Detroiters have much to think about in the upcoming local election on Nov. 2.
Detroiters will vote for mayor, city clerk, Board of Police Commissioners and three ballot proposals. Additionally, every City Council seat is up for grabs, and only one sitting councilperson is running unopposed. Councilman Scott Benson had run unopposed during the August primary, however, two write-in candidates have entered the fray in northeast Detroit’s District 3.
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Longtime Detroiters Adam Mundy and Steven Shelton are now running against Benson as write-ins. Mundy said he filed paperwork in the spring to appear on the primary ballot after supporters urged him to run for office. However, a challenge letter prevented Mundy from being on the primary ballot.
The Department of Elections communications team did not respond to requests for comment on those allegations.
Shelton did not campaign before the primary, and says he was not interested in running for council until neighbors urged him to run.
Mundy and Shelton each have deep ties to the district and to Detroit. Mundy has worked for former and current council members Kenneth Cockrel Jr., Scott Benson, Janee Ayers, and Roy McCallister Jr. Shelton is a Ford Motor Co. employee and a longtime journalist who wrote for publications like the Michigan Citizen.
“(My) institutional knowledge in City government, knowing how to process contracts, learning policy,” Mundy said of why he is fit for the role of District 3 councilperson. “I’ve become accustomed to the standing committees of City Council, and I’m very familiar with the budget process and how to write laws and balance the budget, which are the primary responsibilities for Detroit City Council.”
Mundy says he wants to see the quality of life heightened in District 3, which has lost libraries, community centers and local businesses over the years. He hopes to create a community garden committee so that residents who enjoy gardening can make plans for some of the lots in the area.
“We’ve got some problems here, and I want to be the one to address them and make sure that we do have a complete 180-degree turn when it comes to these issues and not be forgotten,” Mundy said.
Mundy said he doesn’t see the council position as a job, but as taking care of his hometown.
“I remember when we had quality families in each and every home,” Mundy said. “I remember when the quality of life and resources were available to our residents from our seniors to our young people. And I want to bring those back in.”
Shelton said he sees a lack of funding in the district and a lack of leadership.
“They say Detroit is poor, Detroit is a poor city, and I take issue with that. Detroit is a city that has been starved and robbed,” Shelton said.
Shelton said, if elected, he would ensure that district residents are informed of the decisions being made and that resources that are supposed to be appropriated to the district actually show up.
Shelton said he doesn’t think that the Mayor and current council members have adequately supported District 3. He questioned Duggan’s role on the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Board, and said the city’s debt limit is too high.
“Vote for me because I’m aware of the millions and billions of dollars that’s being wasted and misappropriated,” Shelton said. “And I’m gonna do my part, I’m not gonna lie to them.”
Shelton said voters should be concerned by the recent FBI raids and resignations of council members from other districts. He said Detroiters deserve better.
Scott Benson did not respond to questions for comment on this story.