Detroit Councilman Scott Benson says wealth generation, budget major goals for 2024

Since being elected to serve District 3 in January 2024, Benson says he’s focused on job creation, fiscal responsibility and improving city services for residents.

Scott Benson stands at a Wayne State podium

Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson discusses efforts to ban flavored tobacco in the city.

Scott Benson is the council member for Detroit’s District 3.

He says throughout his 10 years on the council, he’s focused on jobs, fiscal responsibility and improving city services for residents.

“Oftentimes people will think about the city of Detroit, we have so much low income. But just because we have a high level of poverty and low income doesn’t mean that we’re low quality,” Benson said. “We need to have the same services that any other high-quality city and world-class city has. I want to make sure we continue to deliver though.”

In 2023, Benson worked on implementing the Energy Waste Reduction Detroit Benchmarking Ordinance for sustainability, an ATV ordinance, and two ordinances for tobacco.

“We’ve seen a problem with party stores and gas stations, selling tobacco to our youth illegally,” he said.

He’s also worked on the city’s Green Task Force, which advises the council about sustainable principles and practices to better serve Detroiters.

“We took a site visit to Seattle this year to look at best practices and we took 35 Detroit department heads, practitioners, and advocates within that space, all paid for by philanthropic and grant dollars,” he said.

In October, Benson kicked off a pilot project with the Dining with Confidence coalition, which awards restaurants that pass voluntary health inspections with a green placard signifying compliance.

“We’re offering green placards to, on a voluntary basis, to restaurants that pass the inspection at the highest level,” he said.

The pilot project runs through the end of April 2024 and 60 restaurants have volunteered so far.

This year, Benson says he’s focused on wealth generation for Detroiters, and creating more jobs. He’s also hoping to find sustainable financial resources for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Historical Society.

“Both boards are looking at a millage and we’re working with Oakland and Wayne County,” he said.

He also noted the importance of being fiscally responsible and staying within the city’s budget, noting that just 10 years ago the city was in bankruptcy.

“We need to ensure that we continue fiscally responsible practices and that we continue to scrutinize all contracts that are left within the city of Detroit,” he said.

Use the media player above for the full interview with Detroit Councilman Scott Benson.

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.