MichMash County Close-up: Oakland

In the first edition of MichMash’s new monthly segment, County Close-up, Cheyna Roth talks with Oakland County commissioner Charlie Cavell about how the county reflects Michigan’s political and demographic changes.

Congresswoman Haley Stevens hugs Oakland County Commissioner Dave Woodward as Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter looks on

Congresswoman Haley Stevens hugs Oakland County Commissioner Dave Woodward as Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter looks on in Royal Oak on Nov. 8, 2022.

In this episode

  • Oakland County and how it reflects the greater state of Michigan 
  • Accomplishments the 18th District has made in regards to the socioeconomic conditions 
  • The justification for increasing the board’s pay.

Subscribe to MichMash on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR.org or wherever you get your podcasts

For the first installment of the County Close-up series, we take a deep dive into Oakland County.

County Commissioner of the 18th District, Charlie Cavell, sat down with Cheyna Roth to discuss how Oakland has reflected the greater Michigan state.  

Along with the Michigan House and Senate having a Democratic majority, Oakland County has a Democratic majority as well of 13-6. It’s the first time in Cavell’s life that all three of these entities have been controlled by Democrats.

“The to-do list was already 100 things but now that we have this gem of a moment, it’s 180 things,” says Cavell.

Cavell says his main objective is to provide protection from economic, social oppressive and violent harm.  

“Fundamentally, making it more affordable to be alive in our community so that means improving housing security. Second, making sure that your bills are lower. In light of what just happened with DTE, making sure that your utilities are affordable, making sure that the economic harms people feel day in and day out — that keep them struggling, that make them take jobs that they do not want to do — those are the things we are trying to protect you from.”

Regarding social protection, Cavell wants to pass laws and resolutions such as the Crown Act. He says he is trying to protect those normally victimized by the “otherizing” of systems and statutes. The ideals he is trying to uphold in Oakland County’s 18th district are having zero tolerance for discrimination. Also, regarding social protection, having restorative justice programs established in schools, regarding mental health — a comprehensive approach to policing.

“All of these things are interconnected,” says Cavell.

Some of the things the commissioner has been able to enact and be a part of are a $17 million housing initiative that “would’ve never been possible,” as well as a shelter capacity fund “so that we are recognizing that Oakland County does have poverty and homelessness… created the tenant house council… creating a water affordability program” are a few items on the list that Cavell noted. 

Related posts:

Support the podcasts you love.

One-of-a-kind podcasts from WDET bring you engaging conversations, news you need to know and stories you love to hear.

Keep the conversations coming. Please make a gift today.

Give now »


  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.