Prop “A” Supporters Remain Committed to Economic and Social Justice
Nearly 100,000 voters stepped up to support real community benefits
DETROIT – The grassroots community coalition Rise Together Detroit, managed to get almost 100,000 Detroiters to defend their right to negotiate community benefits when billionaires get massive public subsidies.
“We are emboldened knowing that more than 96,000 people said ‘yes’ to real community benefits and by the fact that we made community benefits part of the public conversation,” said Linda Campbell of Rise Together Detroit. “By definition, real community benefits means the community that is affected by a development project and that helps subsidize the developers has right to be at the table to negotiate a legal agreement for community benefits, a fair exchange.”
With few resources, the coalition relied on volunteers going door-to-door, social media and Election Day poll work to spread the message: “If we have to pay, we get a say. Vote yes on Proposal ‘A’.” There was no Proposal ‘B’ opposition ballot measure until the community gathered more than 5,000 signatures to an authentic community benefits measure on the ballot. It was then that Councilmember Scott Benson drafted an opposition proposal which required no vetting by Detroit voters. What Benson’s proposal did attract was corporate dark money.
“Our corporate opposition had deep pockets and used dark money to a fund signature challenges and expensive TV ads. But, we have deep and serious support in the community,” said Nicole Small of Rise Together Detroit. “Even though Prop A didn’t receive the majority votes to pass, our 46% share of the vote still represents a win. Our win was voter engagement and mobilization which is at the heart of the issue of community benefits. We look forward to working with Detroit City Council and our allies at UAW Region 1 and 1A and AFSCME Council 25 on supporting the needs of Detroiters and we will engage developers more determined to ensure that there is accountability and access.”