is an essential priority of the EEA program. Through canvassing communities within the city of Detroit and talking with neighbors, we’ve identified energy-efficient upgrades needed in the area and have established a pipeline to implement the measures in customers’ homes throughout this year to help increase comfort and maximize energy savings.
As we grow from our learnings, additional outreach events will be hosted throughout the year to further drive neighborhood engagement. To learn more about these initiatives and see if you qualify for EEA program participation, please contact DTE at 866.796.0512 or send an email to energy_saving@ dteenergy.com.
How does DTE staff for expected storms?
When a severe storm hits, it’s all hands-on deck and currently we have over 2,000 trained employees who actively support storm restoration. From employees who actively work to restore power, like our lineworkers, to employees across DTE – from accountants to our Gas crews – who guard wiredowns and assess damage after a storm, we are fully committed to restoring customers’ power as quickly and safely as possible.
Once a storm is anticipated, working with our meteorologist, my team is tasked with identifying the right type and number of resources that will be needed and notifying employees, so they are on standby. We stand up an Incident Command Structure to prepare and organize our resources ahead of the weather. Our crews work in all conditions, but sometimes our Storm Response Teams can be slightly delayed if weather conditions are not safe for them to begin their storm assignments.
What is DTE’s process for restoring power?
Our goal is to always safely restore power to as many customers possible in the shortest amount of time. When many customers experience outages at the same time, it is critical that we follow a prioritized restoration process. First, we secure all downed power lines and the surrounding areas to keep the community and our employees safe. Next, we restore health and safety facilities like hospitals and police stations. Then, we repair the equipment that delivers power to homes and businesses. We start by repairing the equipment that serves areas with the largest number of customers. From there, we work our way down the list from largest to least number of customers impacted until all restorations are complete.
Since DTE’s service territory includes over 40,000 miles of wires and 2.3 million electric customers, assessing storm damage can be a huge job for our Storm Response Teams. Following the initial storm impact, we use a damage assessment strategy to address single outages in parallel with larger outages to ensure we’re efficiently restoring customers as quickly as possible. Once priority customers have been restored, this strategy involves our Storm Response Crews assessing the remaining jobs to ensure we are dispatching the correct crew types to these single locations to make necessary repairs and restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
We understand how frustrating it is for our customers to be without power, and during extreme weather occurrences we also have community van ambassadors that we send to impacted communi-
ties to pass out water, ice, phone chargers and flashlights. Our representatives will also share information on restoration estimates, pass out wire down and generator safety information, as the safety of the public and our employees is always a top priority.
What is DTE doing to prevent outages from occurring?
We’re investing more than $1.3 billion annually to build a smarter, stronger grid that will be resilient despite the increasingly extreme weather we’re seeing and provide our customers with the reliable power that they deserve. To continue to improve reliability and build the grid of the future, we have a bold strategy that consists of four prongs: trimming trees, hardening the grid by performing maintenance on our existing infrastructure, rebuilding the oldest sections of our grid and driving toward smart grid technology so we reroute power for customers during outage events so our customers’ lights stay on while we make repairs. Although this work won’t happen overnight, we are committed to making these necessary grid improvements, while also keeping our rates affordable for our customers.
Does tree trimming really improve reliability?
Fallen trees are responsible for two-thirds of the time our customers spend without power. DTE trimmed more than 6,500 miles of trees in 2022 alone and where we’ve done this work, we know that reliability improves. Customers can help keep their power reliable by keeping trees and branches away from their service drops. Your service drop, which is the line that runs from the utility pole to your home, is your personal connection to the power grid. Keeping branches and other brush away from these lines can prevent an outage or other electrical problems. Since these are energized lines, we highly recommend using a professional tree trimming company to perform any necessary tree trim work.
What can customers do to prevent power outages?
Trees and vegetation can grow into power lines, creating hazardous conditions and causing power outages. Prior to doing any gardening or landscaping, take a few minutes to review DTE’s Right Tree, Right Place Guide at www.dteenergy.com/treetrim so you can do your part by making sure the tree(s) you choose to plant in your yard will add beauty to your property, while promoting electric safety and reliability for your family and neighbors.
DTE Energy names new leaders of DTE Foundation, Corporate Citizenship and Customer Outreach Refreshed
DTE Energy recently announced two promotions in key leadership roles that will further the company’s focus on customer and community engagement. Rodney Cole has been named president, DTE Foundation and DTE Corporate Citizenship, taking on responsibilities of the retiring vice president of Public Affairs and president of the DTE Foundation, Lynette Dowler, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service to the company. The company also named Evette Griffe to vice president, Customer & Community Engagement, which includes a team previously led by Dowler. Griffie will also oversee the company’s efforts to connect in-need customers with energy assistance in the form of affordable payment plans, financial aid and other relief.
“DTE and the DTE Foundation are committed to serving with our energy, making a meaningful and equitable difference through our statewide corporate citizenship efforts. These team members embody this mission and will accelerate our efforts to foster stronger communities,” said Jerry Norcia, DTE chairman and CEO. “I also thank Lynette Dowler for her immeasurable contributions and decades of partnership supporting our customers and DTE.”
In her 40 years at DTE, Dowler served as a key leader across many
business units and functions including safety, nuclear supply chain management and the River Rouge and Trenton Channel Power Plants.
Cole will lead the DTE Foundation’s operations and grant strategies and play a key role in advancing DTE’s efforts to support Michigan’s economy through job creation and workforce development, social justice and racial equity, and environmental stewardship. Cole also will lead efforts to strengthen neighborhoods and further the company’s corporate citizenship initiatives throughout DTE’s service territory.
During his 18-year career at DTE, Cole has led business units across the enterprise, including state government affairs and human resources. Cole serves
on the board of directors for the American Association for Blacks in Energy (Michigan), Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan, Connect Detroit, Midnight Golf, and Michigan Humane. He also serves on the Wayne State University Press Board of Visitors and as a member of Teen Hype’s Advisory Board and the Detroit Regional Chamber Advocacy Advisory Council.
Cole is a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class XXXV and the 2018 cohort of Harvard University’s Young American Leaders Program (YALP). He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University.
Griffie will serve in a newly expanded position that leads DTE’s customer and community engage-
ment efforts as well as the initiatives to deliver energy assistance to vulnerable customers, which was previously held by Tamara Johnson, director, Revenue Management & Protection, who is retiring after working for DTE to help customers and communities for 20 years. Griffie will oversee teams committed to building and extending partnerships throughout the communities DTE serves in addition to connecting in-need customers to financial aid and payment plans. She has been with DTE for eight years, most recently serving as director of Customer Strategy & Insights, where she led consumer affairs and research teams to enhance the customer experience.
Prior to joining DTE, Griffie gained leadership experience in in roles such as manager of External Affairs at AT&T Michigan. In each position, she has been a bridge builder, forming deep relationships throughout the communities she served. She is currently on the board of the Belle Isle Conservancy and Big Brothers Big Sisters Detroit. She regularly mentors local students and has served on the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners as well as the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Griffie holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
michiganchronicle.com A3 | May 24 - 30, 2023
commitment to community engagement
Page A-4 | May 24-30, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com Scan Me Visit oaklandcc.edu Start your someday today. Schedule a campus tour or attend an admissions event. A GREAT PLACE TO START YOUR SOMEDAY Top
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A5 | May 24-30, 2023
Property is Power!
When Should You Lock in Your Mortgage Interest Rate?
One of the first decisions home buyers are faced with during the mortgage process is knowing when it’s the right time to lock in an interest rate. The easy answer is when the rates are at their lowest but when will that be? Or did you already miss it? Trying to answer this question and getting it right can drive you a little bit crazy. Let’s try to put mortgage interest rates into a little perspective. First, it’s important to know a few things about mortgage rates:
• You can’t lock in an interest rate until you’re actually in contract to buy a home.
• Mortgage rates are as volatile as the stock market.
• Paying discount points is optional… you decide.
• Locking The Mortgage Interest Rate
The first fact you can’t lock in a rate until you’re in a contract tells you when you can lock in a rate. Many homebuyers are under the misconception that the interest rate quotes they received from different lenders were set in stone. In reality, while it’s a good idea to get various quotes, so you have a sense of where rates are currently, you can’t lock in the rate. When you are in contract to buy a home, you can lock in an interest rate at any time before the final sign off by the underwriter. The final sign off is when the underwriter moves the loan file into “cleared to close” status, signaling the loan decision is final. The interest rate must be locked in so the underwriter can calculate the debt-to-income ratio based on the actual interest rate. But should you wait this long to lock in the rate, even though it’s technically allowed? That takes us to the second fact about mortgage rates they’re as volatile as the stock market and just as hard to predict. Mortgage rates move up and down at unpredictable intervals an hour or even minutes. Even with large volumes of economic data and watching the market full time it’s little more than an educated gamble for mortgage professionals.
The real question home buyers need to ask is “how much is one-eighth of a percent worth?”
As interest rates rise and fall, lenders change loan pricing in increments of one-eighth of one percent. Rates can vary by one-eighth, one-quarter and, in rare occasions, even one-half of a percent. So, calculating how much one-eighth of a percent will mean to your monthly payment is critical. If you’re looking at a $900,000 house and you have a 20% downpayment, then whether you can lock in an interest rate at 4.5% or 4.625% (one-eighth higher) will make a $54 difference in your monthly payment. Double that amount for every one-eighth of a percent swing, up or down, and you can calculate how much you’re risking when you don’t lock in your rate (known as floating)
The Mechanics of Locking Interest Rate
Before we talk about the third fact about mortgage rates, let’s go over the important steps to locking in your interest rate. Locking in the rate is all about Risk. Before you lock in your rate, you’re taking all the risk that interest rates will increase while you’re floating. Once the rate is locked, the risk that rates will increase passes to the lender. If rates do increase before your loan closes, the lender will have to sell a loan that carries a lower rate.
Transferring the risk to the lender when you lock in should be done in writing. The
GM CEO Mary Barra
Talks EVs, Diversity, and Education at
During a recent discussion at the Pancakes & Politics event, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra delivered a significant message, highlighting the need for a measured approach to electric vehicles (EVs), continued efforts towards diversity and inclusion in businesses, and a focus on education for children.
Barra acknowledged that transitioning to EVs would be a gradual process, stating, “Ramping up to EVs will take decades.” She drew historical context, pointing out that it took societies approximately 50 years to fully switch from horse-and-buggy to internal-combustion vehicles. However, she expressed optimism that the shift from gasoline-run vehicles to EVs would happen more swiftly. Barra predicted, “The switch from gasoline to EVs will not take as long.”
Addressing EV entrepreneurs, Barra advised them to seize the transformative opportunities presented by this period of change. She said, “This is a time of great transformation—and opportunity.” She also brought attention to the current challenges surrounding EV technology. In a light-hearted moment, Barra mentioned the incompatibility of car chargers and the high cost of an EV charger adapter at Walmart, stating, “An EV charger adapter costs $150 at Walmart.”
Barra further revealed that GM and other automakers were encountering supply-chain issues, hampering the introduction of new EVs. Businesses along the chain faced difficulties in hiring employees, resulting in order delays. Despite these obstacles, GM was committed to fulfilling current orders for both EVs and gas-fueled cars, as Barra emphasized the strong demand for both vehicle types.
Pancakes & Politics
The CEO acknowledged that the interface and app connectivity of EVs needed adjustment. Some customers questioned GM’s decision to remove Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from upcoming car models, beginning with the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. Barra assured the audience that GM aimed to provide a more seamless experience by integrating maps, phones, and apps. She stated, “We are going for better integration of maps, phones, and apps for a more seamless experience.”
Barra expressed GM’s dedication to the Detroit community by announcing a $250 million investment in the city, with $50 million already allocated to education. She stressed the importance of investing in education to retain talented individuals within the city. Barra stated, “In order to keep people here, we must invest in education.”
Furthermore, Barra emphasized the need for companies to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, echoing the sentiments of previous Pancakes & Politics guests who highlighted the profitability of diverse organizations. The CEO commended GM’s commitment to standing in solidarity with racial justice, particularly during the protests following George Floyd’s death. Referring to a message posted on the company’s intranet in 2020, Barra said, “The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor astonishingly add to the important and unconscionable list of black Americans who have lost their lives based on the color of their skin. Let’s stop asking ‘why’ and start asking ‘what.’”
During the event, Barra expressed gratitude for the acknowledgement and support received from attendees. She shared insights gained from listening sessions with media mogul Byron Allen and
Black media outlets, emphasizing the importance of cultivating an inclusive workplace and valuing people’s experiences. Barra stressed the need to address representation, promotion, and bias within organizations. She stated, “We have to look at representation and promotion—and bias.”
In the Q&A session, Dr. Geneva Williams, CEO of Dr. Geneva Speaks, LLC, praised Barra as a role model and posed an intriguing question regarding the new female head of Twitter, Linda Yaccarino. Williams inquired about the concept of the “glass cliff,” where individuals from marginalized groups, such as women or people of color, are more likely to assume leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturn when the risk of failure is high.
Barra responded by stating that Yaccarino took the role with confidence and emphasized that the idea of the glass cliff oversimplified her situation. Barra highlighted the need to explore the narrative behind the glass cliff concept, suggesting it was an intriguing story worth examining. She replied, “She took the role believing she can do it—and yes, an individual needs support. But the glass cliff idea sells her short. What the glass cliff is, is an interesting story.”
Barra’s discussion at Pancakes & Politics sheds light on the importance of approaching the transition to EVs patiently, while emphasizing the significance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and education in driving progress. Her insights and quotes resonated with the audience, underscoring the need for long-term commitment, adaptability, and a focus on creating an inclusive and sustainable future for the automotive industry and beyond.
Centric Place: Empowering Black Professionals Through Co-Working in Metro Detroit
By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Meet Gerrard and Racheal Allen, the visionary couple who saw a gap in the co-working space in Detroit and decided to fill it with a market designed specifically for Black professionals. As Detroit natives, they were all too familiar with the lack of diversity in traditional co-working spaces and the barriers that often prevent Black professionals from advancing in their careers. With a passion for creating inclusive and equitable opportunities, the Allens embarked on a mission to create an environment where Black professionals could thrive, collaborate and succeed. The result? Centric Place, a co-working space that has become a hub for Black entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives in the city of Detroit.
The idea for the co-working space began when the couple faced challenges in finding space for their growing small businesses and classes. The concept evolved from iterations to what is now a unique and innovative space for people with similar needs. The Allens realized that there were likely many others in the area
looking for a venue or workspace.
“Because we live in Oakland County, but had primarily worked in Detroit, we realized that there were probably a lot of other folks who were looking for a venue or places to have celebrations or co-working,” said Racheal Allen. “We had no idea that we would become the first co-working space
of any field or that we would be creating a first of its kind in Metro Detroit. It took about 60 days to build out the space and it’s been positively received. We’re building something that really just hadn’t existed in the ecosystem, which is something not only Black-owned and -operated, but, to your point, centers that Black experience and
all of the work we do particularly in art, culture and entrepreneurship.” Centric Place embodies the unique strengths and passions of its founders. Racheal brings a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship and community development to the table and plays a vital role in curating programs that
support and empower businesses and entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Gerrard’s 20 years of experience in cultural programming have focused on fostering the growth and appreciation of literary arts through various social events and gatherings. Together, their complementary skill sets have helped make Centric Place a dynamic and thriving hub for creativity, innovation and community engagement.
“The arts and culture parts are really where I have flourished professionally, and Racheal has flourished in entrepreneurship. This allows us to be collaborative, and be supportive of each other, while pouring into our passions,” said Gerrard Allen.
By providing a range of services this creative business-minded couple has found a way to introduce a hub for inspiration and development. Gerrard has been cultivating exhibitions while creating a tone throughout the space that brings comfort and echoes with visitors. The permanent Ebony installation includes over 100 original Ebony magazines dating back
See CENTRIC PLACE Page A-6
Anthony O. Kellum
GM CEO Mary Barra.
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE Page A-6
Mortgage Interest Rates
From page A-5
lender may have a specific form to do this with, but more than likely the process will be a phone call between you and the loan officer, followed by an email from you confirming you want the rate locked. Make sure you include the actual rate that you’re locking, any costs for the rate, also known as “discount points,” and length of the lock. The duration of the lock impacts pricing, due to the risk the lender takes on when you lock the rate. Lock durations are typically 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days. Locks less than 30 days are rare and risky to the home buyer because the rate lock can’t expire before the loan is funded. If it does, you’ll find yourself paying a fee to extend the rate. Make sure to discuss what an adequate lock duration would be for you, with your loan officer.
If you do need an extension on your rate lock, the fees can vary based on several factors. The lender will typically extend a rate for 3-7 days for free, as a courtesy to you, if the delay was out of your control. Likewise, three-day extensions can be free regardless of the reason for the delay. Locks for 30 to 45 days are sometimes the same interest rate, and if that’s the case, take the longer lock period. Why have the added stress of worrying about the lock expiring? If you’re not scheduled to close for 60 days or more, work closely with your loan officer to decide when you should lock. While it’s your decision when to lock, if rates are stable, it might be worth the risk to wait for 7-10 days into the contract period before you lock to avoid the lock expiring too soon.
Paying Discount Points is Optional
Most lenders have interest rates that won’t require you to pay a fee. But paying a fee means you will get a lower interest rate. It also works in reverse taking a higher interest rate will mean a credit will be applied to your closing costs. Trying to decide if you should pay the fee or take the credit is answered by going back and assessing the difference oneeighth of a percent makes to your monthly mortgage payment. In the example above, one-eighth in rate meant a $54 difference in your monthly payment. So, if you paid a fee to have the rate one-eighth lower, you would need to calculate how long it would take you to break-even on spending that money up front. If the cost for a lower rate on a $720,000 loan were three-eighths of a percent, or $2700, it would take four years before you would begin to benefit from paying for the lower rate.
Rates Drop After You Lock, Now
As much as you try to make the best decision when you lock in your interest rate, without a magic crystal ball you have no idea what’s going to happen to them tomorrow. Neither does the lender. However, if mortgage rates fall after you lock, you can still benefit. This sounds contrary to the whole concept of rate locks so how does it work? Lenders call it “Floating Down,” and they have specific guidelines addressing the potential situation, and a specific calculation to go with it. It’s unlikely they will drop your rate to the lowest available, but generally, they will lower your rate as long as rates fall by a minimum of one-quarter of a percent. When that happens (which is rare within a 30 - 60-day period), the lender will usually ‘split the difference’ with you and lower your rate by one-eighth of a percent.
Once you know all the details of your lenders’ rate lock policies, think seriously about locking in your interest rate as soon as possible. Make sure you take into consideration when your purchase is scheduled to close and choose a lock duration that won’t require you to pay for an extension. Above all calculate the exact amount of savings you’ll have if you wait for the rate to drop by one-eighth so you know what you might gain or lose!
From page A-5
to the 1960’s. The collection was inherited from Gerrard’s grandparents.
“People look forward to taking a picture in front of it and sharing with their grandkids, explaining the era and what point of life they were in during that time. That focal point really allows folks to come in and recognize that this is a Black space. But also the excellence that resonates from those magazines spills over into everything that we do. So, as soon as you come in you are picking up the aura of the era of the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
Centric Place not only creates a welcoming atmosphere, but it also serves as a top-tier destination for businesses looking to grow. The facility offers classes and courses, such as Operations School, which Rachel uses to share her expertise and help other business owners gain a deeper understanding of the industry. This approach aims to create a more organized and educated small business ecosystem, particularly for minority business owners, which can lead to a higher success rate in the industry.
“We are really excited to be devel-
billion vaccinated from COVID-19 e f
oping programming and partnerships right now. And we’re really hoping to build a deeper partnership with stakeholders in Oakland County, so that Centric Place can become one of the largest hubs for disadvantaged and minority businesses. We are unapologetic about having a very bold vision that would make such a place the first of its kind in the state.”
Located on a 12-acre compound surrounded by various buildings, Airbnbs and homes, the coworking space covers an area of 10,000 square feet.
With plans to broaden their services throughout the entire 12-acre property, the couple also hopes to replicate the same concept in other states and countries.
Centric Place is open to the public for co-working space, event rental, art exhibitions, classes and more. The Allens hope that the community will visit and become involved with the vision. Centric Place is located at 36216 Freedom Road in Farmington Hills. Learn more about the Allens’ programs at centricplace.com.
Page A-6 | May 24-30, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com
a parent you want to help protect your child. The COVID-19 vaccine helps prevent kids from getting severely ill, and helps protect them from long-term complications. Children 6 months and up can get vaccinated and age-appropriate boosters are available when eligible. To learn more, talk to your health care provider or visit Michigan.gov/KidsCOVIDvaccine.
more questions? We’ve got answers. As
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The right care starts in the community. That's why we partner with locally based organizations on programs that encourage healthy lifestyles, increase access to quality health care, and address and reduce health disparities. We also support free and low-cost clinics across our state. Blue Cross is ready to help support the health of all Michiganders.
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Page A-8 | May 24-30, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com S 3 has a 50/50 split among male/female employees. 60% of our employees identify as non-white. S 3 ’s leadership team are 50% women. 45% of S 3 ’s leadership team are diverse. S 3 currently employs 31% military veterans and military spouses. Find out more about us at StrategicStaff.com This is Still How S3 defines Diversity 3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan Charter Partner
B1 | May 24-30, 2023
Reborn: The Artistic Evolution of B Nick
By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
Brian “B Nick” Nickson, is a far-sighted Detroit artist who has undergone a remarkable rebirth, has come out on the other side with a renewed passion for pushing artistic boundaries and exploring new frontiers. His journey has been one of resilience, growth, and self-discovery, and his latest works are a testament to his evolution.
Brian’s artistic journey is a reflection of his fearlessness in taking risks, challenging the status quo, and embracing the unconventional. He has emerged as an imaginative artist who is unafraid to explore uncharted territories and push the limits of his craft.
B Nick has captured the attention of art enthusiasts and urban culture fans alike with his imaginative and captivating paintings. His unique style and creative approach to popular culture have set him apart from his peers. From beloved cinema classics like “Paid in Full” to iconic sitcoms like “Martin,” B Nick’s renditions bring these cultural touchstones to life in new and exciting ways.
The Intersection of Culture
While B Nick’s paintings of celebrities, local creatives, and even himself have always been impressive, he is always pushing himself to create something even more thought-provoking and captivating than the last. His commitment to constantly improving and pushing his artistic boundaries has made him a rising star in the art world.
Currently, B Nick is exploring a new direction in their art, one that incorporates the principles of MRPS (meaning, relationships, proportion, and space) to create more complex and layered pieces. Rather than simply creating portraits, the artist now focuses on creating an entire environment for their subjects, telling a story through their art.
“As an artist, I am constantly evolving and drawing inspiration from the people I’ve met, relationships I’ve had, and everything I come across. There’s always a story to be told and that’s what I strive to create in my art. While I still do smaller pieces,
Commerce: How Detroit’s Creative Community is Driving Economic Growth
By Lynzee Mychael MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
In the city of Detroit, a remarkable driving force propels economic growth and cultural resurgence—the community of Black artists, musicians, writers, and creatives. Amidst distinctive challenges and opportunities, these exceptionally talented individuals are leaving an lasting mark on Detroit’s economy while shaping its rich cultural fabric.
Detroit’s cultural revitalization owes much to the creative vision and artistic expression of Black creatives. Black-owned small businesses are often at the forefront of this movement, serving as cultural hubs and platforms for local creatives. By providing spaces for exhibitions, performances, and collaborations, these businesses celebrate the rich heritage and creative spirit of the Black community, breathing new life into Detroit’s cultural scene.
By infusing the city with a vibrant cultural energy that has attracted a wave of visitors and investors, opening the doors to new streams of income, and enhancing the city’s credibility. Art galleries, music venues, and cultural events showcasing the work of Black artists have become mustsee attractions, contributing to the city’s thriving tourism industry. According to Detroit News, cultural tourism in Detroit has experienced substantial growth, with visitors flocking to experience the unique and authentic expressions of the city’s creative community.
Partnerships and collaborations have played a pivotal role in the success of artists in Detroit. As the feel and aesthetic of Downtown Detroit continue to rise, artists
are finding numerous projects to sustain their careers, even throughout the pandemic. The city’s initiatives, such as the 2023 Wall Campaign and the revitalization of buildings, have created ample opportunities for muralists to showcase their talent and secure a significant share of the artistic landscape.
Collaborations with businesses, organizations, and fellow artists have become a driving force behind the success of Detroit’s artists. By joining forces, artists can leverage their individual strengths and resources to create impactful projects that resonate with the local community and beyond. These collaborations often result in the transformation of public spaces, breathing new life into the city’s urban environment and creating a sense of pride and identity among residents.
Nestled in the heart of the city, the Russell Industrial Center stands as a vibrant and versatile space, serving as a one-stop shop for private units and open rooms that hold exhibits and performances. This 40,000 square foot space has become a cornerstone of the city’s creative community, providing a nurturing environment where artists, musicians, and performers can showcase their talents and connect with audiences in unique and captivating ways.
The Russell Industrial Center is a renowned destination that serves as an art and business hub. Settled within one of Detroit’s most iconic industrial properties, this thriving center is home to a diverse community of over 150 artists and small businesses. It offers an inviting and nurturing environment for painters, photographers, glass blowers, sculptors, and entrepreneurs, who are all welcomed to join this ever-growing creative community.
Vanessa Hope, an aspiring artist from Southwest Detroit says that being able to create relationships with other artists and galleries has catapulted her career quicker than she ever thought.
“I have a community. We share experiences, connections, and opportunities. I’ve worked on murals in Downtown Detroit, but I’m most proud of the contributions I’ve made to the small businesses in my city. Creating beautiful pieces that drive traffic or create conversations are how we push for more opportunities and create, opening doors for innovation, creation and money to continue building up the city.”
The collective efforts of Black creatives, supported by the dynamic ecosystem of the Russell Industrial Center, have sparked a remarkable revitalization of Detroit’s cultural scene. This resurgence pays homage to the city’s rich heritage and celebrates the creative spirit of its Black community, infusing the cultural landscape with renewed vitality. The impact of these endeavors extends beyond artistic expression, as Black-owned small businesses play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, attracting visitors, and contributing to the overall prosperity of Detroit.
According to recent statistics, the presence of Black-owned small businesses in Detroit has been a catalyst for economic advancement. These businesses have created a ripple effect, generating employment opportunities, fostering entrepreneurship, and stimulating local spending. In fact, research shows that Black-owned businesses in Detroit contribute significantly to the city’s economic growth, accounting for a notable percentage of overall business revenue and job creation.
Waffles and More at Waffle Cafe
By Andre Ash DIGITAL ANCHOR
You haven’t had a waffle until you’ve had one from Detroit. That’s Waffle Café Detroit, to be exact. The Black-owned business is soon set for its Grand Opening on June 1 on Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion.
“Because of my past experience with her (Kimyana Freeman) as a chef, and having sampled these waffles in the past, it made it really easy for me to get behind the idea,” said Larry Phillips, co-owner of the new business endeavor.
“Everyone that’s going to come, they are really in for a treat, and one they’re not expecting.”
The specialty sit-down restaurant located at 18685 Livernois will serve gourmet food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
A dash of delicious mixed with a handful of nostalgia and a pinch of perfection creates over 45 varieties of savory and sweet waffles with an array of fresh toppings such as the Classic Belgian Waffle, French Toast, Very Berry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Everything but the Bagel, Candied Caramel Pecan, Loaded Baked Potato, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Bacon Ranch, Mint Chocolate Chip with Andes mints and so much more.
Kid friendly flavors include Pepperoni Pizza, Zuperman and Fruity Pebbles. There will be something for everyone’s taste buds, no matter their age.
Freeman and Larry
Phillips are partners in K&L Legacy Enterprise, the parent company of Waffle Café Detroit. Freeman and Phillips have almost 40 years of combined experience with events, food service, community building and entertainment. Their collaboration is a culmination of friendship, mutual respect and common goals.
“We had thought about connecting on a couple other things and in the process we came across this building, and I said Hey, I think we should do this restaurant idea,” Phillips said.
Freeman’s culinary experience is massive and it’s her previous food creations that have led her to go all out in their new business endeavor and partnership with Larry, her longtime friend.
“One of the things I’ve learned from being in the industry is when you have specialty items or a location that specializes in specific things, that drives a certain demographic,” Freeman said.
As the one to come up with the array of waffle flavors, she wants to definitely tap into the clientele that loves their waffles just as much as those who love their pancakes.
“Visually picture a taco or burrito but the base of it is a flavored waffle.”
It will be one of their mainstay items as the plans include introducing waffle wraps.
Featuring locally sourced ingredients, the menu has signature and traditional items with a twist such as the Bacon, Egg
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Larry Phillips and Kimyana Freeman are partners in K&L Legacy Enterprise, it’s the parent company of Waffle Café Detroit.
Our mission is to provide amazing food with friendly service in a relaxing environment.
Waffle Café Detroit is not just a place to grab a bite to eat, it’s a place to restore relationships, a place to create memories and a place to bring families together.”
Waffle Café Detroit
and Cheese Waffle Burrito and Watermelon Lemonade. Chicken bites and catfish bites are available to pair with the waffles or come à la carte. Hand-dipped ice cream and creamy custard are also available year round, while seasonal selections during the colder months include waffle bowls filled with soup. Waffle Café Detroit will also offer an exclusive selection of beverages including hot and iced coffee as well as vegan and vegetarian waffle options.
“Our mission is to provide amazing food with friendly service in a relaxing environment,” says native Detroiter Freeman. “Waffle Café Detroit is not just a place to grab a bite to eat, it’s a place to restore relationships, a place to create memories and a place to bring families together.”
“Keeping the customer satisfied is a priority of our business,” adds her partner, Phillips.
Both Phillips and Freeman experienced tragedies that brought them to this point. Larry’s brother died in the past year and Freeman lost a dear friend and business partner a decade ago. It has taken those 10 years for her to feel comfortable enough to engage in another business partnership
following the death of her friend. Both feel like their losses are what gives them the strength to press forward with their new business endeavor.
“To fast forward ten years later and be able to have this [business partnership] and embrace it, it’s really special to me. I was hesitant about it in the beginning…but when this situation came along between me and Larry, it was a no brainer.”
With a commitment to exceptional customer service, Waffle Café Detroit will serve cuisine crafted with the highest standards.
The secret ingredient is love. Love for serving families and community, and love for supporting minority businesses. Waffle Café Detroit hopes to restore the feeling of community and help to foster a sense of togetherness in the city of Detroit.
“I love being able to help people bring their dreams, goals and aspirations to pass. This year is about taking collaborative efforts and partnerships to the next level,” said Freeman.
The grand opening ribbon cutting reception is Thursday, June 1, at 10:00 a.m., and the restaurant will officially open to serve guests from noon-6:00 p.m.
my upcoming body of work is going to be on a higher level, incorporating important moments from my upbringing which hold a special place in our culture.”
B Nick’s upcoming body of work is set to take their art to a higher level, moving beyond small individual pieces to create larger, more ambitious works. He said he has been drawing inspiration from his childhood experiences, particularly the entertainment and culture that is significant to the black community. His work is a reflection of his identity and experiences, connecting with viewers on a deeper level and creating a sense of shared culture and history.
As viewers immerse themselves in Brian’s latest creations, they will be struck by the depth, complexity, and richness of his art. His work is a true reflection of his evolution as an artist and his commitment to breaking away from the norm.
While he prepares to debut his new work, B Nick wants to create better connections between artists, curators, and art institutions in the city. He believes that museums and certain cities have the potential to tap into the artistic community and provide a better spotlight for the work being created.
“Art imitates life, and it is important for the wider community to recognize and appreciate the creative contributions of artists. While some museums and cities may already be making efforts to engage with the artistic community, there is still room for improvement. With so many talented artists creating meaningful work, it is essential to ensure that they are given a platform to showcase their art and be recognized for their contributions.”
B Nick believes that more artists should be given the opportunity to display their work in museums and other public spaces. By doing so, the wider community can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the stories and experiences that are reflected in the art they are creating. By doing so, they can help foster a more vibrant and engaged artistic community, and enrich the lives of all those who encounter their art.
B Nick’s artistic journey has been a rollercoaster of creativity, exploration, and growth. His unique style and ability to capture the essence of popular urban culture has garnered him a loyal following and numerous accolades. As he continues to push himself to create even more thought-provoking and inspiring pieces, we can only imagine what new heights he will reach and what exciting new works he will unveil. It’s clear that B Nick is not just an artist, but a visionary who is constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of what art can be.
Page B-2 | May 24-30, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com B Nick
From page B-1 From page B-1 Follow | Like | Share michiganchronicle.com | EQD Home. It’s the best place on earth. We can all work together to implement the Statewide Housing Plan, so that everyone in Michigan can have quality, affordable housing. Let’s build a brighter future in the state we proudly call home. Ad Number: PP-MSHDA-23004A Trim: 10" x 10.5" Perich Job No:23004 Bleed: NA
Notice of Public Hearing
Weston Preparatory Academy, a TuitionFree Public School Academy, will hold its 2023-2024 Budget Hearing on June 15, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. at 22930 Chippewa Street, Detroit, MI 48219, (313) 387-6038 to review the proposed 2023-2024 operating budget. A copy of the proposed budget is available for public inspection at the above address.
Notice of Budget Hearing
The Detroit Achievement Academy (MI PSA) shall hold a public budget hearing for its 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 annual operating budgets on June 13th at 6:00pm; visit website below for up-todate location information. A copy of the budget is available for public inspection at: www.detroitachievement.org/budget
Budget Hearing Notice
Pathways Academy Charter School will be holding its Annual Budget Hearing on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 9:45 AM to review and comment on the Academy s 2022-2023 school year budget. The location for the hearing is 11340 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48214.
The budget is available for public inspection at 11340 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48214.
The meeting will be conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.
NOTICE OF RESCHEDULED
BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING
Notice is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Highland Park, Mi. will hold a Public Hearing:
How a Nursing Career in Home Healthcare Can Help Expand Care Access
(StatePoint) For those who are in hospice, recovering from an injury or illness, or who have long-term disabilities, home healthcare can be an ideal solution. It delivers cost-effective, high-quality care in the setting where patients most often want to be -- home. Unfortunately, access to this important service varies by region, with particular shortages in rural areas, often where the need is highest. Industry experts say that nurses who make the switch to treating patients at home can help close the gap.
“I’ve seen firsthand how home healthcare is so often the best choice for patients, translating to better adherence to care management plans and an improved quality of life,” says Jennifer Sheets, president and chief executive officer of Interim HealthCare, Inc., a nurse with real-world experience herself, and a nationally recognized leader and advocate for continued funding for home healthcare.
Whether you’re still in nursing school or a seasoned professional, here are some of the top reasons to consider a career in home healthcare:
A career in home healthcare can be a seamless transition for nurses of all specializations, experiences and backgrounds. While many home healthcare patients are older adults, home healthcare actually offers the full continuum of care, and is de -
signed for patients of all ages with a range of chronic and acute conditions. What’s more, home healthcare careers can deliver benefits like good work-life balance, flexible hours you can set yourself, rewarding assignments and competitive pay.
The last few years have put unbearable pressure on nurses everywhere, making it difficult to provide the personalized care patients deserve. The care delivered in patients’ homes however, empowers nurses to make a true impact on health outcomes. And it goes beyond that. In areas of the country where there are home healthcare shortages, patients and their families are often faced with tough decisions and difficult circumstances, including extended hospital stays. Home nurses can alleviate strain on the healthcare systems of under-serviced communities by improving access to at-home care. Major providers of home healthcare are actively hiring nurses right now, including Interim HealthCare, which has locally-owned and operated franchises nationwide. To learn more about home care careers, visit careers.interimhealthcare.com.
“More nurses working in home healthcare means better access for patients who could benefit from care at home,” says Sheets. “If you’ve thought about a career pivot, this is one change that can improve lives and help communities.”
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Prostock-Studio / iStock via Getty Images Plus
How to Spend Wisely at the Grocery Store
(StatePoint) Whether you are packing school lunches or hosting a dinner party, you want your fridge and pantry to be stocked with the highest-quality foods for the best value. Thankfully, there’s a better way to navigate store aisles than just picking products at random and hoping for the best, one which doesn’t involve hours of product research.
Product of the Year USA, the largest consumer-voted awards program centered around product innovation, recently announced the winners of the 2023 Product of the Year Awards across 36 trending categories. Determined through a national study of 40,000 American shoppers in partnership with Kantar, a global leader in consumer research, the winners represent the best new products when it comes to thoughtful design, quality and innovation.
“It’s easier than ever for today’s consumers to be overwhelmed by choice. Far beyond retail aisles, they now have direct-to-consumer options, grocery delivery in the palm of their hands, and a never-ending stream of their favorite influencers reviewing products,” says Mike Nolan, global CEO of Product of the Year Management. “It’s important to us to help consumers and their families cut through the noise.”
To make your visits to the supermarket a breeze, consider this year’s 20 food and beverage winners, listed by category:
• Bread | ALDI-exclusive Specially Selected French Baguette – ALDI
• Breakfast | Quaker Puffed Granola – PepsiCo
• Cheese | ALDI-exclusive Emporium Selection Feta Block Assortment – ALDI
• Coffee Creamer | Lactose-Free Flavored Creamer in French Vanilla and Sweet Cream – Organic Valley
• Condiment | ALDI-exclusive Burman’s Dipping Sauces – ALDI
• Convenience Meals | Hot Pockets Deliwich – Nestlé USA
• Entrée | Pasta-Roni Heat & Eat – PepsiCo
• Frozen Dessert | ALDI-exclusive Sundae Shoppe Gelato – ALDI
• Keto | ALDI-exclusive Benton’s Keto Cookies – ALDI
• Meal Replacement | Complete Nutrition Shakes – Soylent
• Meal Solution | Bob Evans Mashed Cauliflower – Bob Evans Farms
• Non-Chocolate | HARIBO Berry Clouds – HARIBO of America, Inc.
• Non-Dairy | ALDI-exclusive Friendly Farms Non-Dairy Whipped Toppings – ALDI
• On-The-Go Snack | ALDI-exclusive Park Street Deli Sweet Snack Selects – ALDI
• Premixed Drink | ALDI-exclusive Zarita Margaritas – ALDI
• Salt y Snack | Takis Hot Nuts Fuego – Barcel USA
• Smoothie | DOLE BOOSTED BLENDS Berry Spark Smoothie – Dole Packaged Foods
• Snack & Appetizer | El Monterey Chili Cheese Chimichanga – Ruiz Foods
• Soft Drink | Nitro Pepsi – PepsiCo
• Wine | ALDI-exclusive Don’t Mind
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Municipal Building 12050
June 5, 2023 7:00
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To consider the:
more information about this year’s
to feed your family the foods that other shoppers have already tried and loved?
you’re filling your virtual or physical cart, be sure to lean on consumers tools that can help you make better choices.
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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) PeopleImages / iStock via Getty Images Plus
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Page B-8 | May 24-30, 2023 | michiganchronicle.com As America’s #1 business lender, we’re invested in local economies with over $30 billion in business loans. Our commitment includes providing funding to under-resourced business owners and supporting entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to help them make every move matter. When entrepreneurs succeed, our communities do too When you use the QRC feature certain information is collected from your mobile device for business purposes. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender. © 2023 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. Scan for details See how we support small businesses at bankofamerica.com/detroit What would you like the power to do?® My teammates work closely with entrepreneurs here in Detroit. We are here to help them start and grow their business, so they can continue to create jobs and keep our community strong. Matt
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