Monday, February 16, 2009
Who Will Lead Detroit? by Akindele Akinyemi
I read in yesterday's Sunday Free Press about Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans endorsement. I have no clue why the Free Press would endorse someone who is close to former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who, in my opinion, is a single issue candidate (crime) and have no vision for Detroit in terms of allowing the free market to enhance the city's economy.
That is why I am urging my colleagues to come out TONIGHT to the P.A.T.C.H.E.S. Inc Mayoral Candidate Forum at Ambassadors for Christ Church in Redford, MI. We need to fully examine our candidates who want to lead our city. The special primary to fill former Mayor Kilpatrick's term will be held Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
To be honest, I do not think ANY of these candidates will present a concrete solution to our issues here in Detroit. Most of them are stuck in a civil rights frame of mind. If I am wrong please present your case. Meanwhile, the City of Detroit needs a covenant. That is why I am urging those who are running for City Council to embrace my Covenant for Detroit.
The Covenant for Detroit are based on nine steps to improve city government.
1. Fiscal Responsibility: A balanced budget/tax limitation proposal and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Mayor/City Council, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
2. Reclaiming Our Streets: A REAL anti-crime package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, good faith exclusionary rule exemptions, and cuts in wasteful spending to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.
3. Encourage Personal Responsibility: Work with state lawmakers to discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased benefits for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs to promote individual responsibility.
4. Real Family Preservation: Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in the City of Detroit, shared equal parenting rights which equals to children needing both parents.
5. Educational Reform: Repeal the tax credit in the Michigan Constitution to allow Universal Tax Credits for parents and children in Detroit, expansion of theme based charter schools, private scholarships for children in failing public schools, prayer in schools, replace multiculturalism with patriotic education, encourage private sector participation in math and science education, fighting adult illiteracy with private based programs that will create job readiness.
6. Detroit Restoration : A S500 per child tax credit and creation of Detroit Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle class tax relief.
7. Job Creation: Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.
8. Citizen Legislature: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators in Detroit. Also, vote City Council by districts and place term limits on each council member. Mayor of Detroit should have term limits.
9. Senior Citizens: Provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let the elderly in Detroit keep more of what they have earned over the years.
Most of these people who are running represent the old guard of leadership (civil rights) and not the new age of leadership (silver rights).
Our city cannot come into fruition without addressing the educational crisis. Adult illiteracy is out of control and with new high-tech jobs coming into the state most in our community are ill-prepared when it comes to learning basic skills to even get into the doors of prosperity. I have yet to hear ONE mayoral candidate discuss adult illiteracy in Detroit. Most talk about job creation but NEVER talk about the root of the problem.
You cannot talk about crime unless you talk about changing the mentality first. We do not need a civil rights approach to this issue. Silver rights must be erected in areas like Detroit where the Silver Rights Movement becomes a movement of empowerment for the wealthless in Detroit.
The City of Detroit do not need leaders who are seeking a Marshall Plan from President Obama's economic stimulus plan (hello can we say Councilwoman JoAnn Watson). We need a silver age of leadership that will be reflective of all people and all races, because without strong, consistent and positive intervention, all the major trend lines suggest a large and growing economic disparity gap; and any city is at its greatest risk by those who have no stake in it.
This is a time where people make a choice of the permanent wealth associated with promoting good selfishness, over the temporary and shortsighted gains of bad selfishness. An era giving birth to the stakeholder class here in Detroit. Lodged between the working class and the middle class, the stakeholder class doesn't necessarily make more money, but makes better decisions with the money they make. That is why I do not agree with Detroit receiving any money from President Obama's stimulus. The federal government cannot continue to give money to a city where people are producing greed instead of accountability.
We need to realize that we cannot legislate goodness in Detroit, nor pass a law to force someone to respect you. The only way to achieve the first rung of social justice in Detroit is through economic parity. Translation: ownership. If we are not preaching this then we are a city at risk.
Detroit and its leadership cannot do business with people you don't respect, reflect, or understand. Unless you want a larger and larger share, of a smaller and smaller marketplace, we all need to better understand how to do business with folks who are Black, brown and different. It's common sense to help enhance our city.
I hope to see you out tonight. Festivities start at 5:00PM. Make your case to these leaders who want to lead Detroit.