August 23, 2013
Q. You wrote about the Detroit mayoral primary last month. Duggan won handily. It’s not hard to predict he will win in November. His victory margin will probably be large enough to be called a mandate. What will his mandate be?
A. Not so fast.
There’s no such thing as a guaranteed victory. Plus, consider that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted not to certify the results of the primary, deferring to the state’s election board according to Crain’s Detroit Business.
Duggan has a hard road and a hard fight on his hands against Benny Napoleon. If Duggan does win, big or otherwise, he must use his mandate to show that city government can be part of the solution, not the root of the problem. Detroit’s mayors have kicked problems down the road for 60 years. Duggan needs to put a stop to that game. “The can stops here.”
Duggan has persistence, the political skills and a strong belief in the power of government as a force for good. Combine that with his energy and passion for Detroit and Duggan might just get city government working again.
If history is any guide, we could look back to the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He led this country through the Great Depression. People were in despair, without jobs, food or hope. He used his bully pulpit, his vigor and vitality and his irrepressible smile to persuade them that not all was lost. His passion for government and his unwavering belief that government could forge good solutions for great problems led to the New Deal.
Let’s hope Duggan, if not Napoleon, can craft and execute a new day for Detroit.