As a former political advisor, current political writer, and life-long Detroit area resident, I find that I am high-tuned into the political moods of Detroit. After many years of corruption causing, “Detroit politics,” the citizens of Detroit have made their voices heard in the last year by stating that they are tired of the corruption. They have made the statement that they are ready to restore the name of Detroit.
What is Meant By, “Detroit Politics”
There are many in the Detroit area that have referred to, “Detroit politics.” For those of you that are not from the area, the term, “Detroit politics,” refers to a mindset that many Detroiters appeared to have for many years. “Detroit politics,” was a phrase that went hand-in-hand with a thought process that said, “It does not matter if the city of Detroit is run by crooks as long as my garbage is picked up, my streets are clean, and my kids have a school to go to.”
“Detroit politics,” caused a separation between the people of Detroit, and their local government. In many cases, it also kept a separation between the city of Detroit, and the rest of the Metro area. “Detroit politics,” caused questionable people to be elected, re-elected, and supported while they were going through their trials.
Former Detroit Political Roll Call
In recent years, the citizens of Detroit have had to deal with a lot of corruption on many levels of Detroit politics. Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Mayor of Detroit, is now in jail. Monica Conyers, former City Council member for Detroit, is not in jail. Robert Bobb, state-appointed financial director for the Detroit school system, has sent many now-former public school leaders to trial, and jail, for misuse of funds. Mike Cox lost his bid for governor, which many believe was due to a possibly botched, or covered up, investigation into the murder or Tamara Green.
I have to admit that there are many around the Metro Detroit area that counted out the city of Detroit. After Kwame Kilpatrick’s original reelection, many believed that they city of Detroit was to be doomed by it’s one political structure. With declining residency, increased crime, and increased welfare, many believed that it was only a matter of time until, “Detroit politics,” caused the city to implode.
The Final Straw
There are three events that could be looked at as the, “final straw,” for, “Detroit politics,” as they all happened at roughly the same time. The first would be how Kwame Kilpatrick continued to defy court orders after his original incarceration. The second would be the ability of Robert Bobb to sniff out school administrators that were spending hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars for their own uses. The third would be Monica Conyers’ attachment to the Synegro scandal. You can read about all of these in the sources section below.
Turning the Corner
The last series of elections in the city of Detroit have proven that Detroiters are ready to take a stand against the history of corruption. The two highest vote getters in the election for City Council were Charles Pugh (a former newscaster) and Gary Brown (a former whistle-blowing police officer). To me, as a former political advisor, shows that the city of Detroit is ready to take on, “Detroit politics,” with honesty, integrity, and class.
The New Mayor
Not since Dennis Archer (1994-2001) has there been a Detroit Mayor that people feel that they could walk up to until Mayor Dave Bing took over. The political advisor in me does not always agree with the policies that Mayor Dave Bing puts out there. The Detroiter in me, though, realizes that he gives every appearance that he makes these moves for Detroit, not for himself. That is what Detroit need to battle, “Detroit politics.”
While many in the Detroit area are very leery that, “Detroit politics,” will pop out it’s head very soon, I am trying to be optimistic. There are too many steps that have been taken away from Detroit politics to worry about it coming back any times soon.
Wikipedia: Kwame Kilpatrick
Wikipedia: Monica Conyers
Wikipedia: Robert Bobb
Wikipedia: Mike Cox
Wikipedia: Charles Pugh
Wikipedia: Detroit City Mayors
Associated Content: Charles Pugh Becomes Detroit’s First Openly Gay Elected Official
Associated Content: Dave Bing Inaugurated as Mayor of Detroit