Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition on the recent Bridge Vote Oct 22 2011

Media Statement by Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition on the recent Bridge Vote, from Scott Brines, President:

A decision on moving forward with the New International Trade Crossing still hangs over the Delray and Southwest Detroit community where the bridge would be built. The governor, business, labor and others remain united in support of the bridge, while the owner of the Ambassador Bridge Company seems prepared to spend whatever it takes to defeat it. In the meantime, local residents of Delray continue to suffer the consequences of the indecision.

The Bridge Company’s multi-million dollar ad campaign has attacked basic community protection from impacts of a new bridge development. That isn’t a surprise given how the Bridge Company does business in our community spreading blight with hundreds of derelict vacant properties that lead to life-threatening fires in our community and more. People across Michigan need to realize that these are not public service announcements, they are million-dollar ads meant to confuse real issues and outdo our democratic process. This manipulation continues to hurt families impacted by the bridge project and those who desperately need the jobs.

Legislation offered by Senator Tupac Hunter and supported by the full Democratic caucus would provide essential support for community protections with a new bridge—simply the right to negotiate with the private bridge concessionaire for protections to be paid by the concessionaire--not with any taxpayer dollars.

We are grateful for both Senators Hunter and Virgil Smith who voted in support of the NITC Bridge with the important community protection. We asked and hoped that all senators would vote on this bridge as it if were being put in their own community, with the protections they would want for their families. Our community already suffers multiple pollution burdens from heavy industries and transportation infrastructure that we host for all of Michigan’s benefit.

We know this development can be done right to benefit our state’s economy and also exist in a healthy community. Any company would want to operate in a place where it would be good for residents, employees, and customers, and create the climate to attract even more new business. Such agreements with the impacted host communities have succeeded across the county and are not anything new.

Governor Snyder re-pledged his support for community benefits at a press conference after the failed bridge votes. We are thankful for the Governor’s support and others in understanding the challenges and the opportunities to have an effective border community for all.


Senator Tupac Hunter will join faith leaders and other representatives including U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke for a call to action and prayer event at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 23 at First Latin American Baptist Church, located at 6205 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48209.


Sunday, October 23, 2011


Church Leaders Join Sunday in Aftermath of Bridge Vote

Clergy, Political Leaders to Urge Action In Support of Bridge, Community Benefits

DETROIT—In the aftermath of Thursday’s failure by a state legislative committee to approve the New International Trade Crossing proposal, leading Detroit clergy, elected officials and community leaders will join together beginning at 1:15 pm Sunday at historic St. Paul AME Church, 579 S. Rademacher, for procession and gathering in support of community benefits for the Delray area impacted by the proposed New International Trade Crossing. The procession will depart St. Paul’s at 1:30pm and proceed to First Latin American Baptist Church, 6205 West Fort Street.

The New International Trade Crossing proposal has already affected the financial well-being of some of the poorest residents of Detroit. Each day Lansing politicians fail to act on the bridge proposal creates additional uncertainty and fear for Delray area families. Men and women of faith and others on Sunday will call for support for community benefits and a final decision on the bridge proposal.

WHO: Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition

U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke
Senator Virgil Smith
Senator Coleman Young II
Rep. Rashida Tlaib
Rep. Harvey Santana (tentative)
Senior Pastor, David Bullock, Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, Highland Park

Rev. Kevin Casillas, First Latin American Baptist Church
Rev. Jeffery Baker, St. Paul AME Church
Rev. Bob Hoey, Messiah Church

WHERE: St. Paul AME Church, 579 S. Rademacher and First Latin American Baptist Church, 6205 West Fort Street

WHEN: 1:15 pm Press Statement and Availability at St. Paul AME Church

1:30pm Procession Leaves St. Paul AME Church

2pm Gathering at First Latin American Baptist Church

VISUALS: Backdrop will be bridge plaza area. Community leaders and residents will be marching with signs.