Duggan for mayor?
Mike Duggan has announced his intention to create an exploratory committee that will begin raising funds and seeking community input on his mayoral run in 2013. Business elite and corporate media have been gearing up for this run for some time with headlines such as: “Is it time for a white mayor?”
We believe that is not the prism from which to understand Duggan’s or any other white candidate’s candidacy. It is certainly time for an effective mayor, but it is past time to evaluate that person on their record and Duggan does not have a good professional record in Detroit.
Media and establishment folk hope to bait African Americans and make this race a Black and white issue. Which, as long as they control the conversation, Black folks are set up to lose with this nonsensical question. They’re just waiting for a Black person to slip up and say a white man shouldn’t be mayor of a Black city — a perspective grounded in history. Since they control the microphone, they are waiting to shut this person down. They are waiting to call the ridiculous claim of reverse racism — not understanding the true definition of racism.
Duggan would not be a good mayor for Detroit or its majority Black populace because of the role he has played in Detroit politics. Blacks have lost out under Duggan. A former protégé of Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara, Duggan has a history of undermining Black political power and Black institutions. As Deputy CEO of the Detroit Public Schools, under the first state takeover, he undermined community wishes when he spent more than a billion dollars with suburban contractors who went on to host fundraisers for his next political race.
In the 1990s, as McNamara’s chief executive deputy, Duggan helped put an end to Recorder’s Court, which was the only court system where a Black defendant could hope for a fair hearing. As Wayne County Prosecutor, Duggan helped usher in the practice of confiscation funds among other destructive policies. Police seizure and confiscation fees — whether or not a person was charged with a crime — were used for police revenue enhancement.
He then left that post to run the Detroit Medical Center, where he undermined unionizing efforts on the part of nurses and eventually privatized the Detroit institution.
The question of race becomes an issue in because his regressive policies negatively impacted African Americans.
The question then is not, “Is it time for a white mayor?” but, “Is it time for a white mayor or any mayor who has diminished quality of life and political power for African Americans?”
Many are touting Duggan’s managerial skills but as far as we can see he has only managed to further send resources away.
The political team he will undoubtedly turn to will be made up of the same Democratic cronies who have had their hand out during campaigns and such for the last several years. This is the same crew that fosters confusion within the party. They brought us former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, ran Andy Dillon for governor and Dave Bing for mayor. We do not need more of the same.
DPD’s low morale
Undoubtedly, low morale because of wage and benefit cuts are affecting Detroit’s police officers. And low morale couldn’t come at a worse time. Today, violence and crime in the city seems to be at an all-time high with violent crime in the city increasing every day.
Many, however, don’t make the connection between residency and improved city services. If more police lived in the city, they would add to the tax base. Instead, officers, like many other middle class citizens, have left the city for lower insurance rates and better public schools, along with the host of reasons people race to the suburbs.
But we need officers to stay. We hope the next mayor will convince the governor and state legislature that residency is necessary for Detroit. And as more Michigan cities suffer and more understand the wisdom of buying local or buying Michigan, we hope residency will be a consideration making the way for better benefits and pay for police officers.