Monday, August 03, 2009
Detroit: Our Neighbors Are Watching by Akindele Akinyemi
Tomorrow, the City of Detroit will vote in a very serious primary election. At stake is choosing the Detroit City Council, Detroit Charter Commission, Mayor, Detroit City Clerk and Detroit School Board. I am not concerned about the Mayor or City Clerk's position but I am concerned about the Detroit City Council and Charter Commission primaries.
The present Detroit City Council are the most unintelligent group I have ever encountered. Some of these council members do not even have a college degree. Some, like Martha Reeves, cannot identify Highland Park and Hamtramck on a map.
We have a Democratic City Council that are still living in the civil rights/black power movement of the 60s. If the GOP was serious they would have taken advantage of pushing local candidates to get on the Detroit City Council. With the weakened state of the unions and economy this would have been peak time to usher in a new level of leadership.
One major endorsement that caught my eye was the Detroit Regional Chamber's endorsement of Jai Lee Dearing; Gary Brown; Fred Elliott Hall; Saunteel Jenkins; and Charles Pugh and incumbent Ken Cockrel, Jr.
The bigger problem is that none of these Detroit leaders do not fully understand that the atmosphere of our city is ripe for a riot. Michigan's unemployment rate is at 15.4% which is driving a record number of state residents to sign up for Medicaid, the state's health care plan for the poor.
Detroit is ripe for civil unrest. Look at the reality of the City of Detroit and why we are headed towards anarchy.
1. Unemployment: 22%.
2. Graduation High School rate: 24-38%.
3. Adult illiteracy: 55%
4. Bachelor's degree or higher: 11.0%
5. Graduate or professional degree: 4.2
6. Never married: 43.6%
7. Now married: 31.2
8. Separated: 4.2%
9. Widowed: 8.3%
10. Divorced: 12.7%
11. Rank #1 in the nation in violent crime.
12. Wayne County, Michigan, lost more than 89,000 residents from 2000 to 2006 -- a loss of 4 percent of the county's 2 million residents.
13. A third of the population in Detroit lives in poverty.
14. Detroit Public Schools did not make AYP.
15. The City of Detroit is $300 million in a deficit. The Detroit Public Schools are $259 million deficit.
16. Detroit has 871,121 residents down from 951,270 in 2000 and 1, 027,000 in 1990.
17. 12.3% of the residents in Detroit are White while 81.2% of the residents in Detroit are Black.
18. Looking at the Black population in Detroit only we get this...
a) 775,772 residents in Detroit are Black.
b) 321,182 Black people have a high school diploma.
c) Only 45, 239 Black residents have a bachelors degree.
The average price of a home is now $18,513 and its going to get worse. Detroit is facing a crisis of epic proportions that officially puts Detroit statistically (and real term) on par with the great depression.
Detroit has superseded New Orleans as the “worst city” in America…. but New Orleans had a Hurricane they could assign blame to… Detroit has no such natural disaster crutch.
This is the reason why we need silver rights leadership in Detroit. We no longer need leadership that is going to keep us in the dark. We need people who are serious about movement and creativity.
However, my biggest fear is always people voting by name recognition. With 167 people running for Detroit City Council and a projection of less than 15% showing up at the polls we could be headed towards disaster unless something changes. Adult illiteracy is high and candidate forums this election cycle (like every election cycle) are filled with more candidates than constituents.
The rebuilding process begins with the SILVER RIGHTS MOVEMENT of the 21st century if we have a shot of rebuilding our city. The people running our local government do not understand the role of government. The appropriate role for the government is to establish and enforce objective standards of law, demand honesty and accountability from market participants, and protect people from force and fraud. It is not supposed to prevent willing, informed individuals from making personal decisions about what to do with their money. This is what our Detroit City Council is doing daily.
The candidates running for Detroit City Council need to understand this principle.
Detroit must become a free enterprise city by becoming a free market similar to what is shown in international places such as Hong Kong and Seoul, South Korea. We must allow people and corporations the possibility of failure if we are to give them a shot at success. We also must realize that taking responsibility for failures, learning from them, and overcoming them, is a vital part of development as a productive citizen in a free society.
As financial markets become simpler and more accessible with much lower transaction costs, they provide newer and more powerful opportunities for all levels of society to participate and share in the country’s prosperity. Detroit's leadership must allow all individuals to share in the benefits of risk-sharing and sound investments is one of the best ways to increase prosperity for the State of Michigan.
However, we still have candidates who are afraid to discuss privatizing and regional authorities.
Detroit must become the educational hub of the Midwest. Any effective education policy will need to acknowledge the importance of family involvement in the education of children. Family members will usually have a stronger understanding of each other than any outside bureaucrat, and this connection is a vital tool in passing on knowledge, tools, and values. Parents both deserve and need to be involved in our educational systems, for the good of the students, the teachers, the community, and the families themselves.
Looking at the number of people running for Detroit School Board I am hearing more of the same. "Fixing DPS" and "no more charters" are not going to cut it anymore.
Those who are elected to the Detroit charter commission must revise the Detroit City Charter into a 21st century document. This includes a hybrid system of council by districts where 5 are elected by districts and 2 at-large.
Our choice for Charter Commission:
Chiquita McKenzie- Bennett
Jenice Mitchell Ford
Kortney Rice Neloms
Ricardo Moore rounds up the list of people for Charter Commission.
The reality is whoever you pick for Detroit City Council, Detroit Charter Commission and Detroit School Board make sure they have some sense. Do not make any excuse for you NOT to vote. People died for the right to vote so having voter apathy in this election or ANY ELECTION is inexcusable. If you do not vote then we will retain the same leadership with the same results. You will have no one to blame but yourself if we keep the same incumbents.
Detroit is part of a region. Both our urban and suburban allies are watching this race. Let's do the right thing and vote for the best people.
Dr. Corletta J. Vaughn for Detroit City Council. People have asked me questions about a pastor running for Detroit City Council. You voted for Nick Hood III for 8 years on City Council and his father before. Give it a rest and stop making excuses.
Raphael B. Johnson. People have been giving me the flux about him. Let me say this. Most of you who will not vote for him because of his past are hypocrites. If you vote for people who are pro-choice into office and support the killing of infants in the womb (abortion) and vote these people over and over again then please do not give me grief over someone who is taking responsibility with supporting his wife and raising his two children. Leave the past in the past. Thanks.
Karinda Washington. A woman of extreme integrity, honesty and accountability. A true power broker. Some has said she is too young to run. Did you say that to Jonathon Edward Barlow, who is only 25 years old and running for Detroit City Council?
Darlita Jones. The global silver rights candidate who is the ONLY candidate I have heard about discussing a MSU Experiment Station and connecting it with urban agriculture to generate jobs and other resources. Most are not ready for her innovative mind. The MORE reason why we should support her for Detroit City Council.
Shantel Bell. She is hitting houses, businesses and other venues to get her message across. One of the global silver rights candidates running to make a difference. A woman of her word.
Lisa Howze. She has put the "F" in fear in terms of scaring the old school grassroots. She has been labeled as a "Detroit Regional Candidate" even though she did not get the endorsement of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
The only CPA running for Detroit City Council Lisa gets on the Council and clean up the books Detroit will have AAA bond rating. Our city will then move in the direction of global economic growth like Hong Kong. A true silver rights candidate.
Our safety candidates who will lead the charge of protecting us and the residents of the City of Detroit.
Roy McCalister Jr.
Brenda Goss Andrews
and Kyra Joy Hope, who has signs everywhere in the City of Detroit.
Other business candidates include:
Dalton Roberson Jr.
and I cannot leave out Andre Spivey who has done a good job of holding his own and keeping his integrity while running for Detroit City Council.
Now who will you support and vote for?