Saturday, May 10, 2008
Brenda Lawrence Should Run for State Representative Not Oakland County Executive by Akindele Akinyemi
I like Mayor Brenda Lawrence of Southfield. She made history in 2001 when she became the first Black woman mayor of Southfield beating former mayor and current city councilman Donald Fracassi.
However, what the hell is she thinking about running against L. Brooks Patterson for Oakland County Executive?
Of course the Michigan Democratic Party is setting her up to fail.
While Southfield has made growth under Mayor Lawrence's tenure you cannot leave out L. Brooks Patterson's effort to bring automation alley to Oakland County.
However Southfield has been dubbed at times the carjack capital of Southeastern Michigan. Southfield is not well-regarded in much of Oakland County, so Mayor Lawrence faces an uphill battle just in the fact that she is the city's mayor. Southfield has a serious property crime problem. Taxes are really high, but property values of homes are lower than those of similar houses in neighboring cities. A lot of people in Oakland County think Southfield has been heading downhill for awhile, and that Mayor Lawrence is at the wheel of a sinking ship. Many don't want to take the risk of voting for her under the circumstances her own city is in.
Lawrence claims she can bring in regional transit to Oakland County. How can she do that without raising taxes?
To be honest with you I don't hear too many people talking about moving to Southfield like I used to 15 years ago. It's become another Detroit (we call it North Detroit) and successful Blacks are moving OUT of Southfield and moving into Farmington Hills and Novi. They are moving to Wixom and Northern Oakland County. There is no excitement moving into Southfield anymore. In fact, young people are moving BACK to Detroit of all places because they pay almost the same for car insurance and the schools are not up to par like they were 15-20 years ago. It really has become a second Detroit.
If you drive up and down Northwestern Highway you can see nothing but vacant office space.
I look at malls like Northland and see how that mall has gone downhill in recent years. No more JC Penny and no more Kohls. The Jeepers at Northland must be the worst Jeepers in Southeastern Michigan.
In my opinion I feel that the good Mayor should help transform Southfield into a world class city by not chasing higher office but working and being dedicated to the people who trust her leadership. If anything she should run for State Representative. I believe she would make a serious impact in Lansing as it pertains to Southfield instead of running for a seat that she cannot win at this point in time. Everything she is talking about like mass transit and improving the quality of life can be done on a state level.