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April 05, 1990 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-05

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 5, 1990

t Airdigani laiUly
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

ARTS
NEWS
OPINION

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764 0552
747 2814

PHOTO
SPORTS
WEEKEND

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Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Housing
City residents have to get their priorities in order

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IN THE WEEKS PROCEEDING THE
recent city elections, incumbent City
Council candidates routinely pro-
nounced their commitment to providing
affordable housing to all of Ann Ar-
bor's residents. That their actual record
fell far short of their rhetoric was a fact
that received little attention during the
course of the campaign.
On Monday, four of the five incum-
bent candidates were re-elected to
Council. Only Tom Richardson (R-
Fifth Ward) - whose incessant op-
position to any progressive solutions to
the growing housing crisis is legendary
- failed to keep his council seat. The
voters' selection of Thais Anne Peter-
son represents a rejection of Richard-
son's right-wing, free-market extremist
approach to the issue of homelessness.
Nevertheless, the composition of the
council remains virtually un-
changed.That means Ann Arbor resi-
dents can expect more of the same from
their city officials - plenty of rhetoric
about the horrors of homelessness, and
policies which exacerbate the problem.
Under the guise of pursuing
"downtown development"- a phrase
even Orwell would admire - the
council has implemented policies which
have resulted in the systematic destruc-
tion of dozens of units of downtown
housing.
It is well known that no low-income
housing has been constructed in the
city in more than 15 years. During the
same period, Ann Arbor has seen the
construction of numerous office build-
ings and retail centers - and city-sub-
sidized parking structures to serve them
-- many of which remain vacant and
unused.
The city has commissioned two stud-
ies whose results are worth remember-
ing. In 1985, their Affordable Housing
Task Force reported that Ann Arbor
needed an additional 1,500 units of
low-income housing. A 1989 parking
study revealed that the downtown area
lacked two parking spaces.

In the wake of these two investiga-
tions, the council agreed to spend $9
million to build yet another parking
structure at the corner of Ashley and
William behind Kline's Department
Store. That action pushed the total
amount of city subsidies for parking
structures over the $22 million mark.
It's no wonder Council members claim
that they have no money to subsidize
the construction of low-income hous-
ing.
To make way for the construction of
the Kline's structure, the city plans to
destroy three existing houses on the
corner of Ashley and William. One of
the houses slated for demolition is
"Day One" - an abandoned house that
the Homeless Action Committee
(HAC) has squatted since November,
1989. The house has served as a home
to formerly homeless people and as
HAC's organizing center.
On Thursday night at 6 pm, support-
ers of HAC will gather at "Day One" to
protest Council's plan to spend mil-
lions of dollars in city taxes to finance
the destruction of three viable homes
and the construction of an unneeded
parking structure. HAC will declare the
comer a "demolition-free zone" as part
of its on-going campaign to force the
city to confront the issue of homeless-
ness by subsidizing the construction of
low-income housing.
The actions of council members
speak louder and truer than their hol-
low campaign slogans. They will con-
tinue to subjugate low-income people
to economic violence until Ann Ar-
borites organize and demand sweeping
change in city policy.
The solution to homelessness and the
housing crisis will not come from City
Hall. Members of the University com-
munity should attend Thursday night's
rally, as a first step in committing long-
term support to the Homeless Action
Committee's efforts to make housing a
right, not a privilege.

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Join in celebration of Earth Day 1990

By Jodi Goldman
and Amy Sabin
Back in September, six students met to
figure out how they could bring Earth Day
to the University of Michigan. At that
time, our ideas and objectives of what
Earth Day meant were hazy. We formed a
new student organization calling ourselves
the Earth Day 1990 Organizing Commit-
tee with the goal of educating the Univer-
sity on environmental issues and organiz-
ing a memorable Earth Day 1990. Since
September, our group has solidified and
our fuzzy plans have crystalized.
This week, the Earth Day Organizing
Committee is presenting, "Earth Week
1990." This week-long event consists of
panel discussions, speakers, workshops,
films, and other activities around the cam-
pus. Topics range from Great Lakes Ecol-
ogy to Environmental Racism to Envi-
ronmental Consumerism.
This year marks the 20th anniversary
of the first Earth Day celebrated in 1970.
In 1970, an estimated 20 million Ameri-
cans turned out to demonstrate their con-
cern for environmental quality, making it
the largest mass demonstration in U.S.
history. Momentum from the first Earth
Day spawned political action moving sig-
nificant environmental legislation through
Congress, such as the Clean Water and
Clean Air Acts. Also, an executive order
of President Nixon created the U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency. Most im-
portantly, Earth Day 1970 produced a
decade of commitment and dedication for
environmental action.
Earth Week 1990 will be held through-
out the first week of April, rather than
April 22, when the rest of the world will
be participating in the environmental
teach-in. This was planned so students
could participate fully and study for finals
as well.
Goldman and Sabin are members of the
Earth Day 1990 Organizing Committee.

Ann Arbor is famed for hosting the
country's first Earth Day events, and with
the 20th anniversary quickly approaching,
U of M will once again launch the Na-
tion's Earth Day activities. In 1970,
Ralph Nader and Dr. Barry Commoner
spoke to a standing room only crowd at
Hill Auditorium. Both speakers return for
Earth Week 1990 to once again fill the
halls of Rackham Auditorium and the
Michigan Union Ballroom.
Today's Earth Day seeks to expand the
base of environmentalists. It is predicted
that 100 million people around the globe
will turn out for this year's events. Liter-
ally thousands of events will take place
during the month of April. Activities are
planned in 110 countries around the world

signatures urging the University to use a'W
safer alternative. We educated the Univerr
sity about the risks of pesticides by
selling organic fruit bars and pesticide free
apples in the Fishbowl. The Committee,
has hosted national speakers such as Denis
Hayes, the national coordinator of both
Earth Day 1970 and 1990 and John
O'Connor, the executive director of the
National Toxics Campaign.
Continuing our focus on environmenw
tal issues, we organized letter writing
campaigns in the Fishbowl on such issues
as: the Delaney Clause (pesticides), the
Wilderness Act (forest destruction in the
U.S.), the Clean Air Act, and a recycled
paper campaign to local suppliers and
bookstores. And we organized a display in

Our message for Earth Week 1990 is simple: to
increase environmental awareness and pledge to
adopt environmentally conscience lifestyles. By
altering daily lifestyles to accommodate the
environment, we can easily make a difference.

including: Kenya (a massive tree-planting
campaign), Italy (a "green train" with a
laboratory visiting 21 Italian cities to test
pollution levels), and Poland (a student
campaign to clean up the Vistual River
and Baltic Sea). Australia, Canada, France,
the United Kingdom, Mexico and Brazil
also plan to begin environmental cam-
paigns on April 22.
In the United States, New York City
will close parts of the downtown area to
traffic, making a combustion free pedes-
trian thruway. Activists have also an-
nounced their intention to close down
Wall Street for the day. In Washington
D.C., Earth Day organizers will take over
the Mall for speakers and exhibits, and
here in Ann Arbor we are presenting Earth
Week 1990.
The Earth Day 1990 Organizing
Committee has already begun to work on
environmental issues. Since our formation
in September, we have brought attention
to the use of styrofoam in the University
dorms and Student Union by collecting

the Diag to show how recycling is made
simple here in Ann Arbor. The Earth Day
1990 Organizing Committee has already
proven its value as an educational tool and
Earth Week 1990 will continue to rein-
force this goal throughout this week.
Our message for Earth Week 1990 is
simple: to increase environmental aware-
ness and pledge to adopt environmentally
conscience lifestyles. By altering daily
lifestyles to accommodate the environ-
ment, we can easily make a difference. We
can recycle, reduce packaging consump-
tion, use public transportation, and buy
organically and locally grown produce.
Our generation must confront long term
consequences, while keeping in mind our
short term goals.
Earth Week 1990 is the courier of this
message. The '90s have been termed the
"environmental decade." Our generation
carries the burden of making this decade
live up to its name. Let's not deny it, lets
work on it.

Artistic freedom
Cincinnati police have no right to censor exhibit

THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CEN-
ter, a museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, is
scheduled to open an exhibit of Robert
Mapplethorpe's photographs on April
6. Since the announcement, the mu-
seum has been under pressure from lo-
cal businesses, conservative groups,
and the Cincinnati Police to cancel the
exhibit. These protests against Map-
plethorpe's work are directed towards
certain sexual and homoerotic pieces,
which form part of the exhibit.
Mapplethorpe's work was at the
root of the recently defeated Helms
amendment, which sought to deny fi-
nancial federal assistance for sexually
explicit art. The exhibit was cancelled
by a gallery in Washington as a result
of protests in the capitol by Helms
supporters, though it later re-opened in
another gallery. Now, the Map-
plethorpe retrospective is being con-
sidered in Cincinnati, a rather conser-
vative city.
The protest is lead by "Citizens for
Community Values," which has in part
contributed to the strict local anti-
pornography laws. Recently, the fear
of protests intimidated theaters, pre-
venting them from screening The Last
Temptation of Christ. Similarly, a lo-

cally-produced play was recently
screened by the police before it was
allowed to open.
Numerous letters have been written
to the museum's board members and
their employers, threatening to with-
draw business from those companies if
the exhibit proceeds as planned. The
Cincinnati Police Chief has threatened
to send officers to examine the exhibit
and to confiscate any photographs that
they consider obscene.
These infringements on the rights to
free speech and artistic expression are
intolerable. The Cincinnati Police De-
partment has no authority to dictate to
the community what people may or
may not view. And it is highly repre-
hensible that members of the museum's
board are being harassed at their work
places, outside of their capacity as of-
ficials of the museum.
Far from being a pornographic dis-
play, Mapplethorpe's collection is a
highly respectable exhibit entirely
worthy of the Contemporary Art Cen-
ter's patronage. And even if this were
not the case, the citizens of Cincinnati
have a right to discover this for them-
selves.

Duderstadt writes to
clear up interview
To the Daily:
I want to clear up any confusion there
may be about my own personal commit-
ment or the commitment of this Univer-
sity to achieving a faculty, staff, and stu-
dent body that is representative of the ra-
cial and ethnic composition of the popula-
tion at large. This goal is at the heart of
the institutional strategy set out in the
Michigan Mandate. I want to clarify this
for the record, because a recent interview
has caused some questions in the commu-
nity about our goals for minority recruit-
ment and retention.
A question in the interview (Michigan
Review, 3/90) referred to the nature of the
commitment made by the University in
the early 1970s. I will leave to others who
were involved at the time the task of
assessing the nature of that commitment.
However, I was personally involved in the
commitment made in the Spring of 1987:
"The aspiration of the University is to
achieve representation of Blacks and
other minorities in proportion to their
numbers in the population."
This commitment has become the cen-
terpiece of the Michigan Mandate strategy.
It is clear from this commitment that to

raphers predict that by the turn of the cen-
tury one-third of Americans, will be people
of color. To achieve representativeness,
we have to set our sights higher and pick
up the pace.
Thus in the Michigan Mandate, I have
suggested that to achieve our goal of
being representative of the American
population, we must focus on sustaining
significant rates of increase. Only if
these rates are high enough will we move
rapidly enough towards our goals.
During the past two years we have
seen an annual rate of increase of 12
percent (25 percent over two years). If we
can continue at this rate, we clearly will
succeed in meeting our recruitment
objectives during this decade. Of equal
importance, of course, we must also work
to eliminate any disparities in retention
and graduation rates.
The challenge before us is too impor-
tant for our University and our nation to
let ourselves get distracted from the task at
hand. We are making progress today. We
still have a long way to go. We mean to
do everything in our power to continue
that progress in the months and years
ahead. The important thing now is to fo-
cus on our goals and to work together to
achieve them.
James J. Duderstadt
University president

are homeless. Why would the city destroy
this housing?R
The city has invested considerable re-
sources into its effort to construct the
"Kline's" parking structure. City tax rev-
enues, over $30 million, have been slated
for a parking structure construction binge'
This money is being spent in anticipation
of future business development which will
eventually lead to the destruction of even
more downtown homes.
Existing .city structures are crumbling
and unused (and ugly!). There is no evi '
dence that additional structures will be any
different. Meanwhile, many people in
Ann Arbor are hungry and homeless.
Ann Arbor voters displayed their dis-
gust with the city's priorities in Monday's
City Council election. Tom Richardson,;
the most vocal proponent of parking struc-
tures and the most adamant opponent of*
low-income housing, was the only in-
cumbent to lose his seat. Council mush
understand this as a clear sign that taxpay
ers are no longer willing to see their
money wasted to subsidize the needs of
businesses. Funding of unneeded parking
structures must stop and the city's money
should be diverted to the construction of
low-income housing.
An increasing proportion of homeless
people are families. In Ann Arbor there are
children who live day to day on the streets

Remember to vote
It's not too late to cast your ballot for MSA seats

STUDENTS STILL HAVE ANOTHER
day to vote in this term's Michigan
Student Assembly elections. Your
vote can make a difference, and if you

of students' personal lives have not
been met effectively by MSA. It is up
to the students now to elect people
who will stand up for student con-

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