The Metro: Warren Evans says Michigan Dems are failing to engage Black elected officials

Evans joined “The Metro” to talk about the party’s failure to connect with Black voters and what needs to happen to fix it. 

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans wrote in a recent Detroit Free Press op-ed that he voted “uncommitted” in Michigan’s primary, but not because of Gaza. 

He said he “was sickened, as so many others have been by the sheer inhumanity of the situation that is becoming an escalating series of tragedies piled on top of one another,” but his “decision to vote ‘uncommitted’ was to protest the Michigan Democratic Party’s ongoing inability to sufficiently and productively engage with Black people in this state.”

Evans joined The Metro on Monday to talk about the party’s failure to connect with Black voters and what he thinks it should do to give Black elected officials a seat at the table.  

Engagement with Black voters and leaders should happen, and be ongoing, throughout the election cycle, Evans says. What’s frustrating for him are calls about a month before the election asking for help. 

“They need to include those African American elected officials at the table when they’re discussing organizational changes; when they’re talking about how to prepare for an election; when there’s discussion about particular issues that may be pertinent to the state of Michigan,” Evans said. “We’d like to be included at the table in the beginning, not called four weeks before the election and asked to get out the vote.”

Lack of communication from the Michigan Democratic Party is happening with many Black elected officials in southeast Michigan, Evans says. 

“I’ve been in this job for 10 years, I have never had a relationship of any significance with the Michigan Democratic Party. I think that’s problematic,” he said. “I thought it was problematic, as it related to me and you know, then I talked to the Black mayors, and they say, ”you know, we’re in the same boat.’”

Use the media player above to listen to the full interview with Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.

More headlines from The Metro on March 11, 2024: 

  • For decades now, the United Community Housing Coalition has been working to keep low-income Detroiters in their homes. The organization is currently navigating a challenging situation after its director of homeownership programs was arrested last month for allegedly conspiring with others to steal more than 30 properties across Wayne County. UCHC Executive Director Ted Phillips joined the show to discuss the complaint and how the organization is continuing its mission amid the charges. The Metro invited U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dawn Ison onto the show, but she declined due to the fact that the case is ongoing.
  • MichMash host Cheyna Roth and Zach Gorchow from Gongwer News Service discuss the two Michigan State University Board trustees facing removal over misconduct allegations on the latest episode of WDET’s MichMash podcast.
  • Director Mary Mazzio joined the show to discuss her new documentary Bad River.” The movie follows the Bad River Band, a small Native community in northern Wisconsin fighting to stop Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline. Enbridge plans to give their perspective on The Metro after the movie is released.

Listen to The Metro weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on 101.9 FM and streaming on-demand.

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