I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. These famous words of Fannie Lou Hamer perfectly describe my feelings at the present moment. What am I "sick and tired" of per se? Well, let me enlighten you. I am sick and tired of traffic on M-10 (which is my main route to commute from Oakland County to Downtown Detroit and although always filled with traffic is still the quickest way for me to get to work). I am sick and tired of Robert Davis and his ilk who, (in my opinion and right now that is the only one that counts) file frivolous lawsuits that hinder and hurt the process instead of aiding to the solution. I am sick of tired of people giving simplistic answers to the complex reason why Detroit is filing for bankruptcy. I am sick and tired of people protesting and rallying behind "saving" Belle Isle and the DIA but yet do nothing to rally and protest in response to the increase of violence that has taken over the City of Detroit. Tell Detroiters that Michigan is going to lease Belle Isle and place capital investment on the island and people come out of the woodworks to protest and sit in, but have the news and other media outlets report on the increase in violence in the city and these same protesters are nowhere to be found. Finally and ultimately, I am sick and tired of the Michigan Senate passing and discussing legislation that (in my opinion, which again is the only thing that counts for this piece anyway) is frivolous and is not in the best interest of their constituents in the least.
If you need an example of the frivolity that is coming from the Michigan Senate look no further than to the 1700 bills that the Detroit Free Press reported were being discussed or passed out of the Senate on October 21, 2013. The list includes such bills that would designate the state fruit, state sweet or state song. The Michigan Senate is even introducing legislation that allows public contact with bears up to 90 lbs or 36 weeks old. The list goes even further by prohibiting the ownership of primates. These pieces of legislation would make no true impact to the constituents of the state. Reading the list one should be outraged because these people are truly wasting tax dollars to pass these ridiculous bills. Do not get me wrong the Michigan Senate has gotten some things right, such as passing Senate Bill 354 which bans the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals or Senate Bills 285-86 which increase criminal penalties for people who abuse animals and extend prohibition to include breeders and pet shop owners. Even Senate Bill 2 which, gives more autonomy to and provide for the licensing of APRN, demonstrates that some of them do understand the realities in Michigan; however these accomplishments are few and far in between. Take for instance Senate Bill 35 which would give cities of the State of Michigan tools to eliminate blight; the bill misses the mark due to its exclusion of banks from the roster of those who could be found responsible for the offenses. Banks, especially in Wayne and Washtenaw County have gotten the art of the "walkaway" down. The first draft of the bill (I was fortunate to have read a draft last year before it was even introduced) included banks because the responsibility to care for the neighborhood was for the whole of the community and not just individual owners or limited liability companies. The current bill, now in the house is a shell of its original form. I am hoping that is not the fate for House Bills 4593 and 4595 which focus on illegal scrapping and brings more regulatory reform to this growing industry.
House Bills 4593 and 4595, which were introduced by Paul Muxlow (R-Brown City), Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), and Jim Ananich (D-Flint), assists cities and farm towns in combating not only blight but violence as well. Scraping has devastated Detroit. One can just take a trip to Southwest Detroit and view Higgins Elementary or Southwestern High School or even (before it was demolished) the University Club on Jefferson Avenue. These buildings were gutted and left open and vacant. These structures were embodiments of their era and were places for the community to learn and fellowship. With over 100 Detroit Public Schools closed Higgins and Southwestern could have been sold to be utilized in some other capacity for the community, but due to scrapping and loose regulations around scrap yards these structures are just eyesores and dangerous facilities in the community. Having personally experienced the devastation that scrapping brings I am an ardent supporter of these bills. Before I moved to Oakland County, I had it in mind to own a home in Detroit; I was going to live in the city I had purposefully returned to, however that bubble was soon burst. The day before closing I did a walk through of the house with a contractor and was shocked and dismayed to see that all of the piping and wiring had been taken. The house had been locked so the perpetrators broke a window to gain entry into this house that was soon to be mine. I was fortunate to be able to get my deposit back on the house, however that should not have been the case, I should be living in that house. Thanks to the wonderful violators I am now a resident of Oakland County. So I am crossing my fingers that these bills going to the Senate, will be passed in their current form or with even more regulation for scrap yard owners. These bills would assist in solving a complex problem that is not only effecting cities but the countryside as well and making the revitalization of the city and the state slow and at times unrealized. Passage of these bills by the Michigan Senate would demonstrate that 1) Michigan Senators in Lansing do understand the realities of the state 2) People understand that we can either have mutually assured revitalization or mutually assured destruction and that we need leaders to think about the whole and not their "special interests". Plus the passage of these bills would eliminate an item from my "sick and tired" list and isn't making my life easier the only thing that the Michigan Senate should be worried about at this point? I mean it is the least they could do.
Follow me on Twitter (@ConsultantInTheCity) and contact your Michigan State Senator to ensure passage of these bills.