Dickinson Wright Chairman and former Mayor of Detroit empties political war chest, names Prominent Cultural Institutions as beneficiaries

"Turning Swords Into Plowshares: Archer Gives Most of More Than $1 Million Campaign Fund

5/12/2003
"Detroit - Dennis W. Archer, Chairman of Dickinson Wright PLLC and former Mayor of Detroit, has emptied his political war chest with nearly its entirety supporting more than 50 nonprofits. ""Campaign contributions are literally the steel from which the political swords of public policy are formed,"" said Archer. ""During my time in politics we have won many battles in the fight to move Detroit forward. Now it is time to turn those swords into plowshares so others can continue to help our community flourish."" Indeed, the majority of the nonprofits that will benefit from Archer's more than $1.2 million gift go directly to improving the artistic, civic, educational, and religious fabric of life for the people of Detroit. The nonprofits will receive grants from The Dennis W. Archer Community Development Fund, a fund established by Mr. Archer at the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. The grants should be awarded in the next 20-25 days. ""I hope these gifts add one more step in the effort thousands of people make everyday to improve the quality of life for those today and in generations to come,"" said Archer. The move is a more personal victory that follows a long line of political victories aimed at improving the City of Detroit including passage of a number of local bond proposals to finance city improvements; two statewide bond proposals that secured funding for both Comerica Park and Ford Field; and a statewide proposal authorizing casinos in Detroit over then Governor John Engler's veto. As a political leader, Archer garnered a reputation for developing a spirit of volunteerism in the city. These grants and the Dennis W. Archer Community Development Fund will continue that tradition by providing financial support to groups who share Archer's desire to encourage volunteerism. Those groups include: Motor City Blight Busters for their strong support of Operation Clean Sweep and Angel's Night which drew more than 430,000 volunteers over eight years; U-Snap-Bac for their unwavering commitment to building affordable housing in Detroit which contribute to $20 billion in economic development in the city; and Meals on Wheels for their commitment to helping the poor. The efforts of these and many groups like them was noted by the last U.S. Census Bureau findings which showed the City of Detroit going from being listed as having the highest poverty level of any city in the country in 1990 to falling completely out of the top ten list in 2000 behind Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Political campaign contributors' faith in Archer's ability to build bridges across lines of race, geography and class was reaffirmed by voters in one of the largest victory margins garnered in recent times by a sitting mayor with 83-percent of the vote in 1997. Proposed Organizations Receiving Grants Dennis W. Archer Foundation $600,000 Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan - The Dennis W. Archer Community Development Fund $250,000 $850,000 1. Detroit Library - Burton Archives $25,000 2. Detroit Institute of Arts $25,000 3. Detroit Symphony Orchestra $25,000 4. Detroit Historical Society - Museum $25,000 5. Charles W. Wright Museum of African American History $25,000 6. Detroit Zoological Society $25,000 7. Michigan Opera Theatre -Operating Fund $25,000 8. Music Hall - Jazz Masters $20,000 9. Parade Company $15,000 10. Greening of Detroit $15,000 11. Mosaic Youth Theatre $10,000 12. College for Creative Studies $10,000 13. ABA FJE (Fund for Justice & Education) $10,000 14. NBA NBI (National Bar Institute) $10,000 15. CATCH $ 5,000 16. Detroit Police Athletic League $ 5,000 17. Karmanos Cancer Center $ 5,000 18. Henry Ford Health Center $ 5,000 19. Campus Martius Park $ 5,000 20. Sacred Heart Church - Children's Causes $ 5,000 21. Gesu - Children's Causes $ 5,000 22. State Bar of Michigan Foundation $ 5,000 23. Wolverine Bar Foundation $ 5,000 24. Michigan Municipal League Foundation $ 5,000 25. National League of Cities - Fund for Archer Studies $ 5,000 26. NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund $ 5,000 27. Sigma Pi Phi, Boule Foundation $ 4,000 28. 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit $ 2,500 29. Alpha Phi Alpha Gamma Lambda Foundation $ 2,500 30. Alpha Phi Alpha Frat Inc. MLK Project $ 2,500 31. Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society $ 2,500 32. Legal Aid and Defenders Association $ 2,500 33. Metropolitan Bar of Detroit Foundation $ 2,500 34. Children's Center $ 2,500 35. Goodfellows 2003 $ 2,500 36. Boy Scouts -- for Detroit only $ 2,500 37. City-Year - for Detroit only $ 2,500 38. Metropolitan Detroit YMCA - for Detroit Y's $ 2,500 39. President Clinton's Library $ 2,500 40. The Henry Ford $ 2,500 41. FOCUS Hope $ 2,500 42. Motor City Blight Busters $ 2,500 43. Operation Get Down $ 2,500 44. Warren/Conner Development Coalition $ 2,500 45. Capuchin Kitchen $ 2,500 46. Gleaners Community Food Bank $ 2,500 47. U-SNAP-BAC $ 2,500 48. Detroit Science Center $ 2,500 49. Eastside Emergency Center $ 2,500 50. Think Detroit $ 1,500 51. Alpha Phi Alpha - Epsilon Xi $ 1,000 52. Detroit Regional Chamber $ 1,000 TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $1,237,500 The Dennis W. Archer Community Development Fund is a permanent endowment fund that will support activities benefiting the City of Detroit for generations to come. The fund will be held at the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. The Community Foundation was founded in 1984, is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from hundreds of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. The Foundation works to improve the region's quality of life by supporting a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. The Community Foundation has assets of $317 million and, since its inception, has distributed more than $145 million through nearly 18,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties."
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