Street Politics chops it up with Mike Hussar, local realtor in Kalamazoo. Today’s topics: reoccurring issue, lack of affordable housing. Discussing the Ukraine Conflict and the impact on Black & Brown students and citizens trying to leave the country. What does the war mean to US locally? What is up with Gen-Z and their career options.
Kalamazoo, MI- Jackie Mitchell, resident of Kalamazoo and entrepreneur, is in the process of developing a corner of the Southside neighborhood into a hub for health through community gardening and connection. The space will have an indoor garden facility and feature education about sustainable gardening practices and food from local growers.
Jackie has been involved in multiple local efforts to address racial inequities on health, wealth and education in Kalamazoo. She has used her own money and know how and shared her knowledge and opportunities with family and community members. Jackie also has plans to provide space for local artists and makers to sell their crafts in this space.
Mitchell has completed a course in urban gardening through KVCC as well as multiple courses and consultation on small business development. She has developed a thorough business plan and has secured a business loan and multiple small grants to rehab the building and purchase necessary equipment. Extensive electrical, plumbing and construction work is still needed to get this business up and running.
Mitchell recently presented her project to Urban Democracy FEAST on March 20 and was awarded 100% of the FEAST crowd-fund which included, presenter for Fuel After the Economy, Alex Sanchez, graciously donated their awarded funds from the events presentations. To find out more about Urban Democracy FEAST and the next opportunities to present your social justice projects, visit www.urbandemocracyfeast.org
On Sunday evening at approximately 6:30 pm, a series of fiery explosions wreaked havoc at the site of Kalamazoo’s Homeless Encampment on Mills street near downtown. The Encampment, often unofficially referred to as “Tent City”, sits on a brownfield redevelopment site just east of the city’s downtown business district, and serves as de-facto “home” to 15 plus residents – some of whom were previously ejected from other locations such as Bronson Park when city leaders began cracking down on what they considered a nuisance – the presence of houseless citizens in close proximity to high rent business and residential properties. Setting up tents and other temporary shelters is more often than not a last resort for residents who have been unable to find a safe place to stay elsewhere as a result of the lack of resources afforded by the city of Kalamazoo and what many see as a failure on the part of city leadership as well as private organizations such as the Gospel Mission to adequately and humanely serve the city’s houseless citizens.
Reporting live from Tent City just after the area was declared safe, Majyck Dee spoke to residents and others who had come to help. The cause of the destruction is still under investigation, but those on the scene say that a fire began inside of one of the tents and quickly spread, igniting several propane tanks on the site that had been donated in order to provide some heat and cooking fuel to residents during the cold winter months. Tanks that remained after the fire were removed by the city, and many are concerned that propane will no longer be allowed on the property – a chilling prospect, literally, for this small community.
It is unclear how many people have been or will be displaced as a result of the fire, but individuals who spoke with Dee on Sunday night expressed a need for tents, sleeping bags and blankets to replace items destroyed by the flames. While fortunately no serious injuries were reported, many residents’ essential belongings were reduced to ash, or destroyed by water. The backened, soggy remains of blankets, clothing, tents, and other items dotted the encampment on Sunday night. For those that had little to begin with, the loss is great.
Those interested in donating are encouraged to reach out to local organizers who have already been working to provide basic needs to residents. Kalamazoo Coalition for the Homeless is one such group. On their facebook page, they keep an updated list of specific needs, offer guidance to those who want to help, and coordinate volunteers to collect items and deliver them to the encampment.
Kalamazoo, MI- Urban Democracy FEAST organizers were not able to go with crowd-source funding for their spring event. To stay safe and comply with federal social distancing as well as executive orders put into action by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The organizers plan on producing a series of podcasts that will supplement the face to face meetings and provide opportunities to engage with community online. For more information visit: www.urbandemocracyfeast.org
March 28 event at Eastside Neighborhood Association
The UDF planning committee decided it was best to cancel the 28 March Feast event. We will be rescheduling this event to occur during the fall (November 2020). Given the CDC advice about canceling gatherings of 10 people or more, and the closure of all restaurants in Michigan, we believe canceling the 28 March event is best. We are working on a podcast to air close to the 28 March date, and an online event to discuss gaps in prevention, planning to deal with consequences of the virus, and other needs in the city.
Two of the seven seats on the Kalamazoo Public School District school board are up for general election on November 8, 2016. Incumbent Jennie Hill filed for re-election, while fellow board member Martha Warfield opted against seeking a new term. Challengers Maria Bosnak, Lauren Freedman, Jesse Herron, Paul Marquardt, and George White will be joined on the ballot.
Bosnak and Freedmen were joined by Michigan United Organizer,Elisheva Johnson, Vice Mayor Don Cooney to publicly pledge their endorsement to run. Marcy Peake, former Kalamazoo School Board Member shared a few words on her experience and knowledge and “passing” the baton to Lauren Freedman, recently retired Professor of Literacy Studies at Western Michigan University.
Kalamazoo, MI-The Black Panthers:Vanguard of the Revolution, a documentary by Stanley Nelson hosted at the Arcus Center for Social Justice, was well received by attendees with break-out groups discussing the Black Panthers 10 Point Program.
Speaking just on the basic fundamental of being human, no one with a working heart would be able to walk away from the presentation black,white or other, with thinking about or imaging the magnitude of what was really going on with the Black Panther Party at it’s overwhelming welcome of many classes, gender and race, not just in the United States, but across the water as well.
The Black Panthers” Vanguard of the Revolution will air in its entirety February 16 on pbs.org.
Kalamazoo-There are many activities and volunteer opportunities available for folks to participate in a city-wide celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy. Many organizations are seeking volunteers to help with specific programming or projects at each location.
9am-2pm-Fresh Fire Workers Community Homeworks City of Kalamazoo Parks and Rec Workers 9:30am -12pm-Girls on the Run-Coach Kit Organizer 5-6:30PM Bronson Community Gathering(free information available about many grassroots organizations)
Kalamazoo, MI- Tricky weather did not keep dozens of area middle and high school students from participating in elimination style competition. The students were asked historical questions about MLK and other events related to his life and legacy.
Kalamazoo, MI- The city of Kalamazoo has already seen gun violence devastate communities, particularly predominately black and communities of color. Monday evening, about 100 community members representing various faith-based, non-profit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens informally discussed violence with guns and what needs to be done.
State Representative, Jon Hoadley,(D) hosted an informal meeting with citizens of the community. What became very obvious during the break out discussions was the lack of knowledge concerning gun laws in the state of Michigan. Policy concerns, what people and organizations should be present and how to make gun violence a priority in elections were discussion topics.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Kalamazoo, MI-Martin Luther King Jr.,an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, power speaker and public leader was a great man. Katori Hall, American playwright explores Dr. King as a man. Taking place at the Lorraine Motel,in Memphis, Tennessee.The reimagination of the events the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King returns to his room at the Lorraine Motel from delivering a speech earlier that day When a maid arrives with with news and King is made aware of his r his importance to the movement and realizations of himself as just a man, but a purpose that belongs with so many.
The show stars Tanisha Pyron and Kenajuan Bentley, as the maid, Camae, and King, respectively. Both are alumni of Western Michigan University’s theater department. Bentley is a professional actor in Los Angeles and has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Pyron is a member of Face Off and is completing her graduate degree in acting.
Opening night is January 14 on Kalamazoo College’s campus. It will be held at Nelda Balch Festival Playhouse. The show runs from January 14-17 at 8pm and January 17 at 2pm. For more information visit https://reason.kzoo.edu/festivalplayhouse/