David Gaynes

Open City Meeting

On Monday evening, February 20th, Alvin’s Delicatessen hosted the second “official” meeting of the OPEN CITY project.

After smoldering in the cauldrons of the finest minds in Detroit’s underground, OPEN CITY is being realized at a killer pace.

The primary objective of this meeting was to create committees around which people can be organized. This was accomplished in such an organized and (lo and behold) enjoyable manner as to make one wonder whether organizational meetings are worthy of the profound aversion which most people have for them.

This gathering at Alvin’s followed in the wake of an earlier meeting in which the fabled “hard core twenty” (the original conceptualizers) laid plans for the cultural onslaught that was to follow. The foresight of the founding fathers was well rewarded by the ease and rapidity with which the big meeting moved to it’s joyous conclusion of animated conversation and participation by those in attendance.

Harvey Ovshinsky began the evening with a brief reiteration of OPEN CITY’s plan and goals, and then summarized the operational channels through which OPEN CITY is organized. The floor was then opened for questions.

Frank Lucatelli from the Free University of Detroit spoke of the classes available and it was agreed that OPEN CITY should cooperate and work to institute a similar program at Wayne.

It was also brought up that although the concept of autonomous committees was a good and democratic concept, communications between the various committees should be tightened.

A communications committee was established to take care of this and to inform the community of OPEN CITY’s plans and progress. This organization will work through the already established print and photography workshop at 4863 John Lodge.

The meeting then broke up so that individuals could meet with prospective committee members. Times and places of future meetings were discussed and exchanged and it was agreed that those people who are answering the coupon in the last Fifth Estate will be notified of a special meeting for them.

A benefit for OPEN CITY was announced for Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. at Alvin’s. There will be entertainment and snacks and a donation of $1.50 at the door. Proceeds will go to paying the first month’s deposit for the central switchboard that’s being planned for March.

Since the open meeting at Alvin’s, the food committee met and is looking for vehicles to transport food and stores to sell the goods.

The entertainment committee is divided into a street theatre troupe, a fundraising cadre, and a film and live music committee.

The communications committee is working on plans for a daily Warren-Forest newsletter and the housing and job committees are preparing to move into the central OPEN CITY office next week.

The Health, Education and Welfare committee divided into legal aid, nurseries, free Universities and health clinic sub-committees.

OPEN CITY has already done what it set out to do even though the projects have barely begun. We’ve taken an invisible, sympathetic community and made it mobilize to save its life.


Fifth Estate #73, February 20-March 5, 1969