Video: Detroit Councilwoman Latisha Johnson expects new council will be stronger check

December 07, 2021, 11:27 PM by  Violet Ikonomova

Detroit's new City Council was sworn in Tuesday morning, beginning a period of transition for the body with six first-time members. 

Though the council won't be seated until January, several of the newcomers have been sharing their priorities with Deadline Detroit before they get to work. In District 4, Councilmember Latisha Johnson, who replaces the disgraced André Spivey, says her focuses are equitable development and infrastructure.

Johnson wants to restore blighted buildings to productive use while growing home ownership, and has suggested the Land Bank prioritize owner-occupancy when selling property. She also wants to do more to reign in speculation that leaves commercial property unavailable for Detroiters who want to start businesses. 

Johnson says she expects the new council to serve as a stronger check and balance on the Duggan administration. She disagreed with the last council's decision to put Prop N on the ballot, pay a law firm to counter sue Detroit Will Breathe activists, and its failure to pass a grassroots-led community benefits ordinance. A number of newcomers appear more politically progressive than their predecessors, and three have legislative backgrounds.

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