Journalism Workshop: Watchdogging The Wayne County Tax Auction

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Outlier equips Detroiters with the information we need to meet basic needs, create change and thrive. Support our work to invest in a more informed, more empowered Detroit.

Come hang out with Detour Detroit and Outlier Media for a hands-on, group act of accountability journalism. It’s free! We will walk you through how to use Wayne County records to suss out the investors who buy dozens of properties in the property tax auction, and together we’ll create a database of bulk buyers from the 2018 auction.

You’ll be part of our first effort to compile this information, which will give us more insight to flaws in the auction process and understand who’s controlling large swaths of property in the city. This data will help us track the investors speculating on homes and properties in the annual tax auction — the biggest in the country — and watchdog whether or not they’re following the rules, paying their taxes and keeping their properties from becoming blighted.

Here’s an example of what you can find when you do a data dive on the auction winners:

In this relaxed workshop, you’ll be able to work at your own pace alone or in a small group. If you’d rather observe and chat with us, that’s fine! Come meet the people running Detour and Outlier, grab a piece of pizza, hear about the stories we’re working on and tell us what kind of reporting you want to see in future newsletters.

Cost: Free!

RSVP: We’ve got limited space so please register to attend.

Materials: Bring your laptop to access the data, and we’ll provide the refreshments.

No experience necessary.

Led by Detour Detroit founder Ashley Woods and editor Kate Abbey-Lambertz, + Outlier founder Sarah Alvarez and data journalist Katlyn Alapati.

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