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Drama commences in local politics with newly-minted congressional district maps breaking apart a largely-Black district in parts of Detroit. The future of this new school term is getting murkier by the day as more districts go virtual, impacting students of color in particular. And if you’ve been saving up to buy a house with cash in Detroit, there’s a guide for that.

New district shuffle: With the state’s new district maps in place, Michigan’s only Black member of congress has announced that she will not be running for reelection. U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, announced Tuesday that she will not run for a fifth term in office, catching local African American leadership off-guard. The final redistricting maps were released last month and there’s been wide speculation that Lawrence was frustrated with the process, which connected her hometown of Southfield with sections of Detroit’s west side, as well as Dearborn, Westland and other parts of western Wayne County, of which she did not represent. Shortly after Lawrence’s announcement, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, said that she will run for a third term in the newly created district that merged the city’s west side and western Wayne (had Lawrence run again, it would have likely been in the same district where Tlaib is running). These announcements introduce a wide-open Democratic primary in the majority-Black 13th  district, which includes the eastern half of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes and parts of Downriver. State Rep. Shri Thanedar announced his candidacy to fill the seat. The new districts approved last week by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission eliminated 10 of the 17 districts in the state legislature where Black voters make up more than 50% of the voting population. It also eliminates the two majority-Black seats in the state’s congressional delegation. (Detroit Free Press, WDET, Bridge Michigan)

Covid neverending: Michigan keeps breaking records on the COVID-19 front. State public health officials reported 27,346 new cases over a two-day period ending Wednesday. Omicron has reared its head in 23 Michigan counties so far, up from 18 on Monday, with nearly 70% of cases in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is now in isolation after her husband, Marc Mallory, tested positive for coronavirus. On the schools front, officials from the Detroit Public Schools Community District announced that classes will switch to virtual learning until at least Jan. 14. 

Via Giphy 

Going remote: Students of color, in particular, Black students, are more likely to attend schools that are going remote. Large districts that have closed or moved to virtual also include Pontiac School District, Oak Park Schools, Southfield Public Schools, Flint Community Schools, Ann Arbor Public Schools and the Lansing School District. The widespread surge in cases has become a cause for confusion and frustration among school officials who are scrambling to navigate shifts in policies around quarantining, mask-wearing and fatigue among educators. (Bridge Michigan, Freep/paywalled)

Warming up: The city has opened four warming centers in partnership with local providers who provide service for folks experiencing homelessness. The Pope Francis Center (at Huntington Place aka TCF Center aka Cobo) is also offering a day center where Detroiters in need of respite from the frigid temperature can warm up. Need to find a location? Call the Coordinated Assessment Model (the main entry point for people facing homelessness to find shelter) at 313-305-0311 from 9 a.m. For more options, click here. (BridgeDetroit)

New council: The new Detroit City Council was sworn into office this week and in its first order of business appointed a new council president, Mary Sheffield (District-5). In her previous term Sheffield served as president pro tem. She was nominated by Councilman James Tate, who was appointed the new president pro tem. Sheffield’s appointment comes following a track record of her opposition to many key issues from the Duggan administration, including demolitions and tax assessments, though political insiders say she’s maintained a solid working relationship with the mayor’s office. (Detroit News)

Buying in cash: Looking to buy a house in Detroit? By far, a majority of homes are paid for with cash here in the Motor City. But how do you navigate the many issues that often come up when making a cash purchase, including scams, repair costs, title problems and taxes? It can be overwhelming. Which is why our amigos at Outlier Media have developed a comprehensive guide in printable PDF form to help you make sense of the ins and outs of the house-buying process. (Outlier Media)

Taco trail: The supply chain crunch has hit us all and perhaps most so in our food systems. Whether it’s waiting for your Amazon orders to get fulfilled, buying a new car or having trouble finding toilet paper, there’s pretty much no industry that’s immune from this ongoing crisis. In the latest installment of Tostada Magazine and BridgeDetroit’s ongoing Anti-Gentrifiers’ Guide to Dining in Detroit, they examine the supply chain of a single taco truck in Southwest Detroit. Increases in the cost of meat, produce and even takeout containers mean the time has come to say goodbye to the $2 taco. (Tostada Magazine)


#Promotional content

Metro Detroit artists are invited to apply for a 2022 Kresge Artist Fellowship!

Kresge Arts in Detroit will award 20 fellowships and 10 Gilda Awards to artists of all career stages living and working in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Kresge Artist Fellowships are $25,000 no strings attached awards, plus professional development support and the creation of a short film highlighting the artist’s work. Fellowships and Gilda Awards will be divided between the two categories—Live Arts and Film & Music—based on the number of applications received in each category.

LIVE ARTS: Dance, Choreography, Theatre Directing, Playwriting, Performance Art and Interdisciplinary Work

FILM & MUSIC: Film Directing, Screenwriting, Animation, Music Composition, Music Performance, Sound Art and Interdisciplinary Work

DEADLINE: Applications must be submitted online via Slideroom by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. There are no exceptions to this deadline. 


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