Detroit City Council -- At Large

Choose one candidate to serve as an at-large Detroit City Council member for a partial term ending Jan. 1, 2018.

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    Janee Ayers

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    David Alexander Bullock

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Biographical Information

Briefly, please assess the success of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy.

Describe the working relationship you would expect, as a council member, to have with Detroit’s mayor.

There’s a development boom in downtown Detroit, but how to connect that success to Detroit’s neighborhoods is a harder nut to crack. Please list three ways you believe the city could benefit Detroit’s neighborhoods.

Some Detroiters say they’re being left behind, as the city moves forward. Do you agree? If yes, what would you, as a council member, do to ensure that long-time Detroiters aren’t left behind? If not, why not?

What can Detroit City Council do to improve workforce development and help more Detroiters find employment or find better employment?

What can Detroit do to stem and eventually reverse its population loss?

Do you support the proposed millage to fund regional transit in metro Detroit? Why or why not?

How would you like to see the city deal with water shut-offs?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

City of residence Detroit
Age 34
Family Single, no children
Education Bowling Green State University, B.A., Political Science and Public Policy Renaissance High School, Detroit
Vehicles owned Chevy Cruze
Professional Experience Member At-Large, Detroit City Council Political Director, Unite HERE! Vice President, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO MGM Grand Casino, Hospitality Quicken Loans, Mortgage Broker City of Detroit, Youth Recreation Coordinator Detroit Public Schools, Substitute Teacher
Political Experience Member At-Large, Detroit City Council, appointed 2015
Race/ethnicity African-American
Campaign Website
Incumbent? true
Without the sacrifices of pensioners, city workers and creditors, Detroit would still be mired in crippling debt. Consequently, the bankruptcy and “grand bargain” were necessary evils. Although the bankruptcy occurred before my appointment to city council, I have come to learn and appreciate the fragility of our “recovery.” It is imperative that we hold firm to fiscal discipline and pragmatic policies that encourage confidence, investment and growth in our city so that the sacrifices of pensioners, residents and workers were not in vain. After that, our first priority must be reversing the cuts in services and amenities to the extent we can prudently and responsibly do so.
Over the decades, we have all been witness to the often-stunning dysfunction of the council-administration relationship in our city. As a current At-Large Member of Council, I am pleased to say we have moved well beyond that, to a place where the council and Mayor Duggan have a responsible, mature, working dynamic that inspires confidence in Detroit. We don’t always agree, as it should be with branches of government that serve as the peoples’ checks and balances, but we manage to work together for the common good to move the city forward.
Detroit’s rising economic tide must truly lift all boats across our city. I am keenly aware that when we grant a tax break or development incentive for a downtown project, we shift that tax burden to residents and neighborhood businesses. I am working on a framework and creative ways to couple downtown development with neighborhood improvement. We must also ensure that Detroit-based businesses are prioritized for contracting. We know they pay Detroit taxes and often hire Detroiters. Finally, we must keep land-owners accountable for their investments. If you own a blighted property in Detroit, we want you to clean it up before granting you another incentive to develop elsewhere.
Detroiters have been left behind for generations; systematic isolation and exclusion from opportunities in the city and region have created entire neighborhoods whose residents live with chronic poverty, disconnected from resources, and lacking the social capital that could help them secure opportunities and get ahead. For decades, our non-profit and labor communities have worked to shine a light on the challenges facing many long-term Detroiters. We must now leverage the excitement about Detroit and renewed investment in the city by implementing creative, aggressive programs and policies that ensure long-term Detroiters aren’t left behind as the city moves forward.
A large sector of Detroit's workforce remains too vulnerable to economic stresses. They are often the last to be hired and the first to be fired. As a member of the Workforce Development Board, I know the challenges we face. In the short term, we must expand opportunities for employment by creating workforce matching programs and by crafting agreements with major developers to hire Detroiters. Long-term, we need to improve the quality of our workforce by focusing on job skills development, training and education. Lastly, I founded the Task Force on Returning Citizens to ensure that the nearly 200 citizens returning home to Detroit monthly have access to jobs and opportunities.
We must make Detroit a place where people want to raise their families by addressing our most challenging problems like crime, poor schools and access to reliable, affordable transit. The biggest concern of current residents is crime and safety. If people do not feel safe living, shopping and playing in our city, we will not attract future residents who have the option to live elsewhere. Second, we must address our broken school system. Every Detroit child deserves to have access to a quality education that does not squander their potential, rather helps them reach it. Lastly, Detroit is falling behind other major urban areas because we lack a modern, reliable, regional transit system.
Yes. I support a millage to fund a regional transit system that implements a fair and equitable distribution of routes and resources between the city and suburbs. When there are jobs in the suburbs, Detroiters are left out when they have the skills but not the means to get there. When our kids must ride a bus four or five hours a day, simply to get to and from school, they miss valuable study and family time. When families cannot easily get to parks, museums and libraries, they are excluded from experiencing the richness of our city. We must bring to an end the physical, economic and cultural isolation suffered by Detroiters and others who lack reliable transportation in our region.
We must do everything possible to ensure that residents have access to clean, affordable water; at the same time we should not permit anyone who chooses not to pay, to simply “free-ride” on the pocketbooks of those who do. For too long, we have permitted partial or non-payment, from residents and businesses, while trying to maintain an aging system. That must end. I fought hard for the WRAP program: a robust residential water affordability program for needy Detroit families. Additionally, we must address the chronic under- or non-payment by businesses in our city. We have some of the best water quality in the world from a system that is expensive to maintain; we must not put that at risk.
City of residence Detroit
Age 38
Family N/A
Education HS, U of D Jesuit BA, Morehouse MA, Wayne State
Vehicles owned N/A
Professional Experience Senior Pastor College Adjunct Professor Social Entreprenuer
Political Experience Highland Park NAACP Rainbow PUSH
Race/ethnicity African American
Campaign Website http://DavidAlexanderBullock
I believe it is too early to adequately assess the success of the bankruptcy.
I would expect to work with the mayor according to the provisions set forth in the charter.
I think the city can do three things: 1) Develop CDFI's and other mechanisms that can capture capital for development in the neighborhoods. 2) Work with the skilled trades and WCCCD to provide training and job placement. 3) Restore a residency requirement for police and fire.
I think to a large degree long time Detroiter's are being left behind. I think the biggest challenge is a communication and information gap. As a council member, I would work to close this gap.
The DCC can make sure that HUD section 3 provisions are being followed with respect to any federal dollars that are being used for developement. The DCC can help provide information to citizens who often times are not aware of opportunities for training or employment. The DCC can help develop public polices that will incentivize the hiring of Detroiters, the development of entrepreneurs and the strengthening of local sourcing.
In order for Detroit to reverse its population loss, the city must deal with high insurance costs, a perception of being unsafe and rebrand the educational system as a top notch system.
I support the millage to fund regional transportation in metro Detroit because a robust regional transportation system will help us compete with other cities for human talent and resource, it can be apart of a larger plan to stimulate the economy and help the city grow.
I would like the to see the city pursue collection in an equitable way. An income based approach to rate generation and a robust water affordability fund should be implemented if possible.