However, when the dust has settled and the general election is over, will candidates uphold their end of the deal? As Rome was not built in a day, it will take Detroit a while before it is back on course. Are winners going to be able to make the right decisions, or will they fall into the same pit of corruption and selfish behavior as some others?
The future of Detroit remains unclear, but citizens are placing their hope and optimism in the candidates in order to restore stability back to the city.
Vince Keenan and Kimberly Hill share their ideas on getting residents to maintain a stronghold on the elected officials decisions, and rebuilding
the city with the citizens in mind. With all the loose promises and an uncertain future, will elected officials keep their word, and put Detroit first? Detroit does not need another council that will lead it into chaos and
Vince Keenan, director of Publius.org, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that does voter information said, “Honestly I don’t hear
any of that. It’s a part of every speech. We as voters, when we vote, we hope that they (candidates) have integrity. I’ve never heard a candidate
say that they wouldn’t lead with integrity. If only it was that easy. The real answer to that question, they will do better if we make them do better. If we stay on top of them. If we do our job as citizens, we can expect them to do their jobs as civic leaders.”
Now it seems that Detroiters really want to hold their representatives accountable for their actions, but will this last past the November
general election? Will Detroiters soon forget about their role in the political system? Kimberly Hill, a policy analyst and president of Future Insight Consulting, believes that the key to keeping representatives making decisions with residents in mind is to take ownership of the issues.
“By making them (residents) have ownership of the issues that they are concerned about, issues that our plaguing their community, it enables them (be prepared) when there is an election. But after the hype is over, people go back to their regular lives, with no vested interest in their city’s political policies.”
If all goes well, Detroit will have a fresh new council and a brand new charter, so what will be in store for the new Detroit?
“I’m not really sure, but I do think, one of the things that interest me a lot, is the urban gardening movement. There’s the talk of a largescale urban gardening movement happening. When we look at New York, the one thing they will never have in Manhattan, is land,” said Keenan “We have lots of land, and if someone can figure out something interesting or productive, I think it will be an exciting thing, to see a post-industrial Detroit turn into a green city, with sustainable land, growing and buying our
own food. I definitely see a trend.”
How do Detroit citizens know how to get to that point where they feel comfortable with their elected officials? Even if residents trust that they chose the right candidates, how are they able to ensure that they (elected officials) will not fall back into the same quagmires as before?
“As voters, we vote without an agenda, we very seldom present an agenda. If we don’t, it is very hard for us to hold them (elected officials)
accountable,” said Hill “Those who have developed a comprehensive strategy of tracking legislative activity have a better chance of getting
what they want out of their elected officials.”
Detroit appears to be on the rise. Through all of the turmoil, Detroit is not willing to sit back and let adversity drag the city down. As a city we are finding new ways to become ecofriendly, diversify our economy, and become independent of our failed auto-economy.
As of now, Detroit’s future is bright; it could not have become more dim than right now. Detroiters now realize the type of citizen involvement
that must come into play to keep city government in check, and also the hard work that comes with the turnaround process. The future of Detroit, with properly elected government officials and community participation, is
bright and could possibly spark one of the biggest turnarounds of the past decades.
“We are a very resilient city. People always pick on Detroit; no city wants to be like Detroit. As bad as times are, I think we are handling it well, the spirit of the city is getting stronger,” said Keenan. “Because we have that fortitude, the country may find that this may be the place where it would seem that optimism should be absent, but this is definitely where hope
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