Roy McCalister Jr. is relatively new to Detroit City Council having been elected in 2017 to represent District 2, but he’s been serving his community for a long time.
Before joining City Council, McCalister was an investigator for the Federal Defenders Office of the Eastern District of Michigan. He retired from the Detroit Police Department in 2006.
Click the player above to hear Russ McNamara’s full interview with Detroit City Councilman Roy McCalister Jr. and read edited excerpts below.
On what makes his district different from others in the city
It’s the highest taxpaying district and the highest voting district in the city of Detroit. People are very much engaged.
On helping businesses along Livernois Ave during a long period of road construction
The construction has caused headaches to several businesses. It is coming along. But there’s still some things that have cause businesses to close…a couple businesses have even had to lay off employees. Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree is looking at how they can help as far as county taxes for those businesses.
On redeveloping the State Fairgrounds at Woodward Ave and 8 Mile Road
The Mayor (Mike Duggan) is looking at making that area a small manufacturing or technology area. He (Duggan) does not want to break up and sell this part and that part. He wants to sell to one developer the whole 140 acres.
On voting against Mayor Duggan’s blight reduction ballot proposal
The sticking point was the history of how the money has been managed. As well as the issues of being able to have oversight over it (demolition program) and being able to make sure the dollars are spent correctly.
Does City Council have any issues in working with Mayor Duggan?
Oh no, no. When it comes to blight we have been working with him and his staff to make sure everything is in good order.
On the murder of Detroit Police Officer Rasheen McClain
As a retired police officer, law enforcement is a family. The death of a fellow officer affects you like a family member. I was at the hospital for about two and a half hours talking to fellow police officers who were there. It was really emotional talking to the family and talking to the chaplain, and going with the mother to identify her son. People don’t respect the police like they used to, but still officers have to do policing because our job is to protect the citizens who we represent.