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The city of Detroit was once the most populated city in the United States for single family homeownership, what happened? [Writing suggestion: Unless in a quote or a title, avoid rhetorical questions in academic writing. A good idea is to provide answers, not questions] How did urban blight take over seemingly [Avoid this word. It means “in a seeming manner” (which is meaningless); it does not mean “it seems”] , overnight? When you ride down a street where you grew up 20 years ago, only to see more abandon houses than standing occupied one’s it is heartbreaking.
When a single family home or a business catches fire is it normal to leave the rubble standing as an eyesore? This is what you see. The Building and Safety Department, in charge of the responsibility of demolition, seems to be closed. The owners of businesses and single family homes are allowed to just walk away.
During the eighties and early nineties there was a program called the Nuisance Abatement Program. It was put in place to allow low income families to have homeownership. Families that applied for the program were screened for approval to repair and occupy the homes for three years without paying any taxes. This gave the family time to fix up the property and secure homeownership without a mortgage. After three years the city had a tax base on the property again. A win, win marriage the program seem to be. The politicians in charge decided it was not profitable enough for them.
During this same period many businesses that were [Writing suggestion: rewrite the sentence to remove “that were”] given tax breaks to move their businesses in the city, found other areas to move to and left the businesses vacant without finishing the promised period they were given the breaks for. No one held them accountable for breaking their agreement with the city. They owed taxes for the period they stayed in the city, for not fulfilling their obligation. Why didn’t anyone pursuit them?
The state and federal government finally gets involved, they send money to aid in the tearing down of dangerous properties to eradicate the blight that is [Wordiness: see if you can remove “that” or “that is”] being [Doctoral rule (but good advice for any academic writer)–If not a noun (as in “human being”), the word “Being” is hard to imagine; it means “existing.” Try to rewrite this without using “being”–with action words like “attending,” “working,” “living,” “experiencing,” simply “as”–or even removing “being” completely] reported. This is great [Writing suggestion: “great” is an overworked word, too frequently seen, and too vague. It has too many meanings: huge, superior, numerous, etc. Use a more specific adjective] news right? Only the problem is not being fixed, where is the money going to? This question is being asked so much that the Federal government begins to launch its own investigation. The allegations run deep, there is a pay to play scheme going on in the political arena. The mayor, the city council and several prominent people are involved in the scheme. Where is the money? Is it in the pockets of politicians small and great?
The mayor is indicted and a couple of city council members are indicted as well on multiple charges involving running a criminal enterprise, misappropriation of funds and abuse of the public trust. Documents seized by the Fed’s reveal a deep rooted plan to take money out of the city to suburban areas where building projects could gain maximum dollars. The press reporting of these events are ignored and rejected as rumor and racial targeting of Black public officials, when all along the scheme was being unfolded by law enforcement at the very same time. While these events are taking place the city begins to look like a war zone. Neighborhoods ravished like waste dumps with tires and junk, abandoned burned out buildings and homes are the norm in most neighborhood.
Amid the scandal the city officials are not addressing the people. One by one they began to resign and [Grammar: A run-on sentence requires a comma before “and” (or other conjunction) linking main clauses] the truth begins to come out. It was all a plan, it was done on purpose. They abandoned the city and left it in ruins, why? For investor’s that paid them millions of dollars to come in and by the property for nothing and rebuild unaffordable housing to drive out the elderly and the poor. As more and more [Writing suggestion: doubling a word like this can be effective in speech but is less intensive in writing] documents are uncovered and presented to the public the leadership begins to change hands.
A new mayor is elected with a different plan but the same mission, to sell out the citizens of the city, this time without corruption, but with deception. He declares his plan to shrink the city, by selling off portion of it to the suburbs, making it a smaller city. The media again reveals documents of secret meeting with neighboring cities to go forward with this plan long before it was public knowledge. The people have been tricked again by the politicians in charge, when called by the citizens to explain these events the mayor and the city council set up town hall meeting where they hire a private company to conduct the meeting with none of them present.
The mismanagement of funds causes the governor to respond by sending a team to investigate the condition of the city’s finances. It is discovered that the city is in deeper debt than it reveals to the government and [Grammar: A run-on sentence requires a comma before “and” (or other conjunction) linking main clauses] he assigns a nine member board to take over city financial operations. The city council votes in favor of the nine member board despite the outcry of the people.
Courtney from Study Moose
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