On a blistering afternoon Cornell Collier held a one-man protest in downtown Detroit. The placard the West Village resident held above his head read, “Vote Yes on Districts for City Council so your neighborhood won’t be left behind.”
Collier, who’d been protesting for three straight days, was referring to the much-ballyhooed measure the state Legislature recently adopted. A referendum will be on Detroit’s Aug. 6 ballot, asking voters whether they’d like to elect council members at large, as has been the case for decades, or via districts.
Collier thinks Detroit neighborhoods have gone to hell because they have no political representation. “And I know if a City Councilperson had to wake up every morning and see what people in these neighborhoods have to see, you can’t tell me they wouldn’t be on the phone trying to fix it,” he says. In a district system, council reps would have to live in their district. Now, they can live anywhere in the city. Collier referred to a recent Detroit News story showing that most City Council members live in a handful of affluent neighborhoods — Rosedale Park, the University District, Indian Village, Woodbridge and downtown — leaving huge swaths of the city without a representative in sight. Council, which is prepping for a court fight, has been screaming that the ballot measure is a despotic act from Detroit House Democrats, namely Rep. Keith Daniels, who proposed it. News Hits hates to grouse, but earlier this year the column suggested that council get its own district plan in motion rather than let the worthy issue become mired in Detroit vs. Lansing power plays.Lisa M. Collins is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail [email protected]
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.