Partnerships Publications

Wide angle photo of Detroit City Council chambers

An Advocate's Guide to Influencing Detroit City Council

This two page guide informs citizens on how to advocate for a cause before the Detroit City Council. It explains the Council's structure; its schedule; how items get on the agenda and move forward through the decision-making process; and how public commentary works, with tips on how to have the most impact.
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The Darker Side of Consumers Energy report cover image

Consumers Energy: Don't Count on Us

This report aims to shed light on some of the most problematic aspects of Consumers’ practices that cause financial and health harm to Michigan residents and our planet. This information includes: who Consumers’ major shareholders are, the sky-high compensation of board of directors and executive leadership, the strategic direct campaign donations Consumers gives to our legislators, and the influence of its shadowy dark money group on our state politics and our livelihoods.
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Text on a green background: "Community Partnerships Playbook: How to create equitable partnerships between technical and community experts." There are 4 organizations' logos: Detroit Disability Power, Detroit Justice Center, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, and We the People Michigan.

Community Partnerships Playbook

Based on real-world experiences, the Community Partnerships Playbook aims to improve collaborative experiences for community organizations, technologists, and researchers, and help create more equitable technologies that serve the public interest.
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Housing tenant screening algorithm featured

Tenant Screening Algorithms: Policy Intervention

Tenant screening algorithms are a form of technology intended to provide quick and reliable background checks of potential tenants for landlords and management companies. However, because of a high stakes rental market, the use of these tools may further restrict access for populations who already face housing challenges related to affordability and limited supply.
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Artificial Intelligence Hiring Technology and Disability Discrimination

Employers are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make hiring decisions. These data driven tools, also referred to as predictive/algorithmic hiring or machine learning (ML), are used across the hiring pipeline to filter resumes, categorize applicants according to personality traits, and evaluate video interview performance.

Since these software tools are trained on historical data, they will likely reflect the industry’s systemic biases, and there is a huge risk that employers will perpetuate discrimination against People with Disabilities by using these new technologies.

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Photo of fiber optics

Response to Fiber Concerns

This document was created as a result of feedback from the Detroit Office of Digital Equity and Inclusion (DEI), investigating the potential implications of installing an open access fiber network in Detroit. Staff at the DEI requested support compiling evidence-based explanations that would address common misconceptions and attacks against public investment in fiber. This document is the product of that effort.
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Photo of a server with optical cables

Bridging the Digital Divide with Municipal Fiber Networks: Discussion and Recommendations

Municipalities across the U.S. have begun to play a bigger role in providing internet access by implementing their own fiber internet networks. Fiber internet networks offer customers and operators faster speeds, lower costs, and increased reliability compared with other forms of internet service. Municipal fiber networks increase access to the internet for those who currently do not have broadband and can be an effective tool in bridging the digital divide. In what follows, we investigate the benefits of fiber networks and show that fiber access can improve equity, economic, educational, and healthcare outcomes for a community. We conclude with recommendations for communities looking to adopt their own municipal fiber network.
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Picture of African American man in wheelchair

People with Disabilities Must Be Included in Climate Action Planning

The risks to humans from climate change are wide-reaching, but felt unequally among members of society, including People with Disabilities (PWD). Despite this, PWD are often “invisible” to decision-makers and planners. Current climate action plans rarely address how cities will respond to the disproportionate impact of climate change on Disabled People. This lack of response deepens existing inequalities and places PWD at significant, and potentially fatal, short- and long-term risk. It is therefore imperative that climate action plans consider how climate change disproportionately impacts Disabled People. In this report, specific risks are identified, followed by recommendations detailing how current and future climate action plans can bring Disabled Voices into the policy-making process and enact the change necessary to allow them to lead more healthy and fulfilled lives.
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Macomb county courthouse

The Risks of Pretrial Risk Assessment Tools: Policy Considerations for Michigan

In the United States, many jurisdictions are turning to pretrial risk assessment tools as an alternative to cash bail. More than 60 risk assessment tools are in use throughout the country today, at both the federal and state level and in multiple stages of a person’s process through the carceral system.
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License plate reader

Automated License Plate Readers: Legal and Policy Evaluation

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are a surveillance technology that can alert law enforcement about vehicle locations in real-time or provide information on past movements. In recent years, growing numbers of public and private entities have begun using ALPRs, moving some communities to implement policies aimed at limiting the potential damage posed by the technology.
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wastewater treatment plant

Decentralized Wastewater Treatment in Detroit

Decentralized wastewater treatment is the future of wastewater treatment. In developing countries without sophisticated wastewater infrastructure, it is the design of choice since it has lower capital costs, protects the local environment, and incentivizes water re-use. Though promising, technological limitations and ‘cultural inertia’ are currently the main drawback of decentralized wastewater treatment in developed countries.
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Automated License Plate Readers widely used, subject to abuse

Acoustic Gunshot Detection Systems: Community & Policy Considerations

Acoustic gun detection systems (AGDS) are a law enforcement technology designed to detect gunshot sounds and notify police of the event and location in close to real time.
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