Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! City Council--By Districts Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Big_g
Member
Username: Big_g

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 7:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Our neighborhood is starting a petition to have city council be voted in by districts. Has anyone else had enough of this?
Top of pageBottom of page

Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 4546
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 8:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Voting by districts! Do you mean the by evil Ward System or By suburban regionalization?
Top of pageBottom of page

Sharmaal
Member
Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 862
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd recommend that your neighborhood contact the League of Women Voters or ACORN regarding the efforts they already have in place.

They have petitions that you can pick-up and sign. I will post more details as they are available to me.
Top of pageBottom of page

Dcmorrison12
Member
Username: Dcmorrison12

Post Number: 74
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 10:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Big_G - I'd love to sign it, do I need to be living in your neighborhood to sign it though? I'm in the midtown area.
Top of pageBottom of page

Locke09
Member
Username: Locke09

Post Number: 54
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You will have to work on changing other aspects of the City Charter in order for council-by-districts to matter.

With a "strong mayor" form of government, council members are limited in their ability to get anything done. They cannot order any department head in the executive branch to do anything. They will be even more limited when you have them only representing a portion of the City. A mayor will be able to more easily pit them against each other. Not bad when you have a "good" mayor, but a nightmare when you have a bad one.

Please look at the total picture if you are determined to fight for council-by-districts.
Top of pageBottom of page

Firstandten
Member
Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 762
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 11:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

True Locke, but those district/ward associations
can more easily sort out the bottlenecks and more importantly work with other district/ward associations to hold the mayor and the related district/ward council person more accountable.

Council members as you say are limited in terms of what they can do presently. I can't see it getting any worst under a district/ward setup.
Top of pageBottom of page

Zrx_doug
Member
Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 826
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The primary benefit I see of a ward system is the fact that it will force competition among candidates to be somewhat more harsh..as it sits now, incumbents are a shoe-in..given a list of seventeen names to choose from, the voter will either have to be a very diligent researcher, or he'll vote for the familiar names.
Do you think a Monica Conyers or Martha Reeves would still manage to rise to the top if they had to compete one-on-one with another candidate instead of just being one seventeenth of a multiple choice question?
Top of pageBottom of page

Zulu_warrior
Member
Username: Zulu_warrior

Post Number: 1267
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What Detroit need is a City Manager form of governance, with districts and at-large members. The Mayor needs to be ceremonial....

No other form will work in the present day and age...
Top of pageBottom of page

The_recycling_people
Member
Username: The_recycling_people

Post Number: 131
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a council by district petition that can be signed at the Holden location of Recycle Here.

Wednesday 10-2
Saturday 9-3

BEE Green

TRP
Top of pageBottom of page

Downtown_lady
Member
Username: Downtown_lady

Post Number: 598
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What gives?

I called the recycling center last summer to see if I could come to the Holden location on a Saturday to collect signatures to remove Kwame from office, and I was told no, that the recycling center wanted to stay out of politics and not make people feel uncomfortable when they come in to do their recycling.

Why the change of policy?

Hmmm...

It reminds me of this article, the one about how Bernard Kilpatrick's girlfriend is involved in the city's recycling contract: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20080731/M ETRO/807310380/1399/OPINION031 1

I'm not implying anything...I'm just saying it reminds me of that article.
Top of pageBottom of page

Brg
Member
Username: Brg

Post Number: 45
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit needs to change the way City Council members are elected. The at-large system should go the way of the Edsel. The current council knows that they will all get re-elected because of name recognition. They don't need to campaign because there is no direct competition. Monica Conyers would never have a candidate engage her on the issues because of the current setup she will win on default.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitnerd
Member
Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 3612
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How many council members live in Sherwood Forest/Palmer Park/Palmer Woods?
Top of pageBottom of page

Andylinn
Member
Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 1107
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitnerd, add Barry Subdivision to your list. When I was a kid a number lived there, including Nick Hood and Sharon Mcphail (and of course Mayors Young, Archer, and Kilpatrick.)

The only council person I know of who lives outside of those areas is now the mayor - he still lives on Avery in WB.
Top of pageBottom of page

The_recycling_people
Member
Username: The_recycling_people

Post Number: 132
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is in reference to downtown lady...

I remember your call. I still would not allow that type of recall petition on our property...

This is a different type of request. Our program has grown by breaking the City down into smaller 'districts', working with these areas on an individual basis, and developing tailored programs that create accountability in these areas. A council by district system will create that accountability.

As far as the article that you linked to, the operative word is FORMER girlfriend. I don't know about you at all, or your lifestyle, but I surely wouldn't judge you based on the actions of any of your former flings.

I'm just saying.....

BEE Green

TRP
Top of pageBottom of page

Firstandten
Member
Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 763
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitnerd there was an article sometime back (when Kay Everett was still alive) which focused on where the council people lived. I think the point of the article was that the council people were clustered in certain areas such as Sherwood Forest/Palmer Woods/Rosedale park and not thru out the city.

MC lives in the Golf Course area which is in the area you referenced. JW lives in the Central high area where she grew up. BRC lives on the lower east side, ATT lives out further east, not sure about the rest.
Top of pageBottom of page

Dcmorrison12
Member
Username: Dcmorrison12

Post Number: 77
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

to Recycling_people

That is where I go to drop off my recycling. This is great, I will definitely be there this Saturday to sign the petition! Don't you just love recycling!? wooo
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsideal
Member
Username: Eastsideal

Post Number: 389
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 1:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Given what goes on in U.S. Rep. districts, state Senate and Rep. districts, and County Commission districts, what makes you think that district City Council elections will be any more competitive for incumbents? One of the main reasons that Detroit went to an at-large system all those years ago was the invulnerability of incumbents in the wards. They could use the power of their office and the fund-raising capabilities of it to effectively insulate themselves against any electoral challenges.

At least under the present system the threshold for picking off the #8 or #9 finisher is pretty low, and has happened several times through the years. Of, course, there may not be all that much you can do about it when a Monica C. finishes #2. But what's to say that she couldn't win a district election? Certainly several of the Detroit area's dysfunctional politicians have. I mean Barbara-Rose was elected to the freaking U.S. House, and Kwame's Mommy now holds that seat. Coleman A. Young (that is to say Joel Loving) won a state House seat. Need I go on?

Winning a district election would make her invulnerable to challenge from outside that particular district, in other words it would hold the rest of the city hostage and without recourse to some particular neighborhood's malfunction. At least now we can potentially knock her down the Council order a ways with a citywide campaign, and set her up to be vulnerable at the next election. I would really recommend looking for babies before we throw out this particular bathwater.
Top of pageBottom of page

Firstandten
Member
Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 764
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastsideal I agree that under either system you are going to get dysfunctional politicians. I would challenge you however if you said CCK and CAY Jr are doing a bad job for their respective constituencies.

Theorically community groups within that district can tell there elected representative to shape up or ship out and that politican would have to take that seriously. Whereas now that politican knows they has the entire city to deflect the anger of a few localized community groups.

Granted you are going to have some disfunctional districts but that person could still be outvoted.

I guess its all about having smaller sphere's of influence thereby giving the people more of a say in how their community is being govern.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitus
Member
Username: Detroitus

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 3:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In San Francisco we returned to district representation in 2000 after abandoning it in the late 70s in the wake of Dan White assassinated fellow supervisor Harvey Milk along with Mayor Moscone. And though our city government can been rather dysfunctional in it's own way it has lead to neighborhoods being represented by supervisors who backgrounds and lifestyles better reflect those of their constituents.

In my case living in the mission means my supervisor is a progressive gay Latino. Though I voted for someone else at least I know he is "one of us". Hopefully a district form for Detroit would bring better representation for Detroit minority communities also, including the growing Latino and Arabic communities.
Top of pageBottom of page

Young_detroiter
Member
Username: Young_detroiter

Post Number: 72
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitus,

That is a good point.

"Hopefully a district form for Detroit would bring better representation for Detroit minority communities also, including the growing Latino and Arabic communities." - Detroitus.

Considering that Detroit remains segregated, it would definitely help minority communities elect someone that has their interests in mind. Currently, the black voters, whom easily comprise three-fourths of the registered voters in Detroit, elect people that look like them. Some of those elected officials seem to think that Detroit is a "black" city that should cater to the needs of African Americans, instead of the needs of all residents.

I would love to see the Arabic and Latino communities get a voice (of representation) in Detroit city politics.
Top of pageBottom of page

Benfield
Member
Username: Benfield

Post Number: 117
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 10:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe Detroit probably would be better served with a hybrid council with 2-3 at-large Council members and 6-7 elected by district. But I'm not convinced changing Council's format will make a tremendous difference. We get the elected officials we deserve.

Detroit's populous remains largely poor and undereducated. The electorate skews older and that means it votes largely based upon ancient prejudices and fear. Mark Grebner called Detroit's younger voters a non-factor in the February primary.

What is the Call 'Em Out Coalition if not a black version of Donald Lobsinger's Breakthrough. Scared, ignorant people behind the arc of history. That crowd won't change its voting pattern because fresh districts were drawn up.

Even in the parts of town from which fresh leadership may emerge, who is going to be elected? For every Steve Tobocman from southwest Detroit there is also a Belda Garza and Otis Mathis. Until this city can break the old McNamara machine's virtual monopoly on political party, top-flight candidates will be few and far between.

Detroitus mentioned San Francisco and the ten-years before their 1977 supervisor elections is really a fascinating case-study in grassroots local political action. The victories of Harvey Milk, Ruth Carol Silver, and Gordon Lau didn't just happen. Even George Moscone and Willie Brown (despite their odious ties to the People's Temple) represented a fresh breed of grass-roots politicians. Frankly I don't see that kind of political action fomenting in Detroit anytime soon.

In the end I suppose council by district is better than nothing. It might mean one more good council member and one less bad one. But without a sustained political awakening, it may be an empty reform.
Top of pageBottom of page

Firstandten
Member
Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 766
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 2:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"In the end I suppose council by district is better than nothing. It might mean one more good council member and one less bad one. But without a sustained political awakening, it may be an empty reform."quote

Correct but you start with getting rid of the bad ones and get at least an fair one and just continue to build on that.

Also,the Latino community especially deserve representation at the City council level. Given the present system it would be difficult for them to get any representation at the city government level.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4253
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 5:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sure would. My city has a larger percent of hispanics than Detroit, but it's only because of wards that that community got its voice on our city council, and in a twist, he eventually became mayor (he was council president when one of our long-time mayor's stepped down to be in the Granholm administration). Sinces wards geographically represent the city, they often also increase the probability of ethnic diversity on city councils, especially in a more a more ethnically segregated city.

As I've explained it before, half of my city council is elected from wards and the other half elected at large. At least in my city, the wards have the effect of giving seats to neighborhood activist, while the at large positions have a greater probablility of electing members from the city-wide business community, so you get a good mix of more social democrats coming from the wards, and more business-friendly members representing the city at large.

My own personal proposal for Detroit government would actually be to increase the size of council (nine is far too few members for a city Detroit's size, especially if you're going to do wards), but cut the salaries and benefits of the council WAY down. I'd cut down the salary and benefits of the mayor, as well, but don't see any real need for a ceremonial/weak mayor for a big city. I'd also like to see the council given the power to appoint its own officers (president and vice president/president pro tem).
Top of pageBottom of page

Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 4550
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 8:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's recall the whole city council and restart a new council. But this time have both Detroiters and suburbanites pick the city councils.
Top of pageBottom of page

Brg
Member
Username: Brg

Post Number: 46
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 8:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd also like to see the council given the power to appoint its own officers (president and vice president/president pro tem).

This is one thing that really need to change. Who ever gets the highest vote count gets to be the council president and the second highest becomes the president pro-tem. This is nuts.

The president of the council should be voted on by the council members (it works for Survivor) and the ppt should be the one with the highest seniority on the council. (If this was the system in 05, Cockrel could still be the president but the ppt would have been S. Cockrel due to her tenure on the council.)
Top of pageBottom of page

Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 1788
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 12:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Our neighborhood is starting a petition to have city council be voted in by districts. Has anyone else had enough of this?"

Former Rep. Steve Tobocman was behind a petition drive during the primary on this. Not sure which neighborhood you're in, but maybe uniting forces instead of splintered groups is a better way to go?
Top of pageBottom of page

Mbr
Member
Username: Mbr

Post Number: 441
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 1:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is the petition language for 100% by district or does it allow for at-large representation? I would prefer to keep 2-3 council members at large if possible.

How are districts drawn in other cities? Is there potential for gerrymandering?

I am not completely sold that this will lead to a better result. Aren't we just setting it up to have 2-3 decent council members (like we have today), 6 nut-jobs from insular districts representing the folks who elect obstructionist members, and maybe one that swings both ways. So what if you've got 2 or 3 good people, they are still going to lose to the 6 that play on the politics of division, fear of outside influences, and petty race-baiting. Has anyone tried to draw up what districts would look like?

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.