On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, the citizens of Detroit will select their next mayor. This is a crucial decision in the wake of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s failed administration. Kilpatrick was recently sentenced to 28 years in federal prison.
Mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon has made reviving Detroit his priority. A Detroit native, he’s garnered support from many of the local black churches, labor unions and politicians, including Congressman John Conyers.
On Oct. 23, Napoleon visited Wayne State University to discuss his plans for the city if elected mayor. He met with students and faculty in an effort to gain their support. In a forum hosted by the political science department and pre-law association, Napoleon participated in a Q-and-A session.
“The blight in this city is unacceptable and the devastation in our communities is unconscionable,” he said.
Napoleon reminisced about the time when Detroit was one of the largest cities in the country with more than two million residents. He expressed that one of his major concerns is that more than one million people have left the city, resulting in an increase in the crime rate, a decline in the educational system, and higher taxes and insurance rates.
An education advocate, Napoleon believes, “education is the quickest way to lift us out of our circumstances and into a better life. Education is something the mayor must be a huge cheerleader for — even more so than the superintendent of schools.”
Napoleon also expressed the importance of a healthy lifestyle and shared his plans to be an advocate for a creating healthier city.
A graduate of Northwestern, Walden and Harvard University, the former Detroit police chief managed one of the city’s largest agencies with 5,000 employees and a $40 million budget. Napoleon expressed he’s more than capable and prepared to lead the city of Detroit forward.