Detroit voters will soon cast ballots supporting a mayoral candidate in Tuesday's primary election. At an important time for the city, a heated battle is expected. One candidate has a 4-year term under his belt and wants to continue our comeback. Another is a seasoned State Senator promising change.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has been busy on the campaign trail. He's been meeting with numerous groups and accumulating endorsements like one from the "Black Slate," an African American community organization with long standing roots in our city. Duggan is also sharing his goals for a second term, and some of the city's most proud accomplishments during the past 4 years.
He says "I'm very proud of the fact the unemployment rate in Detroit is the lowest its been in 17 years. There's 20,000 more Detroiters working now than 4 years ago. In January 2014, there were 40,000 vacant houses in the city, and today 25,000. We knocked down 12,000 and 3,000 had families who moved in and fixed them up."
The Mayor also points out 72% of Detroiters believe the city is headed in the right direction. "For most Detroiters, that means the streetlights are on, grass is cut in the parks, busses are running on time, police and ambulances showing up in a timely basis and trash picked up and streets swept," says Duggan. He also mentions graduates of Detroit high schools being guaranteed 2 years of college tuition, and working to bring down sky high auto insurance rates in the city.
Duggan's top opponent is also a democrat. State Senator Coleman Young Jr. from Detroit doesn't have endorsements from the top unions, but says he's the voice for the people who've been forgotten in Detroit's neighborhoods. "I want to put people to work and reduce poverty of 48% in Detroit. I think that's atrocious. I also want mass transit that goes more than 3 miles," says Young.
He acknowledges progress made in downtown and midtown, but also says there is real need for change. "We're doing more for the people that left the city of Detroit, than the people who stayed. That's going to stop in a Young administration," says Young.
The state senator says he'll maintain the highest integrity in the Mayor's office, just as he's done in state government and always fight for those who've been excluded. Young says "I've passed legislation to create 10,000 jobs through movie tax credits, keeping people in their houses through neighborhood enterprise zones, also making sure pregnant women receive paid leave in public and private sectors."
In reference to his late father, long time Detroit Mayor Coleman Young Sr., Young adds "I don't think there will ever be another Coleman Young, but I am the closest thing to him that's on this planet that's living."
Other candidates in the non-partisan election include Articia Bomer, Dean Edward, Curtis Greene, Donna Marie Pitts and Danetta Simpson. All have expressed a desire to serve the people of Detroit and bring unique leadership.