Friday, July 25, 2008

We Can Prevent The Collapse of Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi

I was reading the Michigan Chronicle the other day when I read the editorial from Sam Logan, the Michigan Chronicle's publisher. He was sharing my sentiment on how Detroit virtually has fallen due to poor leadership and a poor quality of education. He also mentioned in his article on how the middle class has fled Detroit and now we are stuck with people who are less educated and live in poverty more.

Government depends on trust, and there is precious little of it left in Detroit public life today. We look at the scandals plaguing our city. In quick succession, we have seen a mayor bang his former chief of staff and other women, wants the Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a body bag, had police take out two strippers (one in Georgia and one in Detroit), four council members investigated by the FBI, and a congresswoman who thinks Nanci Pelosi , who is hated here in Detroit, is going to save her congressional seat.

In the state representative races we have the following:

In District 3 Bettie Cook-Scott is going around in Lansing calling her opponent a fat black ugly bitch (speaking of her opponent Carol Banks in District 3). Scott, the incumbent, is being targeted by every and all charter school advocates for introducing this bill into the House.

Introduced 2008 House Bill 5765 to reduce from 100,000 to 75,000 the number of students that qualify a school district as a “school district of the first class.” Detroit is the only such district, which is a statutory device to allow the Detroit School District to be exempted from a variety of regulations that apply to other districts, and receive special treatment in other ways.

What was decided was this.

The newly defined "first class school district", at over 60,000 students, effects only those provisions of the school aid act. At the same time, first class district provisions within the school code -- including chartering options for community colleges -- remains defined as a district with 100,000 students. Also, a provision that Detroit Public Schools can stop other traditional school districts from operation within the city limits was stripped from the bill.

This would have never came up with Bettie was fair with those who want options. Now she is throwing lawn signs at her residents, calling Banks an black immoral bitch who should not be running against her and has no support. People have been marching on her house for her lack of integrity.

In District 5, Terry Catchings is running for state representative again. Catchings is on the Detroit Public School Board supposedly defending children. Yet, he does not pay child support for his own children.

In District 6, Ajene Evans is the Mayor's cousin. Do we need another Cheeks-Kilpatrick in office?

In District 7, Jimmy Womack is running for state representative. Womack is attempting to go to Lansing to push for homosexual rights. He opened the door for an large influx of homosexual activity in the Detroit Public Schools. This is why State Sen. Buzz Thomas is openly supporting Jimmy Womack. Both men are homosexual.

In District 8, Rep. George Cushingberry wants to pay the Detroit School Board a salary and pension. This will lead to further corruption.

In District 11, Annie Carter is running for state representative. She sits on the Detroit School Board and has done absolutely nothing to stop the high level of immorality in the schools. Yet, she wants to go to Lansing to stop charter schools.

In District 12, we have two people who supports Mayor Kilpatrick (Carl Ramsey and Belda Garza) and one carpetbagger (Rashida Tlaib). None of them have addressed the high level of gang violence, asthma and other environemtnal hazards in our city.

We wonder, in dismay: Do the misdeeds of officials reflect stupidity, greed or cowardice? Did public officials not understand that some of their decisions were wrong and, in the light of day, probably illegal as well? Did greed blind these officials to truths that seem painfully obvious to impartial spectators? Or did some of these officials realize the folly of their policies but fear to tell the public unpalatable news about the city's financial future?

These are questions that are being answered in courts of law as well as the court of public opinion. However, the most important questions Detroiters ought to raise are about our future. Can we restore the public trust so necessary to a flourishing public and political life in Detroit? How can we transform our "Enron by the River" to a thriving democracy with intelligent, temperate, and courageous leadership?

It is easy to discern the qualities we need in our political leaders. They must be smart and well-informed, so that they grasp the often-complex issues that face our city. However, we need more than technocrats and neutral administrators: we need leaders with a particular kind of intelligence, an intelligence that sees policy implications and projects a vision of a better future. Leaders who lack this brand of intelligence will inevitably lead us down dead-end streets dictated by their own narrow prejudices.

Second, our political leaders must put the public interest ahead of private gain. When we see our representatives apparently manipulating the law for campaign benefits, or a congressman receiving inappropriate benefits from a defense contractor, we begin to wonder whether these are public servants or individuals who expect the public to serve them.

Third, our political leaders must have a personal and public sort of courage. They need to have the fortitude to resist weighty pressures from ruthless special interests as well as the lures of personal power. Leaders also need the strength of character to tell the public important and difficult truths that we do not want to hear. The city's financial problems were in plain view before the last election, but somehow we chose to ignore them.

The burden of leadership is not simply on the shoulders of our elected officials. It is also our responsibility and we must insist that our representatives speak the truth. We live in an increasingly Orwellian world in which politicians often seem simply to say whatever they want, and fewer and fewer people are upset by obvious lies. It is as though the public has lost the expectation of truthfulness, feeling that this is too high a standard to impose on public officials.

As citizens, we must have the same characteristics we expect of our leaders: we must be well-informed and thoughtful, we must care about the public interest as well as our personal benefits, and we must have the courage to speak of these things, both to our leaders and to one another. Otherwise, we will be unable to sustain a true community. All too often, we get the leaders we deserve, and the path to better leaders is often through better citizenship. When our leaders realize that we will not settle for less than real leadership, they may well provide genuine direction because it is the best path toward election.

The media must play a crucial role in the restoration of responsible leadership in Detroit. Not only does this mean avoiding fluff pieces about candidates' pets or favorite restaurants in Detroit and reporting the candidates' positions on the difficult issues before us, but the job does not stop there. The media also must provide critical analysis, clearly labeled as such, of those positions, carefully examining the details of those positions and the implications for our city of the candidates' proposals. Without these efforts on the part of candidates, citizens, and the media alike, we will simply continue to be a city in decline.

Therefore I would like to introduce to you a high caliber of class, integrity and leadership that should be working for us. These people are God-fearing, believes in our Lord Jesus Christ, and wants to help rebuild Detroit through family values, quality education that will lead to wealth creation.

Dr. Carol Weaver who is running against homosexual school board member Jimmy Womack in District 7. Weaver, who is the most educated and dedicated woman in this race, believes in accountability, integrity and trust for the people. She believes in core family values unlike her opponent who has his boyfriend living with him on West McNichols.

Sheila Dapremont, who is the clear choice for State Representative in District 6 against weedhead. Sheila believes that the only way family will come alive in the City of Detroit is when we began to elect officials who are leading my example in terms of their private and public life.

Carol Banks, who is a praying woman, wants to restore integrity in her District on the city's far east side. She is a family woman, a mother and has high standards that our city needs right now.

Jeanean M. Bryant is running for state representative in District 11. She is the most Christ-centered woman in this race. If elected, she promises to work on legislation that deals with morality.

Denise Monroe Hearn is the clear choice in the state representative races in District 12. Here is a woman of complete integrity, highly intelligent, articulate and has dedicated her life to uplift those in need. She is our clear choice for U.S. Congress as well.

Monique Baker McCormmick is running for Wayne County Commissioner in District 7 in Northwest Detroit. Here is someone who has accountability, integrity and trust. She served her country in the U.S. Army, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and owns and operates her own reality company in her district. A graduate of Henry Ford High School and a mother of two daughters Monique is the type of candidate that many of us dream of becoming elected. Why? She is simply unbought and unbossed.

Other people that are God-driven, Christ centered and family oriented. These are our emerging leaders.

I.C Jackson from Grand Rapids. The Minister/Entrepreneur is an emerging leader in her own right.

Tiffany Tilley of PATCHES INC who is consistent on fighting violence in our community.

Attorney Robin Dillard who I can see running for Detroit City Council.

Nathaniel Philips of City Suites.

Attorney Tonya Philips of Vision Legal Services.

The Skillman Foundation's Lamont Cole.

Dr. Kenneth Harris of the International Detroit Black Expo who is working to bring billions of economic development to Detroit.

State Representative Shanelle Jackson of Detroit who we hope one day run for Congress in the 14th District.
State Representative Bert Johnson who we hope one day run for State Senate.

State Senator Tupac Hunter who we hope one day run for Mayor of Detroit.

Meagan Pitts who I cannot understand why ANYONE has not begged this articulate sister to run for ANYTHING.

China Cochran who is off the Washington DC to campaign for God knows who.

Terra DeFoe, who is my clone of sorts on many things, is running for state representative in District 7 against Carol Weaver, another clone of sorts on many things.

We cannot forget Leslie Love, who is running for state representiave against incumbent George Cushingberry. Leslie has been a leader in the Schaefer 7/8 Lodge Neighborhood Association, where she has developed successful community enrichment projects and has helped write over $200,000 in grants that went right back into serving the residents of District 8.

And of course I cannot forget my Emerging Leader Think Tank partner Kimberly Hill who, like Terra DeFoe, is all about bringing God and integrity in our public square.

If we are serious about the transformation of our city then we need to take another look at how we conduct business. It's not about male vs female leadership it is about who is going to pray before they vote, who is going to take time to study the issues and who is going to offer solutions that are spiritually balanced. These are our moral leaders that we need to support. They are ready to lead Detroit into a new direction.

1 comment:

Hodari P. T. Brown said...

I love the blog but I think Bert Johnson is more worthy of not just State Senate but U.S. Congress! I am not feeling the whole Shanelle Jackson for the 14th District of U.S. congress but nonetheless, my mindset could change by than