There are two sides to this story
Earlier this month, the Detroit News printed an op-ed from an anti-union corporatist group known as the Franklin Center. This Koch brothers' funded group is nothing more than a propaganda arm of the corporate-funded effort to destroy unions, stop the regulation of corporations whenever possible, and to pass laws that benefit corporate profits at every level, often at the expense of workers, the environment, and the health and safety of the general public. My response to their odious op-ed, which tried to rewrite the history of labor in Michigan and to demonize the Netroots Nation conference in the same breath is HERE.
I reached out to the Detroit News and asked if they would entertain an counterpoint op-ed from a member of the Host Committee for NN14 about the reality of the Netroots Nation conference, why Detroit is a natural choice for a location, and also why it's good thing for Detroit that the 3,000+ person conference will be in the Motor City next summer.
They graciously allowed me to respond. The piece ran yesterday. Here is an excerpt:
Why did Netroots Nation choose Detroit to host its 2014 event? Because many of the issues progressives are passionate about are on full display in Michigan in general and in Detroit in particular: Immigration. Women’s reproductive freedom. Collective bargaining and right to work. Marriage equality and civil rights for the LGBT community. Environmental concerns. All of these progressive issues and more are playing out in sharp relief in Michigan.You can read the entire op-ed HERE.
Detroit’s state represents the culmination of what can happen when we neglect our cities and the people that live in them, and when we favor corporate profits over the people that make those profits possible. It is the progressive moment that is fighting to ensure that people are treated fairly and paid a living wage, have safe working conditions, have equal access to education and other opportunities, have air that is safe to breathe and water that is safe to drink, and live in a world free from oppression. [...]
Conservatives and corporatists around the country seem to be taking perverse pleasure from Detroit’s situation and the fact that Netroots Nation is coming to Detroit. But make no mistake: Netroots Nation is proud to be coming to the Motor City. We look forward to showing off a side of Detroit that is not burned-out buildings, crime and other “ruin porn.” Detroit is so much more than that. While our political adversaries revel in glee over Detroit’s problems, progressives are coming to Netroots Nation in 2014 to contribute to a positive vision for the future.
We hope you will join us at the Cobo Center, July 17-20, 2014.