Declare Detroit: Endorsements for council and mayor

One year ago, Declare Detroit asked this question: what would make the most impact in the historic 2013 Council by Districts elections? 

Our answer was simple: get serious about finding, supporting and mobilizing around community-based, solutions-oriented candidates that not only support the Detroit Declaration, but also embody the spirit of Detroit’s transformative moment.

We believe Declare Detroit’s slate represents the best of our city: our diversity, our grit, our passion and, most of all, a commitment to seeing through Detroit’s challenges with a community first mindset.

The road ahead will be challenging. We encourage you, dear voter, to make it less so with your support of the Declare Detroit Slate.

In Service,
Declare Detroit

Declare Detroit Slate Endorsements 

James Tate – District 1

James Tate has been a steady voice in city council over the past four years and he merits another term. With a background in Detroit media and policing, Tate brings an important perspective to City Hall, and a critical servant leadership to the role.

A resident of Rosedale Park, Tate has led many neighborhood initiatives centered on empowering and protecting the youth of Detroit. He co-founded Cops Caring for Youth, a program where off-duty officers mentor at-risk youth, and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative, a program designed to reduce teen pregnancy and raise self-esteem levels. He is also co-chair of the Teen Violence Prevention Task Force. 

Tate’s record as a councilman in Detroit makes him the best choice for District 1. 

Rick Bowers - District 2

As a former advisor of three council members, Rick Bowers has a proven track record of working constructively within City Hall for the needs of all Detroiters. We believe his experience is needed on the council. 

Bowers is a highly respected Detroit leader on green business opportunities and initiatives. As the first Director of the Office of Energy and Sustainability, Bowers promoted sustainable technology, "green collar" jobs, and the repurposing of vacant land for environmental use. If elected, he has committed to focus on the redevelopment of Palmer Park and the Livernois commercial corridor as a way to strengthen the district's neighborhoods.

Bowers unique blend of experience, green expertise and local commitment make him a strong choice for District 2.

Scott Benson - District 3 

A graduate of Wayne State University’s Urban Planning Program and a 22-year veteran of the Coast Guard, Benson has a strong record of public service.  

Scott Benson has been a champion of entrepreneurship and economic growth in Detroit for many years. His recent work with Midtown Detroit Inc. doing property management, financing, and small business development supported that district's recent growth. As a councilman he hopes to remove hurdles for investment in Detroit. 

Scott Benson is an upstanding citizen whose background in local development is needed on the council as we try to bring jobs and investors back to the city. 

Andre Spivey - District 4

A pastor at the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Andre Spivey is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and Morehouse College.
Andre’s first term on the council showed both his passion for his hometown and his willingness to work with the realities that the city is facing. He has stated he will work with Emergency Manager Kevin Orr and voted for the council plan to lease Belle Isle to the state. 

Andre Spivey is both a civic and spiritual leader in District 4 and deserves to continue to serve Detroit on our City Council. 

Adam Hollier - District 5

Adam Hollier is a dynamic candidate running a campaign imbued with optimism and enthusiasm that is drawing support from all across Detroit.  A champion of educational reform, Hollier hopes to return control of Detroit Public Schools to the city and work on increasing mentoring, skill training and apprenticeships across the system. 

Hollier has an exciting vision for Detroit's transportation system focused on furthering progress on regional transit priorities. 
Adam Hollier will bring optimism, problem solving skills and a clear energy to a City Council that needs all the above. 

Raquel Castanda Lopez – District 6

A native of Southwest Detroit, Raquel was the first in her generation to go to college. For the past 13 years she has been working with community organizations and non-for-profits for strong neighborhoods, educational equity, and a healthier environment. 

Castanda Lopez has intelligent policy ideas to help our city come back. Her strong connection with Southwest Detroit and her record of sensible advocacy make her the best choice for District 6. 

Gabe Leland – District 7

A former State Representative and Chair of the Michigan House Committee on Urban Policy, Leland is a proven advocate for Detroiter’s needs. He has fought for years in Lansing for better street lights, safer parks, and more effective blight fighting strategies. 

Leland is a fourth generation Detroiter and a long-time advocate for his District. He deserves a chance to bring the expertise and experience he developed in Lansing to City Hall. 

Roy McCalister – At large

Roy McCalister has put together an impressive career as a homicide detective in Detroit and administrator serving overseas with the U.S. Army. Mccalister will bring his knowledge of Detroit policing tactics and strategies to the council as it tries to stem the tide of violence here in Detroit. 

McCalister’s experience working in Iraq overseeing multi-million dollar budgets and trying to improve the lives of citizens in his region will also be an asset on the council as it tries to implement change with serious fiscal restraints. 

Saunteel Jenkins – At large

Council President Saunteel Jenkins is a force of reason in City Hall. With a quietly strong, common-sense approach, Jenkins has stood for Detroiters' needs and has had the courage to do what is right for the city in situations where it has not been politically popular. 

Jenkins dignity and resolve to tell hard truths to her constituents has won her respect from many Detroiters. Council President Jenkins is a valuable asset to the City of Detroit and an elected official all Detroiters should get behind on Nov. 5. 

Mayor Mike Duggan

Mike Duggan is a solutions candidate. As a historic write-in candidate, Duggan has made it his campaign's signature to meet with residents out in the neighborhoods for over a year, listening to the needs of all Detroiters at the grassroots level.

Duggan is a turnaround specialist, having successfully changed the trajectory of the Detroit Medical Center from a crumbling, deficit ridden system into a fiscally strong institution. He improved the efficiency of the SMART bus system, while increasing service in his time as general manager there. 

The City of Detroit needs exactly this type of manager, one who honors resident voices while improving local systems and services. 

The authors are members of Declare Detroit, an advocacy, policy and political action organization that seeks to inspire positive change in the community.
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