Photo by William Archie/Detroit Free Press
By Gwendolyn Gaines and Sylvia Orduno
Nearly 300 Detroit residents packed the Northwest Community Center for the second part of the Call’em Out’s mayoral forums. The event was a follow-up to the November 2008 mayoral listening forum where candidates could only listen to residents’ concerns and ask clarification questions.
Ten of the 12 candidates attended–Donald Bradley, Stanley Christmas, Warren Evans, Freeman Hendrix , Joseph Holt, Nick Hood, Duane Montgomery, Coleman A. Young Jr, Sharon McPhail, Jarroll Sanders. Missing (again!) were Dave Bing and Interim Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrell, Jr. Dave Bing is a member of a business group urging the sale of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept.
Following the first mayoral listening forum, each candidate was asked to respond to questions and concerns by regular residents–not business leaders or other high profile, elite groups. All attendees signed in and received a score sheet so they could rate the answers from each candidate on a variety of issues such as: home foreclosures, ownership of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept (DWSD), bulk trash pickup, eliminating the $300 garbage fee, and more. See the Detroit Free Press coverage of the event.
The forum was moderated by Agnes Hitchcock, Chair of Call ’em Out. NHK News reporter, Takurna Yoshioka, from Japan was a special guest covering the evening’s event along with other grassroots issues in Detroit. John Riehl, President of the water workers’ AFSCME Local 207, spoke on the efforts to takeover the DWSD. His union local is calling for a demonstration January 7, 2009 at 4:30pm in front of the Detroit City-County Bldg.