A blog to accompany whydontweownthis.com, authored by members of the LOVELAND Technology team and friends of the show. Posts here are most likely about Detroit land use issues and ideas, the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction, the WDWOT website and service, and etc. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also catch us at facebook.com/makeloveland & twitter.com/makeloveland.
With round 2 of the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction just 2 weeks away, and not toooo many people seeming to be seriously interested in the fact that 5% of Detroit’s properties (20,000) are about to be auctioned for an opening bid of $500 each, and that 1/2 are unlikely to receive any bids at all (meaning someone could buy 10,000 properties — 2.5% of all Detroit’s properties — for $5,000,000 and use the opportunity to do something tremendous), maybe it’s time to consider some other approaches to messaging this issue.
We’ve written about this “No Property Left Behind" idea, and will more, but it’s at least interesting to consider what an "Every Property Left Behind" campaign with tongue firmly in cheek would look like, since we may well see more than 1/2 of these properties left behind again.
As a precedent, here’s what happened in Troy, Michigan earlier this year when a campaign used reverse-psychology to get more people excited about saving the city’s library:
The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city’s residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: “Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd - Book Burning Party on August 5th.” No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the “idiotic book burners” and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library’s survival.
Along these lines, in an alternate reality:
Every Property Left Behind celebrates Detroit’s continued disinvestment and vacancy. It agrees that the city is too bombed out and cancerous to live in, and too full of self-defeating politics and spite to care about. For decades people have been saying Detroit is at rock bottom, but we say if we continue to not work together, to not try new ideas, and to rely on the inertial establishment we can still reach deeper depths previously thought unimaginable. This October, EPLB will celebrate another unsuccessful auction with a good old fashioned abandoned house burning party, and would like to thank the world for passing over another unmatched triple-bottom-line investment opportunity to bolster a great American city on an international border. Because, really, how could there ever be any value there in the 21st century?