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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Community Covenant Agreement

Mayor Dayne Walling signed the community covenant agreement tonight. It is believed to be the first time ever a Flint mayor has signed an agreement with the community. A few dozen people packed Damascus Holy Life church in Flint to witness the signing. The Covenant covers three areas of community engagement: neighborhood revitalization, neighborhood safety and education reform.

Following the covenant signing Mayor Walling participated in a town hall meeting. He shared with the audience the steps that have already been taken to address the three areas of the community engagement covered in the covenant.

The signing of the Community Covenant Agreement and Town Hall meeting was sponsored by Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT), a member of People Improving Community through Organizing (PICO).

Here are the details of the covenant

Community Covenant Agreement
Mayor Dayne Walling

I, Dayne Walling, the Mayor of the City of Flint, responded to questions on housing, safety, and education issues affecting the city that were posed to me by Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT) during its Mayoral Forum on Tuesday, July 20, 2009. I, hereby, reaffirm the following responses:

· Housing:
1. I will continue to work on a Master Community Plan and at the same time, seek expanded participation from all segments of the community in the planning process, including members of FACT. I will ensure that the process will have a fresh and more inclusive start by having an open meeting on the planning process in each ward by Thanksgiving 2009. (This date was amended-to December 16, 2009.)
2. I will share and discuss with the community at an open meeting in late September or early October the framework of my administration’s 21st Century Action Plan.
3. I will report to the community by December 31, 2009, the timeline for completing the components of the Master Plan. As the plan is being designed, I further pledge to pursue efforts to address abandoned housing and blight in Flint neighborhoods. One component of the plan will provide one mini-police station in each ward.

· Safety:
1. I will work with the community to pursue comprehensive reform in the Police Department to address criminal activities, gun violence, and other forms of violence in our city, ensuring that officers are assigned to do more block-by-block patrolling of neighborhoods to provide a more preventive presence. The Chief of Police will provide oversight on reform strategies and report to me regularly on departmental progress on meeting challenges and identifying opportunities. This reporting will be compiled on a ward and city-wide basis.
2. I will lead regular town hall meetings to gain citizens input and feedback on our progress regarding neighborhood safety concerns. I will also use the internet and other media to receive citizens’ input and feedback.

· Education:
1. I will seek a new level of cooperation between the city and Flint Schools with a central aim of creating a liaison with Flint families on their needs for change and reform.
2. In concert with the office of Inter-governmental Relations, I will personally lead efforts towards improving city government’s levels of cooperation with and support of the Flint School System so that all Flint children will have an equal opportunity for success.
3. I will provide quarterly updates on collaborative school reform strategies and their outcomes in a town hall meeting in different locations throughout the city.


  1. We've been hearing a lot of promises, but haven't seen much of anything happen. When will some of these iniatives be in place?

  2. The negative social changes in Flint and the adjacent suburbs began long before regional job losses. Over the past fifty years, they've mostly been driven not by economics, but by crime.

    Race was the big sotto-voce discussion topic over much of that time...but what a lot of people really cared about was crime. They just didn't know how to talk about it.

    We've finally gotten past race as a distinction, in the sense that now both the black and white middle classes are mostly gone to the suburbs. That's not much of a victory, though, because crime continues to corrode the city and drive its emptying out even as the County's population is stable.

    Would it be too scary for the Administration to begin posting crime graphs by ward? People need to be able to see believable Change in what really matters...and crime isn't all that matters, but it's right up there.