Flint to hold an Environmental Justice Summit
FLINT, MI — Mayor Karen Weaver and Flint’s Chief Public Health Advisor, Dr. Pamela Pugh, have invited national environmental justice experts to join area residents in discussions centered on key aspects of environmental justice and public health issues in Flint. The Environmental Justice Summit will take place March 9-10, 2017, at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church located at 3502 Lapeer Road in Flint. The event is free however, registration is required.

The summit will focus on a variety of topics related to environmental justice and engage residents in a collaborative problem solving process to develop a plan to ensure the inclusion of residents from low income communities, communities of color and others, as leaders work to rebuild Flint’s damaged infrastructure and recover from the man-made water disaster.

The summit will begin with a reception and listening session. Government, medical and public health officials, will come together with environmental and social justice experts to hear from residents and take note of their concerns regarding the Flint water crisis and environmental justice issues. Champions of the EJ Movement will also be recognized for their efforts.

The Weaver Administration is also co-sponsoring a Water Infrastructure Conference March 7-9, 2017. Local and national government officials will discuss the need for investment in critical water infrastructure and hopefully learn from what’s happened in Flint. The Mayor’s Office has also arranged for experts on environmental justice to speak at the Water Infrastructure Conference about, “Ensuring a Strong and Just Foundation”.

“Environmental justice is an issue that must be discussed and addressed,” said Mayor Weaver. “By including this topic in conversations at the Water Infrastructure Conference we hope to stress the need for establishing authentic principles on environmental justice and ways to incorporate them into the assembling of sustainable infrastructure.” Weaver also said the timing of the upcoming Environmental Justice Summit is fitting, given the recent release of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s report on the Flint water crisis.

“Although the planning of the Environmental Justice Summit has been underway since October, the timing of it could not be better,” said Weaver. “The residents of Flint have long suffered from social and racial injustices and as captured in the Michigan Civil Rights Commission report, the Flint water crisis epitomizes such racism. I do not agree with all of the recommendations provided, and I’m disappointed that the report stops short of calling for an end to emergency management. However, I commend the commission for its critique on some of the historical factors that led to the tragedy which Flint residents continue to deal with the effects of.  The report alludes to the fact that in order for Flint to move forward, there needs to be an assurance that all government systems are rid of the residue left behind by previous unjust laws and practices. My staff and I are committed to engaging with residents on this matter, and plan to hold more events aimed at getting more elected officials and decision makers involved in helping to erase the lingering consequences of historical racism and ensure the health and well-being of the people of Flint.”


WHAT:     Environmental Justice Summit
WHEN:    March 9-10, 2017
WHERE:  Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church  3502 Lapeer Road  Flint, MI  48503

For more information on the Environmental Justice Summit and/or to RSVP  click here.

For more information on the Water Infrastructure Conference, or to register for the Water Infrastructure 101 Workshop which is open to the public, visit www.michigan.gov/deqevents.

Hearing set to discuss rehabilitation exemption for downtown Flint Ferris Building
FLINT, MI — Flint City Council is set to discuss a request for a rehabilitation exemption for downtown Flint’s Ferris Building during their regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, February 27, 2017.

The hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. along with a number of other agenda items including a $15,000 contract for HVAC services and $251,390 for self-contained breathing apparatuses.

For more information view agendas below.

Flint City Council Monday, February 27, 2017 Agenda by Nicole Davis on Scribd


Agenda packet for Flint City Council’s Monday, February 27, 2017 meeting by Nicole Davis on Scribd

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Governmental Operations Agenda

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Governmental Operations Agenda by Nicole Davis on Scribd

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Legislative Committee Agenda

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Legislative Committee Agenda by Nicole Davis on Scribd

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Grants Committee Agenda

February 22, 2017 Flint City Council Grants Committee Agenda by Nicole Davis on Scribd

Brown Bag Series to discuss racism and education

FLINT, MI — The Center for Educator Preparation will lead its second Critical Issues in Education – Brown Bag Series. This session will be a continued discussion from the first session held in December on issues of race and racism as they relate to teaching. It will be an open dialogue about how people view these issues impacting the practice of teaching and learning in the school context.

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm
Location: University Center Cultural Lounge, 2nd Floor

For details call 810.762.3257.

Flint City Council February, 22, 2017 Finance Committee Agenda
Flint City Council is set to hold committee meetings at 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2017 at Flint City Hall.

Here is the Finance Committee agenda.


Agendas for Feb. 22, 2017 Flint City Council Committee Meetings by Nicole Davis on Scribd

Operation HOPE, Huntington Bank Bring Financial Entrepreneurship Training to YouthQuest

FLINT, MI — There may soon be an increase in the number of young entrepreneurs who call Flint home, thanks to a partnership between Operation HOPE, Huntington Bank and the YouthQuest Afterschool Initiative.

Starting today, the organizations will begin piloting Banking On Our Future – the precursor to HOPE Business in a Box Academies youth entrepreneurship program – at YouthQuest, an afterschool program administered by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. Banking On Our Future (BOOF) is a financial dignity program that covers budgeting, checking and savings, and investments, with the goal of empowering students to take control of their financial futures.

This fall, the initiative will grow to include HOPE Business in a Box Academies (HBIABA) at YouthQuest’s high school sites. After learning how to develop a business idea and financial plan, students interested in further pursuing their ideas can participate in a program-wide pitch competition. Winners of the competition will be paired with local business mentors to help them further develop their plan and budget.

According to John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO at Operation HOPE, the youth financial literacy and entrepreneurship initiative aims to spur job creation, spike GDP growth and ensure the future prosperity of our students and our nation.

“HOPE youth programs connect the power of aspiration with the power of education,” Bryant said. “We are pleased to partner with Huntington and the Flint & Genesee Chamber to bring hope and opportunity to the young people in this community.”

Surveys show that Operation HOPE’s hands-on approach has been effective in engaging participants. According to the 2015 Gallup HOPE Index, 79 percent of HOPE students said they planned to start their own business, versus 42 percent at the national level. Additionally, more HOPE students have business internships (14 percent) and are currently running their own businesses (9 percent), when compared to their national counterparts at 5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

On a local level, volunteers from Huntington will lead the BOOF and HBIABA curricula, judge pitch competitions and serve as business role models for students who win the initial pitch competition. Huntington is also providing full financial support for HOPE’s programming through YouthQuest.

According to Greg Viener, Flint Community President for Huntington, youth financial entrepreneurship is an important component of Flint’s brighter economic future.

“Operation Hope is an ideal partner to increase youth business, entrepreneurship and money management expertise among Flint’s youth,” Viener said. “Helping facilitate this relationship for the community is an important part of Huntington meeting our commitment to Flint economic development and revitalization.”

According to Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber, HOPE Business in a Box is the perfect complement to YouthQuest’s current offering, which includes academics, arts and culture, health and fitness, youth development and community engagement.

“YouthQuest is designed to positively impact the lives of students – at school, at home and beyond,” Hunyady said. “We’re excited to show them that it’s never too early to start thinking about business, entrepreneurship and money management. In fact, the earlier, the better!”

Flint may lose bottled water, says mayor

FLINT, MI — City officials say the state could stop funding bottled water distribution efforts in Flint by summer, according to a MLive.com article.

According the Feb. 21 article, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says city officials have been in meetings where state officials discussed potentially ending bottled water efforts.

Read more here.

Plans for Flint’s north side topic of Ruth Mott Foundation grant information session
FLINT, MI — The Ruth Mott Foundation will hold a grant session for efforts on the north side of Flint from 2 – 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2016.

Staff members will provide updates on the rollout of the Ruth Mott Foundation strategic plan, explain north Flint resident priority areas and review the types of grants, eligibility requirements, guidelines and deadlines for grants available through the Foundation. There is also time for attendees to ask questions and learn more about the process.

Staff will be available after the session to discuss individual applicant proposal ideas.

Registration is required.

To register email rsvp@ruthmott.org or call 810-233-0170.