Out with a wink 

Leave it to City Councilman Clyde Cleveland to keep an eye on the details right down to his final days on the job. Cleveland, who is retiring after nearly three decades in office, did some fact-finding with a former topless dancer after more than 100 dancers, club owners, DJs and agents crowded a City Council meeting last week.

The group raised a ruckus and convinced the council to postpone a vote on such regulations as prohibiting club employees from mingling (eating, drinking, lap-dancing, etc.) with clientele. It seems the ordinance — in the works for years and proposed by councilmen Rev. Nicholas Hood III and Ken Cockrel — came up for a vote without input from anyone in the affected industry.

“I think they were trying to slide behind our backs and take food off our tables and clothes off our kids’ backs,” said Howard Taylor, co-owner of Chocolate City topless club.

Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel said she wants to make sure dancers are heard before a January vote. “There’s a lot of young women whose livelihoods are directly affected by this and frankly, I don’t want a group of men to make all the decisions for these women.” (The new council will feature seven women and two men.)

After the hoopla subsided, Cleveland approached 29-year-old Lashawanda Willis as she was being interviewed outside the council auditorium. Clyde, 66, asked Willis where she danced, professing that he’s never been to a strip club. “I don’t understand what people get out of it,” he explained. With a friendly wink, Cleveland told Willis he’d tried to scuttle the ordinance. Then, he looked her up and down and asked if she danced “topless or bottomless?” Before ending the bizarre exchange, Cleveland gave Willis — who plans to open a club of her own — his card and asked her to call him.

Willis said she wasn’t offended by the “strange man” who is, after all, “only a sexual being.”

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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 letters@metrotimes.com.

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.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation