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VIDEO: Chris Savage of Eclectablog welcomes Netroots Nation to Detroit

For those of you who missed the opening night keynote speeches at Netroots Nation in Detroit, here is my speech welcoming the conference attendees to the Motor City:

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UPDATED x3: Despite supposed moratorium, Detroit water shutoffs continue

Depends on what your definition of “moratorium” is, I guess…

Last week, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, bowing to pressure from Detroit bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes, instituted what they said was a 15-day moratorium on water shutoffs in Detroit. However, despite this, water shutoffs continue:

The Detroit water department recently announced a temporary break in its campaign to cut service to delinquent customers—but some people are still being shut off. [...]

[T]he temporary reprieve doesn’t apply across the board, as most people had assumed.

Spokeswoman Curtrise Garner says the water department remains committed to helping anyone genuinely unable to pay their bill.

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UPDATED: Despite protest on the left, Eclectablog will be at Netroots Nation in Phoenix next year – here’s why

Last Friday, a crowd of over 1,000 protesters, bolstered by hundreds and hundreds of Netroots Nations attendees, filled the streets of downtown Detroit. An event that would likely have seen scant national coverage became a huge media story with reporting by the New York Times, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Democracy Now!, the Los Angeles Times, and countless others. The attention the protest march and rally received, including a surprise main stage speech by actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, helped propel the plight of Detroit residents to the national stage in a way that it never would have without the presence of the Netroots Nation conference and the outpouring of support from those who attended.…

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Activists to rally in Detroit on Friday to protest water shutoffs, call for accountability for Wall Street banks

As Netroots Nation lands in Detroit, it does so during an unprecedented time in our country’s history. In an attempt to get over 90,000 water customers to pay upwards of $90 million in unpaid water bills. Over ten thousand Detroit residents have already had their water source eliminated in this draconian effort. Meanwhile, major businesses still have water flowing despite their own massive unpaid bills:

A local news investigation revealed that Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owed $82,255 as of April. Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions play, owed more than $55,000. City-owned golf courses owed more than $400,000.…
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Join Mark Schauer for a Happy Hour Fundraiser at Netroots Nation – July 18, 2014

On Friday, July 18th, Michigan’s next governor Mark Schauer is holding a Happy Hour Fundraiser during Netroots Nation in Detroit. It takes place at the Anchor Bar at 450 West Fort Street and begins at 6 p.m. Buy a ticket and get a free drink (while supplies last ; )

This is a terrific chance to meet Mark in person. When you do, I feel certain that you’ll come away understanding like I do that he is the real deal: a genuine Democrat with a heart of gold and a strong determination to win this election so that we can take the control of our state government back from the corporatists and tea partiers who are running it into the ground now.…

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Disgraced former EAA chief cashes out with hefty severance package

Earlier this month, John Covington, the former head of Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students – the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) – resigned to become a consultant (and, according to Covington, to take care of his mother.) As Jack Lessenberry explained it in his Metro Times titled “Detroit’s EAA ‘fatally flawed’” (a terrific piece worth reading in its entirety), his “resignation” was a face-saving move for everyone involved.

John Covington, the imperial head of Detroit’s fatally flawed Education Achievement Authority, got fired last week.

They’re all denying that, of course. The cover story is that suddenly, at the start of the week, he “resigned to care for his ailing mother,” which is touching, presuming he has one.

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UPDATED x2: As Detroit Free Press does week-long exposé of charter schools, National Heritage Academies buys up all its ad space

NOTE: This post has been updated HERE.

The Detroit Free Press is running a spectacular, week-long series on charter schools in Michigan and the woeful lack of oversight and accountability our state exercises when it comes to charters. While some states have outright bans on for-profit schools, 61% of Michigan charter schools are run by for-profit corporations and over a third are in the bottom 25% of academic performance.

One of the main players in the for-profit charter business is National Heritage Academies, Michigan’s largest for-profit school management company. In response to this incredible journalism by the Detroit Free Press, they have purchased pretty much all of the ad space on the front page of the Free Press website this morning.…

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Detroit creditor wants personal info about the “financial position” of pensioners

I was tempted to use all six facepalm images we have in our portfolio for this piece because it’s one of those “one facepalm isn’t adequate to convey my utter disgust” sort of moments.

One of the big insurers that stands to lose money if its clients are forced to take a financial “haircut” in Detroit’s bankruptcy is Syncora. This is the same group that’s been eyeing the Detroit Institute of Arts’ priceless art collection as means to make sure the big banks it represents don’t lose a dime in the crappy investments they’ve made in the Motor City over the past few decades.…

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More heartbreaking proof that the EAA is failing Detroit kids

This morning, I lit into MLive reporter Khalil AlHajal for his atrocious “journalism” regarding Governor Rick Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit kids, the Education Achievement Authority. As I was publishing that post, another article about the EAA was published by Bridge Magazine which was also posted at MLive. In stark contrast to AlHajal’s piece, this one by Chastity Pratt Dawsey, titled “F is for frustrated – disorganization at Detroit EAA schools leaves students scrambling to graduate”, is exemplary.

Dawsey’s piece shows how high school students in the EAA are being thwarted in their efforts to graduate and get into college.…

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MLive erroneously reports that EAA student MEAP scores “showed improvement”

I don’t normally hammer on the mainstream media journalists in Michigan. The job they do is very difficult and they are doing it with fewer and fewer resources all the time. I also try to cultivate a reasonably positive relationship with them because I know the relationship between full-time journalists and bloggers is often contentious.

That said, when a journalist perpetuates something as “fact” that is actually untrue, particularly if it helps to support something I disagree with, I feel compelled to point it out and that is why I am writing about this post at MLive.

The article is about the person chosen to be the interim Chancellor for the Education Achievement Authority, Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children.…

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