Podcast: Detroit activist hopes to represent the far eastside

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Donna Givens Davidson, Orlando Bailey, and City Council candidate Latisha Johnson. (Podcast screenshot)

Authentically Detroit is a BridgeDetroit partner podcast that tells the stories of Detroiters’ lives through exposition and interview. 

In this episode, hosts Orlando Bailey and Donna Givens Davidson kick off their new candidate series, in which they interview Detroiters running for office this year. Longtime community advocate Latisha Johnson appeared to talk about her City Council run in District 4. Former reporter M.L Elrick, who is also running in District 4, appeared on the podcast previously. The seat is currently held by Councilman Andre Spivey, who is exploring running for one of council’s at-large seats instead.

Johnson said she’d like to gain state and local support for community land trusts to preserve affordability for Black residents in highly desirable neighborhoods like East English Village, where she lives. She also supports skilled-trades access, transit advocacy and reparations for over-taxation.   

Johnson has seven siblings and recently helped her youngest sister develop a property tax payment plan. She said she understands the struggles residents face while trying to keep their homes. 


Related: Podcast: Detroit journalist on his bid for City Council

“I’ve had to take my youngest sister downtown to get on a payment agreement to make sure she doesn’t lose her house that she owns outright,” Johnson said. 

Johnson founded MECCA Development Corporation and says she plans to step down as executive director if she is elected to council.

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