Detroit City Council At Large August 3 Primary Candidate Guide

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Image credit: Meta Stange/WDET

Get to know the candidates running for Detroit City Council At Large in the August 3 primary election.

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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 At Large below.

See a full list of races covered here.

Related Races: MayorCity Council - District 1City Council - District 4City Council - District 7

Jump to a candidate:
Jermain Jones
Nicole Small
Janeé Ayers
Coleman Young II
Mary Waters

Jermain Jones

Candidate did not respond to survey request. Visit his campaign website.

Nicole Small

Candidate did not respond to survey request.

Courtesy of the City of Detroit
Courtesy of the City of Detroit

Janeé Ayers

Age: 39

Current job: Council Member At-Large (City of Detroit)

Education: Bowling Green State University, B.A Political Science and Public Policy

About Janeé Ayers: For the past six years, I have been honored to serve the people of Detroit. 

Before joining Detroit City Council, I worked as a hospitality worker at MGM Grand Casino, I become a member of the UNITEHERE! Local 24 contract bargaining team, negotiating on behalf of thousands of hospitality workers with some of the region’s largest employers. The labor movement is where I found my voice as a former Vice President of the Metro AFL-CIO.

I’ve served Detroit youth at youth recreation programs, and as a teacher at a Detroit Public Schools alternative education facility.

I am a proud graduate of Renaissance High School and Bowling Green State University.

Why are you running for Detroit City Council? As a lifelong Detroiter, this City is an integral part of who I am. In my At Large position, I represent every district and it is my mission to build a better city for ALL Detroiters. My background as a labor organizer and DPS educator taught me how to always fight for the most vulnerable in our city and ensure that all of us have access to jobs and opportunity. Growing up seeing my father go in and out of prison taught me how much that access can change the direction of someone’s life. That’s why I founded the Returning Citizens Task Force, to ensure that people coming out of incarceration have access to jobs, training and housing so they don’t return to a life of crime. It’s why I work to improve and spread awareness of resources for skilled trades training or small businesses. As Chair of the Budget, Finance & Audit and Public Health & Safety committees, I have been committed to a financially strong, safe and vibrant Detroit and worked to ensure that through pragmatic leadership.

As a lifelong Detroiter, this City is an integral part of who I am. In my At Large position, I represent every district and it is my mission to build a better city for ALL Detroiters.” — Janeê Ayers

What is the most important issue facing Detroit? The next four years are crucial to the financial health of the City. Bankruptcy allowed us to pause some of our financial obligations, particularly our pension obligations. The City’s plan of adjustment created in the bankruptcy process requires us to start making significantly higher contributions to the City’s two pension systems over the next few years. Because of this, financial responsibility and management will be one of my top priorities for this next term.

How would you address that issue? Every year since I’ve been in office, Council and the administration have worked together to maintain a balanced budget and set aside funds to help offset pension payments in the future. If we maintain this course, Detroit will be able to meet its obligations. When it comes time for Council to amend the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the fact that we have these payments coming up in 2024 is always at the forefront of my mind. I’ve returned $742,555 from my office budget since 2015, and made tough decisions to hold back on spending additional funds on projects and issues that are near and dear to my heart because I know that the future of our city depends on being fiscally responsible during times when it seems like we’re flush with funds. I will maintain the level of fiscal prudence that I’ve always had unless and until the City is able to comfortably meet its future pension obligations.

What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? A criticism I have in all levels of government is the inadequate outreach to residents regarding education on the vaccine before the rollout. Detroit still ranks far below other major cities in vaccination rates.

Coleman Young II

Candidate did not respond to survey request.

Mary Waters

Candidate survey response coming soon. Visit her campaign website.

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