Here you will find a listing, in alphabetical order, of the candidates for Detroit City Council in 2009. Get to know each candidate by reading their bios, visiting their websites and listening to 1-on-1 interviews with the candidates conducted by the host AM 1200 WCHB’s "Your Voice", Angelo Henderson. All candidate statements shown here are paid political advertisements and may not express the opinion of Radio One and its affiliates. Radio One makes no endorsement of any candidate for Detroit City Council.
Former Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown was born, educated and raised in Detroit. A U.S. Marine, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University, respectively. During 26 years of service with the Detroit Police Department, Gary served as Commander of the 1st, 3rd, 9th and 11th Precincts, and provided executive direction in Gang Squad, Narcotics and Internal Affairs. One of his proudest accomplishments was being the first African American to receive the highest score on the Lieutenant’s exam. Gary serves on numerous boards, including the Mariner’s Inn and his neighborhood association.
John K. Bennett resides on Detroit’s Westside. Bennett, the youngest of 11 children, is the only union city worker in the race and has served the Detroit Police Department for 13 years as an officer. He is a graduate of Murray-Wright High School, Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University where he received his Master of Public Administration. "My parents instilled in me a work ethic and a passion for truth," said Bennett. I joined the police department so that I could give back to a city that’s given me so much. If given the opportunity to serve, I intend to do the same on city council."
Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr., Detroit City Council member since 1998. A former Journalist, Wayne County Commissioner and community activist, he was re-elected in 2001 to Pro Tem, elevated to Council President in 2005, elevated to the office of Mayor in 2008, and returned to Council President in 2009. He written and passed several key legislations to improve the quality of life in Wayne County and Detroit; Chairman, of the Green Task Force and serves on the boards of the Detroit Elections Commission, Detroit Transportation Corporation and Detroit’s delegates to SEMCOG. He is a cum laude graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism. He is currently married to Kimberly and father of five children.
David Cross is an attorney and real estate developer; he was born and raised in the city and has lived here all of his life (50 years). David has been married for 16 years and has three kids (37, 15 and eight). David believes that his family’s background of community service on the Northend in the ministry founded by his parents (Detroit’s Afro-American Mission, Inc), as well as his experience as an attorney and real estate developer will be an asset to Detroit’s City Council. David’s focus on council will be economic development.
Jai-Lee Dearing, a lifelong Detroiter, has the right business and government experience to rebuild Detroit. For nearly 90 Years, the Dearing family has built businesses like Bert’s Jazz Club in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, created jobs and served their community faithfully. Jai-Lee wants to continue his family’s commitment to the City of Detroit and use his business experience to create jobs and generate new revenue streams to balance our budget and hire more police officers, more firefighters and improve city services. As Jai-Lee says “there’s nothing wrong with Detroit that Detroiters can’t fix.” He currently lives on Detroit’s West Side with his wife and three children.
Fred Elliott Hall, 45, is an entrepreneur, community servant, and lifelong Detroit resident. He holds an MBA in finance from Wayne State University and owns and operates two metro Detroit businesses. Fred commits to hiring Detroiters, and helping them build futures for themselves and their families. He is a trustee and lifelong member of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. His community affiliations include New Center Community Health Services, Detroit Regional Chamber, NAACP, and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Fred is endorsed by several unions and community organizations. He is married and has two children.
Native Detroiter Lisa Howze is a self-motivated, trustworthy, and committed leader. She is compassionate about the concerns of Detroit’s citizens, and capable of balancing the interests of the business community. Howze is the only certified public accountant running in the City Council race. Howze has 14 years of public accounting and client service experience, which includes creating budgets, reviewing contracts, analyzing financial results, performing financial as well as operational audits, and managing client expectations. Howze is a graduate of Cass Technical High School; the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (BBA ’95); and Walsh College (MSF ’04).
Saunteel Jenkins is lifelong Detroiter with a heart and mind to serve.
She has a unique set of leadership experiences as a social worker, a business owner, and as Chief of Staff to former Council President Maryann Mahaffey.
Saunteel currently runs the residential treatment program at Mariners Inn, a shelter and treatment center in the Cass Corridor for men who are homeless and drug or alcohol addicted.
In addition to working on behalf of Detroiters, Saunteel is also a smart businesswoman. She operates a catering company and understands the challenges businesses face today.
After a tragic youth, Raphael B. Johnson has emerged as the epitome of resilience. An acclaimed author and motivational speaker, Raphael is nationally known for his work on the talk show, Maury. He teaches Professional Development, Conflict Resolution, Peer Mediation and Anger Management in schools and communities across the country. Aside from being a successful business owner, Raphael is a certified paralegal/legal assistant with a degree in Legal Administration and a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies. He is an advocate for public safety, entrepreneurship training, attracting more businesses (jobs), neighborhood development, and enhanced services for seniors. Raphael is married with two children.
Council Member Brenda Jones was elected to serve the citizens of Detroit in November 2005. As a member of this legislative branch, she pledges her commitment to advocate for positive progression, safe and clean neighborhoods, and opportunities for development throughout the entire community. Council Member Jones currently serves as Chairperson of the City Council Rules Committee and is a member of the Internal Operations Standing Committee and the Neighborhood and Community Services Standing Committee. Since being elected in November 2005, Council Member Jones has continued to be an advocate for hope, opportunity, and positive change.
Kwame Kenyatta was elected to the Detroit City Council in November of 2005. In 2007, he was appointed as chairperson of the Council’s Internal Operations Standing Committee. He formerly served as Wayne County Commissioner of the 7th District as well as member and Vice-President of the Detroit Board of Education. In addition to his other professional achievements he is the author of two books titled Burning Fire, and Guide To Implementing Afrikan Centered Education. Evidenced by the support he has received from citizens throughout the City of Detroit, Mr. Kenyatta has a long history of struggle and commitment to the community.
Mohamed Okdie was born in Detroit to immigrant parents in 1949. He graduated from high school in 1968, served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era and was honorably discharged in 1970. In August 2005 he received a Mayoral appointment to the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. Commissioner Okdie currently serves on the Citizens Complaints, Disciplinary Appeals, Labor Relations, and Personnel Subcommittees. Commissioner Okdie also served as the Vice Chairman of the Commission. Mr. Okdie also has affiliations with the National Association of Social Workers; the American Psychotherapy Association; the Michigan Democratic Party; the Michigan Arab-American Democratic Club; the American Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
My name is Charles Pugh and I am working every day to earn your vote on November 3. Having walked the neighborhoods in Detroit and listened to your concerns for the last ten years, it is clear that you want a better Detroit. I have a New Vision for Detroit and can provide New Leadership that is informed, trustworthy, and accountable. I am READY TO LEAD – DAY ONE to bring about the change our city needs and deserves.
André L. Spivey is the candidate who will bring new leadership to the Detroit City Council. He is one who possesses and exhibits strength, honesty, integrity, professionalism and service. He is prepared to serve in order to move the City of Detroit forward by focusing on the following issues:
• Responsive and effective public safety and city services in every community
• Rebuild and maintain quality neighborhoods
• Ensure a safe and productive environment for all young people
• Governance and fiscal responsibility.
For more information on Andre Spivey and his campaign, please visit his website by using the link below.
I’m James Tate and I’m running for Detroit City Council because the concerns of our residents are not effectively represented in our current city government. As a council member, I will work with residents to develop a targeted, clear vision for Detroit’s future. We have tough challenges and we need a leader who focuses on long-range solutions and not on short-term schemes to gain political clout. I am running to: reduce crime and increase public safety; combat neighborhood blight; demand government accountability; and improve city services. Detroiters want and deserve a better quality of life. I am running to make that dream a reality.
Elected to the Detroit City Council in 1993, Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi is committed to providing the necessary tools and programming to improve the quality of life for citizens of Detroit. Her desire to improve public safety and clean up the city’s image has lead her to promote several initiatives that set the tone of her public service agenda. Councilmember Tinsley-Talabi created the Office of Targeted Business Development, to increase city contracts with Detroit-based small businesses. She also created the Show Cause Hearings Division dedicated to closing party stores, bars, adult businesses and other businesses not adhering to city ordinances.
I am completing my first full term as a Member of the Detroit City Council, where I have sponsored more than 1,500 laws in 6 years, including: a ban on hand-held cell phones & texting while driving, a ban on smoking in public places and a law demanding that Receiving Hospital & Hutzel Hospital remain open “in perpetuity”. I have sponsored laws to protect workers against privatization, to combat scrap metal thieves, to add 15 points to job scores of city residents, to sponsor city insurance for residents to halt redlining; and to sue the state to restore residency.