Detroiters May Want to Jump in at the Deep End: Start at the Back of the Ballot


By Kim Hunter

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and undo a big mistake, take advantage of a missed opportunity or even come up with a snappy reply to a stupid insult? While I can’t offer you time travel, I can tell you about an opportunity in November to do the right thing ahead of time and nip regret in the bud.

You have no doubt guessed I am talking about the vote, the “battle for soul of the nation,” “the most significant election in our life time” and all those other clichés that were true for the last presidential election and have become truer this time around.

If you believe you’re are going to be away from home on November 8 and/or you’re at least 60 years old, you can even mail in your part via absentee ballot after having made your choices in the comfort of your own home. That may be a wise choice as you will seriously want to take your time with this ballot. In fact, to make sure you complete it, you may want to jump in at the deep end where the proposals are, especially if you live in Detroit. Here’s why:

Along with the two presidential choices and their likely actions with regards to the Environmental Protection Agency/climate change, the Supreme Court, the Justice Department and many lower court judges, there are congressional races and more than 60 people running for the Detroit School Board. That list of folks is why the ballot proposals are at the end. But make no mistake, you want to vote on those proposals.

Proposals A and B will determine whether residents and small business owners will have a seat at the table to determine community benefits such as expanded education opportunities and career training, and safeguards when mega-developers get mega bucks from taxpayers to support private ventures. Proposal A has been in the works for years and is supported by many community grassroots groups. Proposal B was created this year by Detroit City Council Member Benson. Because they are independent, noncompeting you must vote on both for your vote to truly count. If they both pass, the Detroit City Council, which voted in favor of B, gets to choose which parts or each will be enacted. The bottom line, again, if you favor one proposal over the other, you must vote yes on that proposal and no on the other for your vote to truly count.

Then there are proposals on Regional Transit Authority, the genesis of regional transportation for Southeast Michigan and School Millage.

Everything on the ballot has long term consequences. Regardless of where the proposals or candidates appear on the ballot, they will directly and seriously affect the block you live on, the schools near your home, the fate of small businesses and whether or not people will have viable mass transit. Then there are those aforementioned issues including whether the planet will remain habitable, kind of “biggee” on my list. So, get out there and vote, you don’t want to look back with regret and think of what could have been.