Diane Bukowski was born in Detroit in 1948 and has lived here all her life. She graduated from Wayne State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and anthropology. During the 60’s and 70’s, she worked against the murder of Detroiters in the 1967 rebellion, in the anti-STRESS movement, struggles on behalf of prisoners after the Attica Rebellion, and anti-war campaigns.
After her employment with the City of Detroit Health Department in 1974, she was elected to various union posts in Local 457 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). She campaigned during that time against the privatization of Detroit General Hospital and other city assets, and joined a coalition against the plant closings that began to devastate Detroit. She also co-founded the Coalition to Stop Privatization and Save Our City.
In 1995, she transferred to the City’s Human Rights Department, where she monitored Mayor Coleman Young’s Executive Order No. 22 (50 percent Detroit residents, 25 percent “minorities,” and 5 percent women on construction projects with city tax dollars going into them). She also certified Detroit-Based and Small Businesses. She was eventually forced into early retirement in 1999 when former Mayor Dennis Archer gutted regulations for those programs, despite her protests and those of others on the department’s staff.
Bukowski then began writing for The Michigan Citizen newspaper. She covered privatization and government corruption, the devastation of the Detroit Public Schools, police brutality, and prisoners’ rights, among other issues. In 2000, she broke the story of Eugene Brown, the Detroit police officer who unjustifiably killed three men in 1995, 1996 and 1999, in a piece headlined SERIAL KILLER KOPS? She followed the successful 10-year legal case brought by Arnetta Grable and family against Brown for the murder of their son Lamar Grable. She continued to expose killer and rapist cops, as well as the failure of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to charge them. Her arrest, prosecution and conviction in the State Trooper case described on this site was largely in retaliation for those stories.
Editor Teresa Kelly fired Bukowski from The Michigan Citizen Aug. 2, 2010 after a decade of hard, dedicated work at low pay, despite the fact that Bukowski still has two felonies on her record being appealed, which resulted from her work for the paper. Kelly gave “he said-she said” reasons not related to Bukowski’s writing other than that she claimed Bukowski was too “one-sided.”
Bukowski counters that in recent years, The Michigan Citizen has taken a turn to the right. Some examples: the paper wrote a favorable story on the Marathon Oil Refinery’s incusrion into the southwest Detroit community despite community opposition. The paper endorsed James Tate for Council, a former spokesman for the Police Department who excused the mass rapes of Black males by two white police officers in 2o06, reported by Bukowski in The Michigan Citizen in a series of articles. Tate has since hired Akindele Akinyemi on his staff. Akinyemi is a self-described Black “urban conservative” who supports charter schools, vouchers, and is a member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, funded by right-wing foundations.
The MC also endorsed Freman Hendrix to chair the illegal Charter Revision Commission, despite his published statements that he wanted to rid the Charter of provisions limiting privatization of City services and jobs, which have devastated Detroit. Henrix also chaired the first Detroit school reform board and called the police out on commuity protesters.
The paper recently wrote a favorable story about former police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings’ run for 36th District Court Judge. Bukowski reported on numerous unjustified killings by police during Cummings’ tenure. The Tommy Staples, Jr. family won a $250 million settlement against his 2008 police execution as Bukowski has reported in both The Michigan Citizen and The Voice of Detroit. The lawsuit in that case said Cummings’ stance on disciplining police officers was that their actions had to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”Attorney David Robinson condemned that stance, saying that would mean no officer would ever be disciplined.
Bukowski is saddened by this turn in The Michigan Citizen but is carrying on the struggle out of love for the people. Besides now publishing “The Voice of Detroit,” for no compensation, Bukowski works part-time for a non-profit organization that helps to place homeless families and individuals. She is single with no children, but a loving daughter to her mother Dorothy Bukowski and recently deceased father Robert Bukowski, sister to six siblings, and aunt to 10 nieces and nephews and one grand-nephew. Her family, including her mother’s sister, her Aunt Gloria, and Uncle Don, supported her strongly throughout the ordeal of her arrest, trial, prosecution and conviction.