Saturday, May 8, 2010

SEMCOG invites public comment on two strategies that will help move Southeast Michigan forward

SEMCOG invites public comment on two strategies that will help move Southeast Michigan forward

SEMCOG announces the public comment period for its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (or, CEDS) and its Sustainability Framework.

* The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy provides a framework for effectively investing the region's resources and seeking new means to diversify and reposition the economy, create jobs, strengthen and refocus our human capital, develop and promote our natural and community assets, improve our business climate, and maintain and enhance the necessary infrastructure to achieve the maximum economic impact and global competitiveness. The document meets the requirements of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which in part funded this project. The document, Increasing Jobs and Prosperity in Southeast Michigan, is available for review here and from SEMCOG's Information Center at (313) 324-3362.
* A Framework for Sustainability in Southeast Michigan brings together SEMCOG's policies and plans for economic development, transportation, infrastructure, environmental quality, neighborhood and community development, and workforce development into a single document that outlines the region's sustainability goals. With this framework, SEMCOG intends to apply for funding through HUD's new Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program on behalf of the region. This program is an opportunity to bring federal funding to Southeast Michigan to locally implement projects that contribute to regional sustainability. A summary of the framework is available for review here and from SEMCOG's Information Center at (313) 324-3362.

For those wishing to comment, please address letters to SEMCOG Information Center, 535 Griswold, Suite 300, Detroit, MI 48226; call 1-800-961-3334; send faxes to (313) 961-4869; or e-mail Comments can be made in person at the following meetings:

* Executive Committee, Thursday, May 20, 2010, 1 p.m., Ambassador Room, SEMCOG Offices (535 Griswold, Suite 300, Detroit, MI 48226); discuss and act on both items;
* General Assembly, Thursday, June 24, 2010, 2010, 4:30 p.m., Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202; discuss and adopt the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Detroit Budget Hearing May 7

Detroit Transit

Between recent news about delayed commuter trains, national broadcasts about Detroit, state budget battles, and federal announcements, you may be wondering what is really going on around Detroit transit. Perhaps you have questions or want to know how you can help.

Never fear, TRU is here with several upcoming events to provide all the latest! Read on . . .

Megan Owens, TRU Director
May 4 - Detroit Transit
at the Detroit Main Library

Join us next Tuesday evening, May 4, at 6pm at the Detroit Main Library for a presentation and discussion about all the latest on Detroit transit!

I'll provide an overview of top transit issues, update you on local, state, and federal actions, and answer all your questions.

I'll also share TRU's advocacy priorities for the next few months - key ways for you to get involved in improving Detroit transit!!

Don't miss it!
Detroit Budget Hearing
May 7

The Detroit City Council is considering the city budget, including the budget for DDOT and the People Mover. Come tell them what you think - at the budget hearing May 7 at 5:00 PM in the 13th Floor Auditorium of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.

We need to have a strong showing to remind City Council about the importance of transit. Specifically, we need to inform City Council that we cannot handle any additional service cuts, which would be the result of any additional cuts to DDOT's budget.

Remember, last September DDOT riders sustained a 15% service cut. The City's investment in DDOT has been reduced by $25 million compared to the previously approved budget. Those cuts are in addition to 30% cut DDOT riders sustained in April 2005!

We need to tell City Council that jobs and the vitality of the City are on the line. We would like to work with City Council and the proposed Regional Transit Authority to find a new source for funding transit, but until then, we cannot afford to cut any more than we already have.

If you can't make the hearing on May 7, please call or email the members of City Council and tell them that transit is an essential service that has already been cut too much!

National Train Day - May 8

National Train Day celebrates America's love for trains with events across the country.

The celebration commemorates the 141st anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad's inception by bringing to life the rich narrative of how trains have transformed America and will continue to do so in the future.

Join our friends at the Michigan Association of Rail Passengers at these local events:
Detroit Amtrak Station - 6:30-11:30am
Coffee and cake will be available to both passengers and guests throughout the morning.
A proclamation will be presented to the Mayor just before noon.
Ann Arbor Amtrak Station - 7-9am
Coffee and donuts will be available to both passengers and guests.
A proclamation will be read by the Mayor of Ann Arbor.
Dearborn Amtrak Station - 6:30-11:30am
Coffee and doughnuts will be provided, and a proclamation will be read by the Mayor of Dearborn.
Oakland University (Meadow Brook Hall) - 11:30am - 2:30pm
Lunch & Learn lecture about the Glancy Trains Collection at the Detroit Historical Museum, featuring John Lohmeier, President Meadow Brook Hall Squires, Meredith Long, Museum Services Coordinator of Meadow Brook Hall and Bob Cosgrove, Adjunct Curator of Glancy Trains at the Detroit Historical Museum. Complimentary tour of Meadow Brook Hall follows the lecture.

Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City
Screening, Discussion, and Action!

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 18, at 6pm at the Wayne State Law School for a screening and discussion of Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City, the recent PBS documentary about Detroit transit.

Director Aaron Wolf will be on hand, along with TRU and other top advocates. Presented by Transportation Riders United, Let's Save Michigan, and Wayne State University.
Reception and Networking at 6:00 pm
Screening (highlights) at 6:30 pm
Panel Discussion at 7:00 pm
Q&A and Call-to-Action at 7:30 pm

Commuter Challenge
May 2010

Take the Challenge.

Go green. $ave Green.

Take the Commuter Challenge by trying a new way to work during the month of May.

The Commuter Challenge is a fun and exciting way to encourage carpooling and vanpooling, riding public transportation, biking and walking, and using telework and flextime benefits. Log your results and you could win many great prizes!

Register here for the 2010 Commuter Challenge

Thanks again for your interest in Detroit Transit and your patience in this exciting time.

As noted above, I'm working part time over the next few months. If you have questions and can't reach me, contact our wonderful Organizer/Assistant Director Ruth Johnsonor our fabulous volunteer project leaders.

Also, check the TRU website for more news, information, and updates!


Megan Owens
Transportation Riders United