Mayor Mike Duggan, during his campaign for re-election, talked about working for all Detroiters and was dismissive about the talk of two separate Detroits: Downtown and the neighborhoods.
Conversely, challenger Coleman A. Young II accused the mayor of ignoring the neighborhoods and catering to downtown and Midtown residents.
We spoke to some longtime residents at the polls on Tuesday to see why they voted for Young or Duggan. The first two people were interviewed at a poll at 9200 Gratiot on the city's east side and the next two voted at the Central United Methodist Church on East Adams in downtown Detroit.
Deadline Detroit: What were some of the major issues in this campaign for you?
King: Housing was a huge issue for me, probably the biggest issue for me.
DD: What did you think of Coleman Young’s campaign and Mike Duggan’s campaign?
King: I liked Coleman’s campaign because he gave me the sense that he can bring the city up, and Mike Duggan did not deal with blight like he said he would. Duggan has been focused on Downtown and ignoring the rest of the city. All the jobs have been brought to Downtown only.
DD: Do you think race played a big part in this election?
King: Yes, Detroit is a primarily African-American city and most African Americans live in the neighborhoods, yet all the progress has been focused on Downtown, and the schools all being closed down are ridiculous.
DD: Which candidate appealed to you most?
Epps: Mike Duggan because I like what I see is happening around the city; things are happening at least.
DD: Anything that you haven’t liked with Duggan?
Epps: I want the city to start taking actual care of the city more, cutting down trees and better health programs etc.
DD: What was an issue that most fired you up to come out and vote in this mayoral election?
Sams: Too many to choose from. Housing, parking (she lives Downtown)
DD: Have you seen anything from the Duggan administration that has discouraged you?
Sams: They haven’t done nearly enough in the neighborhoods, nothing at all actually. Everything has been focused on Downtown.
DD: What can Coleman do that Duggan didn’t do?
Sams: Bring our neighborhoods back, bring in the blights to start the redevelopment. What has Duggan done for seniors that have lived in Downtown and are low income? Are they going to relocate them or accommodate them in any way because they’re creating all these development projects Downtown and they haven’t done enough for seniors.
DD: What major issue distinguishes this election from past mayoral votes?
Ernst-Simpson: Senior citizens having to deal with construction all around them downtown has been to much to deal with. We have to dust our homes every single day because of the construction downtown. It's caused health problems for a lot of my fellow seniors in the city and I feel Mike Duggan is not for us and he doesn’t care about these issues. He only visits two sections of the city to talk to people, Rosedale Park and Indian Village, rest of us he doesn’t care about.
DD: What can Coleman Young bring that Duggan has not?
Ernst-Simpson He can bring back our neighborhoods, deal with our drug problems in the city, and deal with all the stray dogs in the city, it’s very bad. The schools need to cleaned out and the teachers need to get better
resources available to them. The children here in Detroit need to share books because there is not enough books to go around in these classes.