American Federation of Teachers hold 2012 Convention in Cobo Center #AFTCOVN2012 #TellUsDetroit #TellUsUSANewsNetwork

The AFT convention in Detroit, its first one here in several decades, has so far drawn 2,350 delegates from across the country. The convention began Friday and runs through Monday. (Photo by Scott Sullivan/Tell Us Detroit)

By Angelina Czarnecki/ Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – Cobo Center Hall was filled with over 3,000 delegates for the American Federation of Teachers 2012 convention . Those representing were teachers, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, higher education faculty, government employees, and healthcare workers.

For the first day of the convention AFT President Randi Weingarten presented “solution driven unionism,” a redefinition of unionism that advances solutions focused on members. Through this process members may work together to solve key issues facing their community.

“For me, solution driven unionism took root when I saw our members in the ABC Unified School District in Southern California commit to a unionism that focuses on solving problems, not on winning arguments. It unites those we represent and those we serve, and in so doing, it ensures that we don’t merely survive, but we succeed” AFT President Randi Weingarten in her keynote address.

Highly noted speakers featured at the event included Vice President Joe Biden, columnist for the New York Times Charles Blow, NYU historian of education and best selling author Diane Ravitch, UAW President Bob King among many others. Speakers addressed the issues holding back our school systems within the city of Detroit and nation wide. These individuals are striving for higher quality education systems, working to fight for an end to the fixation on high-stakes testing, and preparing students for work. AFT’s annual convention aims to solve these issues, and create a better learning environment for teachers, and students.

The AFT represent 1.5 million pre-K through 12th grade; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.



MSU plants seeds for local urban farming initiative #MSUFarmingInitiative #TellUsDetroit

As businesses, jobs and people left, one thing stayed: land, and a lot of it. Nearly 30 percent of Detroit’s 139-square-mile city is vacant. That’s double the size of Manhattan.

By Angelina Czarnecki/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – Interest in urban farming has grown significantly over the past years in the City of Detroit. As issues of declining resources and an increasing population arise a transformation of the cities food systems will be put into place.

Michigan State University and the city of Detroit have are collaborating to transform the city as a center for urban food systems technology and development. Both MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, and Mayor Dave Bing signed a memorandum calling the new program the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Custer.

During the first three years the university plans to invest $1.5 million into the program and will also work to gain more support from philanthropists, non-profits and federal grants. The program also plans to work with 80 local organization in the city such as D-Town Farms, Eastern Market and the Greening of Detroit.

With Detroit’s vast area of vacant land research from the new program will transform lots into new area for agricultural ,and economic development.

“Detroit, with the assistance of MSU and many others, has the opportunity to redefine metropolitan food and agriculture for the 21st century,” Bing said. “We want to demonstrate that innovation based on metropolitan food production can create new businesses and jobs, return idle land to productivity and grow a more environmentally sustainable and economically vital city.”

MSU will provide the research, and provide an agricultural knowledge base in the city. Their East Lansing campus hopes to provide plant research, and help develop soil remediation and indoor growing techniques. Local farmers will benefit from new techniques and technology and have the capabilities to increase productivity for their farms.

Over the course of the program MSU and the City of Detroit plan to gain more participation, and investments as the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster continues.

To find out more information, partners, and affiliates in the program visit the MetroFood homepage


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