CDAD is tracking several policy issues, including the Detroit City Council district mapping process. Today, CDAD sent the following statement to Detroit City Council members and the editor of the Detroit Free Press about its position supporting Data Driven Detroit’s “Option 5p” for Council Districts. Click here for more information about the map.
On February 1, 2012, Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD), the trade association for community development organizations and neighborhood groups in Detroit, released a statement regarding the formation of Detroit’s City Council Districts.
CDAD believes that Data Driven Detroit’s new “Option 5p” best meets these criteria, and strongly urges the City Council to consider Option 5p, which is drawn to reflect legal requirements while respecting neighborhood boundaries. In the public hearings Council has convened to date, there has been a growing support first for Option 5, and now Option 5p among neighborhood leaders.
The shift to Council by Districts was based on the idea of better neighborhood accountability in Detroit City Council. The vast majority of existing community activity, including community development work, occurs within defined neighborhoods. Neighborhood collaboration, coordination with city government, and neighborhood-based advocacy can occur most efficiently and effectively if neighborhoods can work with a single council member. Most neighborhood organizations and CDOs in Detroit already work with nearby neighborhoods and those relationships should be supported.
Option 5p is the only option on the table that respects existing neighborhood boundaries on a citywide basis. The new districts must reflect and incorporate, to as great a degree as possible, the reality of community-based planning and neighborhood revitalization activity. Option 5p reflects this reality, and therefore deserves Council’s careful consideration.
Council’s self-imposed February 17 scheduled vote is not a legally-mandated deadline, though CDAD understands the urgency of completing this task. CDAD urges City Council to direct the Law Department and Election Commission to endorse Option 5p immediately so that City Council can consider it.
CDAD’s Board of Directors