Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Organizing for change in Detroit Previous Next
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Garrick
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Username: Garrick

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 1:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This may be covered in bits and pieces throughout other threads, but I'm hopeful someone can provide specific answers to the following:

1. What organization or group is working to change the charter of the city back to ward-based elections? How can I help? Is there a website? Are community meetings or organized events happening? Is there a publicity effort? Is someone going around knocking on doors? Are there media buys or fundraisers in progress? Or is everyone just uselessly ranting on blogs?


2. What organization or group is working to elect progressive and non-insane councilmembers to city council? Is there an organized slate? Is there a website? Is someone at the very least producing "Dump Conyers" or "Dump Collins" lawn signs or bumper stickers? Are community meetings or organized protests happening? Are we flash mobbing city council meetings to show how diverse Detroit really is? Are we canvassing neighborhoods? Are media contacts being developed? How can I help? Or is everyone just uselessly ranting on blogs?

Serious, intelligent, secular, diverse leadership is the single most important issue for Detroit right now. The current "leadership" of the council is beyond appalling, has utterly eclipsed common sense, and is a towering embarrassment for the entire state of Michigan. It has long since developed from tragedy to outright farce. Tossing these ignorant, self-serving, race-baiting and uneducated bums out of office is more important than crime, more important than taxes, more important than transit. How can I help?
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 752
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Those are very good questions and I would also like to know who's doing some of this activities as well.

I do know that petitions are currently being signed to place on the ballot a council vote by ward .

Getting a vote by ward is key to your second point. I'm sure there are community organizations that are working for improvement with the council but because of the at-large system we have a lot of their efforts are diluted and the groups with the money and city-wide organizations like the fannylou hamer group and the black slate and the trade unionist groups can have more of an impact.
These groups and I'm sure there are others tend to support the status-quo candidates.
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Jnot
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Username: Jnot

Post Number: 26
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 3:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know former State Rep Steve Tobocman has been active in trying to organize for city districts...
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Brg
Member
Username: Brg

Post Number: 38
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 7:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember years ago Burton Leland attempted to get Lansing to abolish the at-large selection that Detroit uses for the City Council, however, it didn't get anywhere because the Council howled about Lansing telling Detroit what do. They said that the citizens should decide yet they (being the Council) have always found a way to kill any suggestion of district voting.

Sometime ago Sheila Cockrel was on television trying to shoot down any attempts to change the method of voting. She said district/ward voting would lead to corruption and that was the reason the city switched to the at-large. Thanks to the at-large most councilmen and women are there for life. Name recognition allows them to collect a paycheck until they die. Case in point: Barbara-Rose Collins. She left the council when she was elected to Congress in 1993. She wasn't that good as a Congresswoman so the voters in her district decided that they would have another woman be their representative. I'm sure the people on this forum know who she is? The mother of a ex-mayor. Back to Collins. After she got voted out (She was on the verge of being tossed out if I recall) she came back to Detroit and decided hey I need a job. How about City Council. Presto, she put her name out on the ballot and name recognition took care of the rest.

Detroit needs to go to a district vote for Council because it forces them to have to campaign in those districts. Monica Conyers did not have one television commercial on air in 2005 yet she got the second highest vote count. Incredible...Imagine if she had to campaign in the Palmer Woods area. They would have laughed her ass out of there.
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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 677
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 08, 2009 - 3:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jnot: do you have a current e-mail address for Steve Tobocman?
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Penelopetheduck
Member
Username: Penelopetheduck

Post Number: 38
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 08, 2009 - 10:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

as of this summer the league of women voters had a petition drive to amend the charter and elect the council by districts.
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 824
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd like to donate a few weekends worth of time to help out if someone will point me in the right direction..but no way am I gonna throw away the summer like I did last year.
Pounding feet in a politically apathetic town like Detroit is too friggin' demoralizing.
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Trainman
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Username: Trainman

Post Number: 769
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 9:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote

Pounding feet in a politically apathetic town like Detroit is too friggin' demoralizing

End of Quote


That is exactly why the city of Detroit will likely get another 25 miles of NEW Multi-Billion Dollar freeways and why another $70 Million per year from Lansing could be slashed from SMART and DDOT resulting in even more public bus service reduction, just like in Livonia.

Of course, unless we once again raise mass transit taxes for the fourth time since 1995.


See the updated trainman's save the... in DETROIT LINKS
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Sharmaal
Member
Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 861
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 9:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tobocman is working with the League of Women Voters and a few other groups to push Council by District.

Petitions are available from the League or from ACORN. Please contact them for details on how you can take petitions to your Detroit gathering.
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Zrx_doug
Member
Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 827
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trainman..have you ever actually circulated a petition in this town yourself, or are ya just bustin' my balls on general principle?
I spent a large amount of my personal time last year circulating the petition for recall of Kilpatrick..the number of folks who flat out don't give a rat's ass one way or another IS demoralizing..ya wanna get depressed, go beat your head against the wall of apathy which is Detroit.
As I said..happy to volunteer, but not gonna make it my life's calling.
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Crumbled_pavement
Member
Username: Crumbled_pavement

Post Number: 744
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Originally posted by Zrx_doug:

I spent a large amount of my personal time last year circulating the petition for recall of Kilpatrick..the number of folks who flat out don't give a rat's ass one way or another IS demoralizing..



All the more reason why we need council elected by district. It is obvious that many residents feel hopeless and have given up. Having council elected by district would force the candidates to re-engage the community and get them involved again.

I know that wasn't the point of your post, just adding another benefit for those who support ward based elections.
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Zrx_doug
Member
Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 828
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed..I think that if Joe Public only had two or three candidates to choose from, the chances that he would actually KNOW something about who he is voting for would increase tremendously.
Our current system is pathetic, resulting in a lot of disconnected-from-reality fools who have familiar names holding seats of power.
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Trainman
Member
Username: Trainman

Post Number: 770
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 2:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote

Trainman..have you ever actually circulated a petition in this town yourself, or are ya just bustin' my balls on general principle?
I spent a large amount of my personal time last year circulating the petition for recall of Kilpatrick..the number of folks who flat out don't give a rat's ass one way or another IS demoralizing..ya wanna get depressed, go beat your head against the wall of apathy which is Detroit.
As I said..happy to volunteer, but not gonna make it my life's calling.

End of Quote

Ive circulated tens of thousands of flyers.



(Message edited by Trainman on March 09, 2009)

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