Quick action called for on Community Advisory Councils
DETROIT — On April 1, Detroit City Council passed an ordinance allowing the establishment of Community Advisory Council in each of the seven council districts as is called for in the 2012 Detroit City Charter.
CACs aim to improve community access to city government and connect resident voices to elected officials through an elected board of community leaders from each council district. Each CAC consists of five elected members and two appointed positions — a “senior issues” representative and a youth member.
As part of its mission and public policy advocacy strategy, Community Development Advocates of Detroit collaborated with community groups and individuals to encourage the Detroit City Council to fulfill its duty to adopt an ordinance allowing Detroiters to establish a CAC in their district.
CDAD will continue to raise awareness of this opportunity and work in coalition with neighborhood groups seeking to create a CAC. “This is a win for community and an opportunity to ensure the voice of the neighborhoods is heard at City Hall,” said Sarida Scott, Executive Director, Community Development Advocates of Detroit.
The adoption of the CAC ordinance does not automatically create a CAC in each council district. Residents of a district who wish to establish a CAC need to take action. The process outlined in the ordinance requires a CAC will only be established by City Council upon receipt and verification of petition signatures from registered voters of that district equal in number to 10 percent of those who voted in the last City Council election.
Official petition forms for collecting the necessary signatures must be obtained from the city of Detroit Department of Elections. Once a CAC is established for a council district, each prospective candidate for the five elected CAC seats must collect an additional 200 nominating petition signatures in order to have their name included on the November general election ballot.
The deadline to submit candidate and district petitions for the November general election is July 22, 2014. CAC members are elected during a regularly scheduled city election.
According to the Detroit city clerk, if a CAC is not elected on this year’s November ballot, the next opportunity for residents to elect a CAC in their district will not be until November 2017.
Additional information on CACs including the requirements to establish one can be found here: on the web at www.cdad-online.org.