Detroit City Council
Meeting with Venezuelan Ambassador
On June 14, 2006, Ambassador Bernado Alvarez Herrera, Venezuela's envoy to the United States met with the Legislative Black Caucus in Lansing with several Detroit city officials, including council members JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones, Kwame Kenyatta, Martha Reeves and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to discuss how to expand his country’s programs that help the poor. He said that his country, under President Hugo Chavez wants to provide heating assistance and free eye surgery to needy Detroiters. Herrera's visit was facilitated by MI State Rep. Lamar Lemmons III. His consulate, General Martin E. Sanchez of Chicago traveled with him. Shortly prior to Herrera's visit, several African American civil rights leaders, including Harry Belafonte and Dr. Cornel West had visited Caracas. Herrera stated that such visits were integral: "They provide a catalyst to the assistance his country is now offering to low-income families and help foster the relationship it wants to build with Blacks in America." That evening, the visitors and city officials attended community reception featuring a "grassroots potluck" dinner, hosted by Michigan Welfare Right Organization which was attended by approximately 150 people. The event was supported by the U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange, Justice for Cuba Coalition, Latinos Unidos, International Action Center and Call ’Em Out. At the reception, Alvarez announced a new program to extend the free eye surgery program begun by Cuba to the U.S. Midwest.
Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
In 2007, Kwame Kenyatta was a member of the Honorary Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice Reception & Silent Auction. The reception, which was held on Nov. 14, 2007 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. The guest of honor at the reception was Andy Levin, son of Congressman Sander Levin, and Deputy Director at the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.
In 2009, Kwame Kenyatta was a member of the Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction which was held at the Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit. The reception, which was held on Nov. 18, 2009 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. Remarks were made by Steve Tobocman and the Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award was presented to Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services.
Defaulting on Mortgage
On March 17, 2009, Kenyatta told The Detroit News that he and his wife had moved out of their home in December and decided to default on their mortgage after unsuccessfully seeking a solution with a mortgage company. The newspaper says Monifa Kenyatta bought the two-story brick house for $225,000 in 2004, but it's now worth about $100,000.
- Detroit Public Library, Detroit City Council 1919 to present
- Pan-African News Wire: Free Eye Surgery, Heating-oil for Detroit Venezuela Ambassador Announces, by Kenneth Snodgrass, circa June 2006 (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- Michigan Citizen: Venezuela offers help to Detroit, by Bankole Thompson, circa June 2006 (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- Pan-African News Wire: Venezuelan ambassador discusses ‘offensive against poverty’, by Cheryl LaBash, June 30, 2006 (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- Sugar Law website: Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice 2007 Event flyer (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- Sugar Law Center website: 2009 Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- MLive.com: Detroit councilman Kwame Kenyatta, wife walk away from mortgage, March 17, 2009 (accessed on Feb. 21, 2011)