Archive for "Mayor Dave Bing"

Council Candidates Woo Cops in Detroit

Published by Pamela Gentry on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:15 am.

By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst

Oct. 13, 2009 – The Motor City could have nine new members on city council on Election Day. I was in Detroit this past weekend to serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for Midwest Coalition of African American Police Officers (MCAAPO) annual awards dinner.

 The event was honoring law enforcement officers with careers spanning up to 30 years in crime fighting in the metropolitan area.

Detroit once the Mecca for the automotive industry and the Motown sound is now plagued with double digit unemployment [estimated to be at 17 percent] abandon homes, and the highest rates of city flight in country. 

But none of these negatives have discouraged the five top law enforcement officers honored Saturday evening by their peers for the tough jobs they perform daily. 

The  MCAAPO honored top law enforcement  officers ; Darryl Boykin, Chief of Police in South Bend, Ind., Gregory Gaskin, Chief of Police for Inkster, MI, Theodore G. Caldwell, Chief of Police for Highland Park, MI, Benny Napoleon, Wayne County Sheriff and Warren C. Evan, Chief of Police for Detroit.

The awards event was also a magnet for political hopefuls wanting the support with this important constituency less than a month before Election Day.   I acknowledged several candidates in attendance with hopes of filling the vacant seats on the embattled Detroit City Council.  Gary_Brown

Former Detroit City Police officer Gary Brown is one of those candidates.  Brown is one of the candidates who received a sizeable percentage of the vote during the primary.   He’s also one of the two officers who was fired by former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick following the scandal that led to mayor’s  trial and conviction.   Brown sued the city and reached a million dollar settlement and now hopes to start a new career in politics.

Brown spoke passionately about what he would like to see in the city’s future – but told me expectations need to realistic.  “We can still have a great city, it might not ever get back to a population of 2 million, but we can have a smaller successful city.”

Detroit City Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., is also on the ballot in November.  He was acting mayor during the turmoil with former mayor Kilpatrick, but lost in the special election to former MBA basketball player and businessman Dave Bing. Bing is also running for re-election.

Cockrel thanked the organization for hosting the conference in the city of Detroit saying he was fully aware they could have select other  “Midwest” towns.

The wooing of these officers also brought Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to the dinner to offer his well wishes to the men and women in blue.  Conyers has had his own political battles this year in light of his wife’s guilty plea to bribery charges.  If former city councilwoman Monica Conyers is convicted she could face up to five years in prison. 

As a native Detroiter I hope to see things improve for the city and for the people whose lively hood depend on it bouncing back. Election Day could be is a fresh start the city needs to make it happen.

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General Motors’ Rebirth is Planned

Published by Pamela Gentry on Monday, June 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm.

By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst

June 1, 2009 – Defining “viable” will be the measurement for President Barack Obama’s plan to bring General Motors out of bankruptcy after the automaker crafted deals with unions, suppliers and bondholders.

President Obama announces plans to help General Motors flanked by members of his Cabinet.

President Obama announces plans to help General Motors flanked by members of his Cabinet.

The president announced the bailout Monday, “I decided, then, that if GM and Chrysler and their stakeholders were willing to sacrifice for their companies’ survival and success; if they were willing to take the difficult, but necessary steps to restructure, and make themselves stronger, leaner, and more competitive, then the United States government would stand behind them.”

Standing behind the two automakers could be one of the rarest moments in modern business, government intervention and American capitalism.  Now the U.S. government has 60 percent controlling interest in one of the world’s largest automaker with another 12.5 percent owned by the Canadian government.

“The agreement may buy some time, but does nothing to ensure GM’s success,” House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio told The Associated Press. “The only thing it makes clear is that the government is firmly in the business of running companies using taxpayer dollars.”

But Obama is disagrees, “What we have, then, is a credible plan that is full of promise.  But GM can’t put this plan into effect on its own.  Executing this plan will require a substantial amount of money that only a government can provide.”

“We are acting as reluctant shareholders because that is the only way to help GM succeed,” the president said.

The president spoke with Detroit’s newly elected Mayor Dave Bing yesterday, a White House official told me.  With the auto giant shedding some 21,000 jobs, 2,600 dealers this will greatly impact the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan already suffering from the industry’s demise.

The White House spokesman wasn’t sure what Obama and Bing discussed, but my guess is t discussed the bailouts, the bankruptcy plan and GM’s recent threats to move the headquarters from the Motor City. The loss of the headquarters would be another devastating blow to the city of Detroit.  

GM is marking 100 years in the auto business and there is no clear indication how long their new partners, the U.S. Government will be the majority shareholder.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I don’t know that there is a timeline.”

Obama is optimistic, saying [60-90 days] GM would emerge a new and well-managed company able to “out-compete automakers around the world.”

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