The August 3 primary is fast approaching. Get to know the candidates running for local office in your community with 101.9 FM WDET’s Candidate Guides. Surveys were distributed to candidates to complete and you can see the responses for candidates for Detroit City Council for District 1 below. Voters will select up to 7 candidates for City Council, with the top 14 vote-getters advancing to the general election.
Related Races: Mayor, City Council - At Large
Age: 46 years old
Current job: Detroit City Councilmember – District 1
Education: BA in Radio/TV/Film from Wayne State University
About James Tate: At 16 years old, I landed my first job as a bagger at the (former) Kroger grocery store at Telegraph and West Chicago. I continued that job even after graduating from Wayne State University. I have been blessed to have experienced continued employment since my time at the grocer. I have also held positions initially as a line worker and then as a quality assurance representative (via promotion) at a national trucking company. I would say that my career in public service began to take shape during my time at WXYZ where I worked my way up from a part-time intern to a full-time position as an assignment editor. I earned an Emmy award in that role but what was most rewarding was learning more about people in general. I also gained knowledge of the extreme levels of need that is often not discussed (even in news reports). From there I served 9 months as the Communications Coordinator with the City of Detroit and was then appointed 2nd Deputy Chief in the Office of Public Information where I served for 5 years until resigning to run for Detroit City Council in April of 2009.
Why are you running for Detroit City Council? I believe that I have served the residents of Detroit with integrity throughout my tenure and have always taken care to evaluate every element of any proposal presented to me by residents, the executive branch of our local government as well as the private and non-profit communities that approach the City with plans. I understand that as a public servant and decision-maker, every resident will not always agree with each vote I cast on their behalf. But I make sure to research the matter and more often than not, run the proposals by District 1 (D1) residents to get their take on it in advance of casting my vote.
“I believe that I have served the residents of Detroit with integrity throughout my tenure and have always taken care to evaluate every element of any proposal presented to me by residents, the executive branch of our local government as well as the private and non-profit communities that approach the City with plans.” — James Tate
What is the most important issue facing Detroit? Intergenerational poverty
How would you address that issue? Ensuring that more Detroiters are lifted out of poverty and barriers removed that prevent certain residents from achieving beyond their current financial condition will remain a priority. This really entails much more than making sure that every Detroiter has a job; these jobs or careers must be in fields that allow for financial and professional growth. Addressing the issue of poverty means also focusing on the psychological concerns, transportation issues, food and utility insecurity that so many Detroiters experience every day. I will continue to support funding of programs that provide job training and placement for employment that provides livable wages and valuable skills. I also working with the business and philanthropic communities to help the city better fund these programs.
What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? While I believed that many elements of Proposal N were meritorious, overall, I did not believe that the proposal that was eventually sent to voters in 2020 provided enough clarity on how the funds would be used once obtained and nor a decisive plan on how the properties that are cleared or rehabbed would be addressed afterward. That was a huge concern of residents in District 1 and it led me to vote in opposition of placing the item on the ballot. I also opposed the previous effort to place Proposal N on the ballot a year earlier because the program at that time focused too heavily on demolition and again had no solid policy that outlined proper maintenance nor disposition post demolition. I was not against blight removal/rehab as a priority, but felt that what was presented lacked the transparency needed to build the trust that so many have lost in city government over the years and this is a huge ask of our residents with major implications if not properly executed.
Candidate did not respond to survey request.
Current job: Police Commissioner for District 1 and System Supervisor @ DTE Energy
Education: David Mackenzie High School, IBEW Local 58 Apprenticeship, Wayne County Community College, Henry Ford Community College, Waldorf University
About Darryl Brown: My life’s work has been dedicated to helping improve the quality of life in our community and in the city that I love. My wife Thelma of 30 years and I have raised our children here since 1997. We have been members of Macedonia Baptist Church since 1999. As a servant by nature, I am actively engaged in the community. As a former member of the Rosedale Park Improvement Association Board, I have served as a block captain for 10 years and I currently serve on the Rosedale Park Radio Patrol. I am a retired Detroit Firefighter, the former Regional Director for the IABPFF (International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters), and a former IBEW Electrician. I am a Shriner of Marracci Temple #13 and a member of Jimmie Lunceford Lodge #45. I currently serve as a Wayne County Sheriff CERT Reserve and I am employed at DTE Energy as a System Supervisor.
Why are you running for Detroit City Council? As a lifelong Detroiter and resident of Rosedale Park for over 20 years. Four years ago, voters like you trusted and elected me to serve as the Police Commissioner for District 1. As your Councilman, I will work tirelessly to improve our community by creating safer and cleaner neighborhoods, increasing the number of public safety agents and volunteers, addressing blighted areas, managing environmental conditions, and fostering development. I believe in the unlimited possibilities of our community. It is through my faith and vision for our community that I have purchased commercial properties, with the aim of encouraging more locally owned businesses to come to this area. More importantly, I will give my all in service to you, thinking not of power and personal interest, but of possibilities and the public good. It is for these very reasons I am running for City Council to give the residents of District 1 the quality of life they deserve.
“As your Councilman, I will work tirelessly to improve our community by creating safer and cleaner neighborhoods, increasing the number of public safety agents and volunteers, addressing blighted areas, managing environmental conditions, and fostering development.” — Darryl Brown
What is the most important issue facing Detroit? Although there are several important issues facing the City of Detroit such as: Blight, residential and commercial development, homelessness, unemployment, crime, supporting our senior citizens and the environment are all very important issues for me. If I had to pick one to start with it would be addressing the blight.
How would you address that issue? Blighted areas in our communities promote crime and contribute to poor environmental conditions. I would increase the illegal dumping fine and add jail time in addition to forfeiture of property used in the commission of this crime. Then meet with the stakeholders in the community and discuss what their vision would be for the neighborhood. Finally, draw upon resources to contribute the dollars for development and attract business to our city.
What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? I disagreed with the Mayor and City Council for the implementation and operation of racial (facial) recognition and how they colluded to undermine the authority of the Board of Police Commissioners. This technology has been proven to misidentify dark-skinned individuals and to prove my point, we have had two misidentifications already. I believe we should discontinue the use of this technology, however; the Board has drafted a strong policy to help prevent misidentification.
Current job: Media Entrepreneur
Education: Bachelor of Criminal Justice
About Krystal Larsosa: I am a child and youth development professional having worked in the juvenile justice system, the church, and the public school system facilitating safe play, interactive learning as well as art and community activities for children and youth. More important, I’m a mother and wife who sacrificed her career to focus on home, my family’s business interest, as well as my surrounding community. As a result, my husband and our family are held in high regard for all we contribute to the neighborhoods. Our three brilliant Black daughters are A students and at ages 14, 12, and 5 are known nationally as the Hershekissis by over 300k followers on their social media platform dedicated to elevating Black girls. A National media contract secured us financially.
Why are you running for Detroit City Council? I am running because God has been good to our family and I want to lend my perspective and commitment to spreading our fortune to District 1 and Detroit families. My plan is to advance an equity-informed, neighborhoods-driven agenda for promoting clean, safe and prosperous neighborhoods, elevate the voices of those least heard and to engage people normally ignored and oppressed by the political process and create new inspiration for Black and Brown people, especially youth, to lead through lived experience.
“My plan is to advance an equity-informed, neighborhoods-driven agenda for promoting clean, safe and prosperous neighborhoods, elevate the voices of those least heard and to engage people normally ignored and oppressed by the political process and create new inspiration for Black and Brown people, especially youth, to lead through lived experience.” — Krystal Larsosa
What is the most important issue facing Detroit? The most important issue facing Detroit is on the heels of National protests and a global pandemic exposing both the lasting injustices impacting the Black community as well as citizens ability to pivot for meeting human needs. Detroit has a window of opportunity to become a national model for equity. The country at least for now has an appetite for cities placing a high value on Black and Brown lives. Detroit should be a place that we can be proud of.
How would you address that issue? I will address this issue as a councilwoman by budgeting through common sense. Prioritizing great city services while also assisting Detroiters in building generational wealth through homeownership and renovation programs, investment into locally owned businesses and start-ups, and championing equitable distribution of block grants for home repair. I’ll build a National narrative of Detroit’s greatness and attract new investors, workers, influencers and families. Detroit will be home again.
What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? There are a number of items which I disagreed with City Council. What comes to mind most immediately are our slanted membership and lease with GLWA, the lease of Belle Isle (what year was that?), the $75 million dollar threshold for CBOs (we need to be at least $50 million) and the rushed vote of Proposal N (I think more time should have been taken to understand it to be sure we got it right). I also believe generally that when it comes to extending jobs and economic opportunity to Detroiters, we need to go big. Requiring participation of at least 50% of Detroiters is literally a half measure. We should be aiming for close to 100%. This would have been my goal through the most recent recreational marijuana ordinance. Detroiters need to be the primary beneficiaries of programs like these. That is the definition of equity.