Incoming Detroit City Councilman Coleman Young II Talks Automatic Payments for Detroiters

Young explains his vision for universal basic income for Detroiters, as well as his relationship with former political opponent Mayor Mike Duggan.

The Detroit City Council will soon look very different. There are nine total seats on Detroit’s legislative body, and the Nov. 2 elections saw victories for six new members. One of those new members is a familiar name in Detroit politics — and not just because he shares it with his father, the longest-serving mayor in Detroit history. 

“The numbers that I’ve seen in other cities is positive, so I think that this is something that will be good in the city of Detroit as well and one of the tools to alleviate poverty.” –Detroit City Councilman-elect Coleman Young II

Former state Sen. Coleman Young II was the top vote-getter for the two at-large seats on City Council. And he has some pretty big policy ideas — including a basic income project — to change Detroiters’ lives for the better. 


Listen: Coleman Young II discusses how his life has changed, and the policy ideas he thinks are most likely to improve the lot of Detroiters.


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Coleman Young II is an at-large member-elect on the Detroit City Council and a former state senator. Young says he wants to work with local foundations and nonprofits to create a basic income pilot project. The member-elect says he has seen similar projects improve the lives of people in other cities across the country. “The numbers that I’ve seen in other cities is positive, so I think that this is something that will be good in the city of Detroit as well and one of the tools to alleviate poverty,” he says. 

After losing to Mayor Mike Duggan in 2017, he says there were personal changes that he needed to make. Young says his mayoral campaign against Duggan was negative and “angry,” and that he’s now more open, inclusive and collaborative. 

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