Ending a day full of exciting conversations about Detroit’s future during the Detroit Policy Conference, eight City Council members took to the Kresge Foundation Stage to share their personal experiences on council and what they would change if given a magic wand.
In the first panel, Gabriela Santiago-Romero, City Council District 6, shared that she was driven to serve after growing up as both an immigrant and in poverty and seeing “what it looked like to have resources and support that Detroit has.” When asked what the City Council members would fix if they had a magic wand, Latisha Johnson, City Council District 4, would create more access to affordable housing, and Fred Durhal III, City Council District 7, would continue the progress that Detroit is already on.
In the second panel, Angela Whitfield Calloway, City Council District 2, was inspired to run after her frustration and displeasure with the work coming from current members. Coleman A. Young II, City Council District At Large, mentioned his father, Coleman A. Young, was the first Black mayor of Detroit and emphasized, “when you come from a legacy like that…it’s something you want to be a part of.” James Tate, City Council President Pro Tem, District 1, noted that he’s really “enjoying” the new energy with the current City Council and shared that, with a magic wand, he would tackle the pervasive violence in Detroit.
Rounding out the discussion with the City Council members, Mary Sheffield, President of the Detroit City Council, discussed how there is a lack of representation of women in politics and shared the sentiment, “if you don’t shake policy, it will shake you.” Lastly, given a magic wand, Mary Waters, City Council District At Large, would create generational wealth.