We believe that the citizens of Detroit should elect Gary Brown, Lisa Howze, Frederick Elliot Hall, Saunteel Jenkins, Brenda Jones, Charles Pugh, Rev. Andre Spivey, Alberta Tinsley-Talabi and JoAnn Watson as the next city council. These men and women, a mix of six new faces and three council veterans, represent the best combination to move the city forward following the disasters of recent years.
Spivey has indicated that he would focus on combating crime, neighborhood development and city services, and that it is important that all the voices in the city’s ethnically diverse culture are heard and play an integral part.
Howze, who says she is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, believes addressing the budget deficit and neighborhood reinvestment — including business development and job creation — are key issues.
She also wants to see more police presence in the neighborhoods, and favors putting something similar to the Michigan State Fair on Belle Isle. She also favors the council members coming together to create a legislative agenda.
Watson advocates a “Detroit Marshall Plan” to help rebuild the city. She says it will create a new paradigm for Detroit, including repopulation, jobs for heads of households, renewable energy, and rapid transit.
Tinsley-Talabi believes getting more police officers visible in the community is of paramount importance, and that it is critical to make tough fiscal decisions while maintaining the core services of police, fire, EMS, water, transportation and DPW. She also favors council members being elected by district.
Pugh would focus on business outreach, utilize a “street team” to interact with Detroiters, focus on positive school activities, and working to resolve gang violence.
Jones believes economic development and jobs play a key role in reducing crime, as do positive activities for the city’s youth and senior citizens.
She would also like to see Detroit embrace electronic tax filing capabilities, believing that would lead to more income for the city.
Hall has said he would work to allocate money to areas the police department feels are necessary to help fight crime.He also cited a need for people to be more involved in community organizations, saying some community groups do an outstanding job of monitoring their neighborhoods.
He also favors a mix of at- large and elected-by-district council members, and believes city services should be the last things cut from the budget.
Jenkins, whose own family was touched by tragedy, is focused on stopping violence, especially youth violence, and favors a two-pronged approach of prevention and enforcement.
Brown describes himself as a consensus builder who would provide strong leadership, accountability and transparency in city government.
We’re not saying that electing any of the other candidates would be problematic; we simply believe these nine represent the best choices. It is our hope that they not only come together and work as a team for the benefit of all Detroiters and not for their own short-term interests, but that they also work well with whomever is elected mayor. We expect there to be differences between the council and the mayor from time to time, but let them be honest and mutually respectful, and not driven by political infighting.
Detroit has seen enough of such childishness in recent years
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