James Tate, District No. 1 

Man of the People.

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Preparing for a second term on Detroit City Council and now representing District No. 1 is homegrown candidate James Tate. Born and raised in the district, the councilman celebrated his win with the people of his community, “It was very family-oriented,” Tate said. “We also had folks with us from various community organizations within the district, and it was open to all within the community.”

Tate resides in North Rosedale Park and belongs to the North Rosedale Park Community Association, among other community groups. Tate says he and his staff will attend about 36 community meetings every month.

“We try to make sure we’re not just in the room, but to also bring in information that is pertinent to moving them forward as a community organization,” he said. “We don’t always get the most accurate and updated information from the media, since it’s one thing to read a report from the Internet and another to hear it from someone who is living it.”

The challenges of District 1 coincide with those of any other district in the city, as Tate puts it. So deciding what issues need attention in every district, or even every neighborhood, is not so clear-cut.

“Some neighborhoods are more challenging than others,” Tate said. “In some, the biggest challenge is the blight taking place due to the high vacancy rate. One of the bigger issues in other communities is the break-ins, because they’re densely populated areas. But when you think about the city of Detroit, all those issues are challenging, including things like unemployment, education or crime.”

Addressing these issues is a task within itself and history is rife with examples of executive branch-legislative branch conflict. This, says Tate, is why seeking consensus will be his first priority.

“We, as a council, need to get to know what our individual priorities are so we can find a way to work together in a positive and conducive nature,” he said. “We don’t run operations and we’re not over the schools, so we can’t automatically mend [education] or eliminate crime. … So the first priority is establishing and building a relationship of respect and proactivity alongside our council members, the mayor and the emergency manager.”


Total District Population: 105,185
Voting Population ( >18 ): 77,770 (73.9%)
Voter Turnout: 21.6%
Percentage of Vote Won: 68%

Hispanic: 975
Non-Hispanic White: 5,615
Non-Hispanic African American: 96,177
Other: 2,418

Per Capita Income: $17,606
Percent of Households in Poverty: 26%

Percent without High School Diploma: 16.8%
Percent with High School Diploma: 32.1%
Percent with Some College: 27.8%
Percent with Associate’s Degree: 7.9%
Percent with Bachelor’s Degree: 9.5%
Percent with Master’s Degree or Greater: 5.8%


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