Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Detroit City Council Profile: The Vaughn Revolution by Akindele Akinyemi

We are entering our final days of the Detroit City Council campaign and there are 167 candidates running for council. However, what people are forgetting is the fact that we do not need to vote by name recognition but by substance.

In case you did not know Dr. Corletta J. Vaugn represents that substance. The silver rights activist must get on the Detroit City Council for the simple fact that we need a change of spirit. Her slogan, Right Spirit Right Season, has set the tone for a new change in the way the city does business.

Dr. Vaughn's experience of 35 years in public service has given me the best vantage point for this assignment. As a pastor in the urban community, her relationship skills have been honed and she have had to learn how to listen, how to collaborate with different people, with different ideologies, who speak different languages socially and economically, and from different cultures and backgrounds. Being a member of the City Council warrants these skills, and she also bring the ability to be civil and connect the pieces together; helping to create and maintain the proper balance and synergy.

Dr. Vaughn feels that the top three most critical issues facing the City of Detroit boils down to one word, capital.
The loss of human capital due to Detroit's shrinking population, loss of financial capital due to the difficulty for new businesses and entrepreneurs and the loss of opportunities due to the perception that Detroit is not safe and not clean. She feels an investigation into the framework is needed and on my first day at work, Dr. Vaughn would begin to identify and remove the barriers that continue to cause us to lose population.

Dr. Vaughn's formula for
eliminate the city's multi-million dollar budget deficit she stands out against the other 167 candidates.

For example, Dr. Vaughn feels that the specific steps that need to be taken to both eliminate the deficit as well as encourage economic growth in the city is to accelerate reductions in the city income tax. She has taken a strong stand against any new or higher taxes to the already sky-high tax burden. Dr. Vaughn also feels that city government MUST dramatically downsize the city bureaucracy, now one of the largest per capita in the Midwest. Detroit’s citizens cannot afford this bloated payroll.

Another point is to sell underused buildings and equipment. Use the revenues to reduce city debt and to finance unfunded retiree health care obligations.

Dr. Vaughn will collaborate with non-profits who already do “human service” by using Federal resources and funding; eliminate city government’s responsibility in this area. This way they will be able to hire additional Detroit workers to do the jobs, increasing payroll taxes paid to the city, and put people back to work in this town.

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS. YET, THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HAS SHUT OUT DR. VAUGHN FROM BRINGING COMMON SENSE APPROACHES TO THE COMMUNITY. Think about it, there is a reason why the media do not want you to know about Dr. Vaughn.

Dr. Vaughn's strategy for abandoned buildings and vacant land is more comprehensive than most of the candidates I have read about. For example, Dr. Vaughn will work with non-profits and the faith-based community, to HOUSE the HOMELESS, the mentally ill, and emotionally challenged first. She has said repeatedly that funding is available to secure, rehab, and populate these residences.

Also, Dr. Vaughn's plan is to develop strong community activism and leadership to identify, locate all abandon houses and properties within a neighborhood and help to collaborate across Detroit to write grants and hire young men and women to help in the rehab process learning new skills along the way.

Open new business incubators for youth, those re-entering the work-force in commercial buildings. Teaching new skills using new tools of technology to get people back to work.

But the next point is what made me endorse Dr. Vaughn. Her support on land banks.

She feels that is we empty out our Michigan land bank and give the land and housing away with conditions; if they will stay in the city, build a home or business, develop the area, and remain in the property for set number of years giving citizens opportunity to participate in urban renewal This will encourage repopulation with people who have a stake in our success, and enlargement of tax base.
Land bank programs act as an economic and community development tool to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and business districts. Land banks can benefit urban schools, improve tax revenues, expand housing opportunities, remove public nuisances, assist in crime prevention and promote economic development.

Dr. Vaughn
will support an institution of change that helps to create a city of stakeholders. I will help foster a partnership between the government, the community, and the private sector. Also,l she will foster the environment of our city to nurture our greatest resource- “human capital that has not yet come.” People will want to come and live in Detroit, do business, make huge profits and put lights back on in the heart and minds of every resident. Dr. Vaughn want to make Detroiters proud to be Detroiters again.

Therefore, when you go to the polls on August 4 VOTE VAUGHN FOR VICTORY.

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