Good morning! The calendar says school’s in session and summer is coming to a close, but the weather report is forecasting highs in the 90s next week. Either way, we hope you make the most of Labor Day weekend and its embarrassment of festival riches.
Today, we’re talking about a few female leaders shaping the future of food, some early moves in Detroit’s 2025 mayoral race, a citywide design takeover, getting our hands on more power outage data and — wait for it — raccoon rescue. <3 Team Detour
Detroit in Five
A different kind of shut-off map: First the storms, then the outages. Last week’s storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands across the state, most of them in the Detroit metro area. It’s a pattern, but what else do we know about where these outages are happening, how long they last and how Michigan’s two largest power companies stack up against each other? More, now, thanks to Ann Arbor-based data nerd Forest Gregg. Fed up after experiencing long-lasting power outages, Gregg pulled the data and made an interactive map that lets you see storm paths, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy outages, and a bunch more data over time. (Bridge Michigan, Outlier Media)
➡️ Help after the storm: If you were out of power for 48 hours or more you might be eligible for a $35 automatic credit. If your food spoiled and you use SNAP, you can get additional benefits to make up for that loss. If trees near you were damaged in the storm, report it to the city at 313-224-4444 and leave fallen branches at the curb for pickup (you won’t be ticketed, the city said). And here are a few more safety and cleanup tips after flooding. Lastly, there’s no better time to get ready for the next storm than right after the last one. Here’s why you should have a go-bag and what you might want to put in it. (State of Michigan, City of Detroit, NPR)
Sheffield enters the field: When she’s not playing flag football with Big Sean, City Council President Mary Sheffield is busy leading Detroit’s legislative body. Not known to shy away from going head-to-head with Mayor Mike Duggan, Sheffield recently established “Mary Sheffield for Detroit’s Future,” a candidate committee to explore her own potential run for mayor in 2025. Over the last year she’s drawn a line on issues of disagreement with Duggan. She called out the mayor for “bully politics” in a dispute over contracts for paratransit services, and was the only councilmember to oppose District Detroit, a development in her council district that was touted by Duggan’s administration as a win for the city. Sheffield’s accomplishments since becoming council president include the Detroit Reparations Task Force and the Right to Counsel ordinance, both of which she proposed. Duggan hasn’t announced whether he will seek a fourth term, and Sheffield said she hasn’t decided whether or not she will run. (Twitter, Detroit Free Press, Axios Detroit, City of Detroit, Michigan Radio, WDET)
➡️ Access, please: With an interest in councilmembers’ priorities through the end of 2024, Detroit Documenters recently attempted to get 10 minutes of Sheffield’s time for a short Q&A. Look for reporting soon from Documenters on how other councilmembers replied and are thinking about Detroit’s future – and if you’re reading, Council President, we’d still love to chat!
Abortion access and parental leave: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined policy priorities for the final months of the year as legislators come back from summer break — healthcare, the environment and more. She signaled support for guaranteed paid parental leave and repealing several abortion restrictions, such as a law requiring women to wait 24 hours to terminate a pregnancy after receiving information. The speech, however, was short on details and the governor didn’t answer questions from reporters. (Bridge Michigan)
Back to school: For kids, the return to the classroom means first-day outfits, sharp pencils and a fresh start. For Detroit educators, the first day of school is more about fresh approaches to old problems. Topping the list of challenges this year are low attendance, literacy instruction and student mental health, all of which were exacerbated by the pandemic. COVID is no longer at the top of the education agenda, but schools are still dealing with fallout from the virus — not to mention plunging statewide rates of kindergarteners up to date on required immunizations. (BridgeDetroit, Chalkbeat Detroit, Outlier, Bridge Michigan)
Best of the rest:
- Eastsiders, fed up with Stellantis traffic and air quality violations, are concerned about a $1.9 million plan up for city approval that would open Terminal Street to trucks…
- The obscure Detroit/Wayne County Stadium Authority doesn’t have a website and canceled its meetings all summer — too bad for the District Detroit developers, who are trying to buy key properties from the agency before construction can start…
- Michigan Department of Civil Rights takes three times longer than self-imposed deadlines to investigate complaints, audit finds…
- Two years after FBI City Hall raid, lots of uncertainty and no charges (paywalled) for former Councilmembers Scott Benson and Janeé Ayers as “Operation Northern Hook” towing corruption investigation continues…
(Outlier, MLive, Detroit News)
A Detroiter’s guide to dealing with neighborhood wildlife
By Koby Levin
In Detroit’s early days, the land around Raquel Garcia’s Southwest Detroit home was mostly forest, but that only partly explains why there are a dozen baby raccoons in her dining room.
Garcia is a professional environmental activist who also puts in long hours as a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator with a focus on raccoons. Raccoons in a chimney? She gets a call. Orphaned baby raccoon in a backyard? She’ll bring it home to the cages in her house, where she’ll feed it until it grows enough to survive on its own.
Culture & Community
We’re heading into a jam-packed festival weekend, but the one that’s got us really excited is Detroit Month of Design, kicking off Friday with a party and design crawl and more than 80 events through Sept. 30. The theme is “United by Design,” focusing on “design strategies that strengthen community resources and encourage mutual aid.”
For the casual design lover, that really means there’s a little bit of everything — restorative justice x architecture; a design “fight club”; a house built by “robots”; students’ 3D-printed sneakers; trash x fashion; an adaptive active apparel prototyping challenge; felting and fiber arts; ceramics x gastronomy; and plenty more exhibitions, collaborations, studio tours, pop-up markets, workshops and parties.
There’s probably no better way to immerse yourself in Detroit’s creative scene across the city than checking out what the Month of Design has on offer all next month. Call it an unofficial credit in your bachelor of Detroit Arts — and email the Detour team to let us know what you learned, tried or loved.
Robert Wyland’s 1997 whale mural has been revealed again on the Broderick Tower downtown after last week’s storms damaged a giant banner installed over it in 2021 by Rocket Companies. The banner — technically an advertisement for the mortgage lender — featured artist Phillip Simpson’s trademark smiles, and Simpson told Axios Detroit he’s still waiting to see if the piece gets a redo. The dueling murals have been more contentious than you might imagine — Wyland has criticized the decision to cover his piece with multiple ads over the years and mounted a court challenge, while others have celebrated Simpson’s piece for prominent representation of a Black artist in a prime location.
Also downtown, artist Olivier Landreville is installing blue, glowing orbs at Beacon Park. The immersive “Horizon” installation opens Friday and will be up through Sept. 24 for visitors to sit in and get a dose of calming nature sounds cocooned by recreated stars and sky.
Future of food:
The city’s female food leaders are making moves. Detroit native Jamila Robinson — who started her career at the Free Press and graduated from Wayne State University — landed the influential editor-in-chief position at Bon Appétit magazine, starting next month.
Closer to home, chef Kiki Louya of Folk and the Farmer’s Hand will be the new executive director of the Detroit Food Academy, where she hopes to find a permanent headquarters and expand opportunities and professional exposure for young people who participate in Food Academy programming to learn food industry skills.
And over at Make Food Not Waste, Culinary Director Shanel DeWalt was selected as one of 18 national participants for the James Beard Foundation Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change, where they’ll be focusing on the Farm Bill.
Want to get a closer look at local efforts to improve the food system? Make Food Not Waste’s Upcycling Kitchen has a call out for volunteer chefs to prep bountiful summer produce harvest donations. Sign up to help in the kitchen, with food distribution or pantry sorting.
Lauded designer, Michelle Obama dresser and Detroit native Tracy Reese has opened her new studio for the sustainable label Hope For Flowers in Midtown. The space has a showroom, classroom and factory for forthcoming sewing apprenticeships (paywalled).
Opening your own biz? Women and non-binary emerging entrepreneurs might want to check out BasBlue’s new Zero to One fellowship, which aims to give a step-up to business owners who are historically underrepresented and under-resourced. The program offers business coaching, mentorship and a community of support. Applications are open for the first cohort until Sept. 21, and there are info sessions on Sept. 7 and Sept. 14.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue reopens after two-year renovation… A short history of group bike rides in Detroit… Crowdfunding effort underway to create a pollinator garden and restore the Lincoln Street Art Park and Activi-Tree Learning Center.
(Design Core Detroit, Axios Detroit, WXYZ, Beacon Park, Eater Detroit, James Beard Foundation, Make Food Not Waste, “The Today Show,” Hope For Flowers, Crain’s Detroit Business, BasBlue, BridgeDetroit, Patronicity)
🧵 Detroit Month of Design starts Friday with an art crawl and more than 80 events through Sept. 30. Check them all out here.
🎷 The Detroit Jazz Festival brings the smooth sounds of jazz and soul back downtown this weekend, Friday through Monday. The festival will have three stages, one in Campus Martius and two in Hart Plaza, and will feature artists like Regina Carter, Karriem Riggins, and Samara Joy. Free.
🍗 Just like the name says, Royal Oak stalwart Arts, Beats & Eats has the food (like Fork in Nigeria), art (a juried show) and entertainment (there are nine concert stages and Bell Biv DeVoe closes out the Jim Beam National Stage on Monday). Friday through Monday, $7 and up.
🎡 The 43rd Hamtramck Labor Day Festival will take place Saturday through Monday at the corner of Caniff and Joseph Campau. Beyond those beats and eats, come for the carnival, live wrestling, and the boat races down Joseph Campau — a tradition you’ve definitely got to see in person. Free.
🎶 Head on down to The Skip downtown on Saturday for a good ol’ HouseParty with special quest Blaaqgold. Free with RSVP.
🖼️ Join Detroit’s official historian Jamon Jordan for a Royal African Tour through the African art and artifacts on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts, on Saturday and future dates. Tickets for the lecture and tour start at $45 (children 8 and under are free).
🍻 Detroit Hustles Harder and Atwater Brewery are co-launching a double IPA at the brewery’s Rivertown taproom. Enjoy the gallery wall and live music while you check out the new brew at the launch party on Saturday. Free to attend.
🥳 Meet some legendary Detroit musicians who are “Keepin It Real” and experience the Soul of Charles Buddy Smith at an 80th birthday celebration for the soul crooner, Tuesday at Tangent Gallery. $5-$10 suggested donation.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Noah, Sarah and Kate, who will be celebrating the so-called “Cabernet Day” holiday today by blowing her budget at Red Hook’s wine shop.
Boatnerds on the case of the unmanned vessel