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Detroit City Council At-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

  • Janee L. Ayers Detroit City Council Member At-Large

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    Brenda Jones Council President

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    Beverly Kindle-Walker Legislative Assistant

  • Mary Waters

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Biographical Information

Please provide information about your qualifications and experience and explain why you are running for this position.

What are the priority issues facing City Council and what actions would you take to address them if elected?

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Education Bowling Green State University: BA, Political Science, 2003 Graduate, Renaissance HS, Detroit, 1999
Occupation/current position Detroit City Council Member At-Large
As a lifelong Detroiter and former Vice President of the Metro AFL-CIO and UNITE HERE!, representing and negotiating contracts for thousands of working families and Detroiters, I understand the challenges facing everyday citizens. Whether connecting residents to services, answering questions about city operations, or helping navigate the city bureaucracy, I make responsiveness and service a priority in my office. As well, have worked to legislate with integrity. This means learning the issues, staying informed, seeking diverse opinions, and balancing considerations. Above all, it means making decisions that keep the best interests of Detroit in mind. I believe these reasons are why I was overwhelmingly elected last year to finish the At-Large term on council to which I was appointed in 2015.
First, I want to ensure that our progress provides opportunity for, and is inclusive of, Detroiters. This means that as we pay for our city’s operational needs, invest in infrastructure or in publicly funded projects like the Stadium, we must prioritize economic opportunity for our own citizens. Whether in the form of direct jobs or building our minority and Detroit-based businesses, Detroit tax dollars must circulate through our community first. Second, I want to strengthen and build sustainable, thriving neighborhoods. This means that our policies – land use, investments, and program priorities- should support building amenity-rich neighborhoods. In every thriving area, residents should have close access to healthy food, recreation, and affordable, reliable transit. There is no “silver-bullet” answer to these big issues but they are foundations in my service to Detroiters.
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Education B.A., Psychology-Wayne State University; Certificate, Labor Studies Program-Wayne State University; Graduate, Detroit Police Citizen's Academy; Diploma, Cass Technical HS
Occupation/current position President, Detroit City Council
I am presently the longest serving Council member and Detroiters have chosen me to represent them at-large for the last 12 years. In the 2013 election, I was second in top votes of all candidates running. This primary, voters awarded me with the top votes of ALL candidates running. My platform has always been my name, JONES: Jobs, Opportunities, Neighborhoods, Education and Safety. My biggest strength is the fact that I spend much of my time in the community listening to constituent issues and suggestions, while connecting them to solutions -- so much, that I have become known as “The Citizen’s Voice.” I will always strive to live up to that honor by promoting transparency, honesty and accountability in everything I do. My background as a former labor union president and member on many executive boards allows me to shape policies and ordinances that improve our quality of life.
Detroit's post-bankruptcy transition freed up immediate cash, but left us with long term under-calculated liabilities, salary cuts and benefit reductions for retirees, employees and first-responders. I fight to restore cuts by improving budget performance and service delivery. As new people migrate to the city, long-time Detroiters who lived through hard times feel they are funding the rebirth while being displaced and neglected, especially many in our neighborhoods. As jobs can reduce crime and poverty that concerns many constituents and to engage a workforce that meets a growing employment need, I sponsor Returning Citizen expungement/job fairs and lead the Skilled Trades Task Force. Our educational outlook is promising, but data says we have a way to go. I will use my ex-officio seat on the DPSCD Financial Review Commission to ensure the right actions are being taken for our youth.
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Education Central Mich Univ Graduate Certificate- Public Admin, Central Mich Univ BA- Community Development, Wayne County Community College- Asso Sci, Martin Luther King High School
Occupation/current position Legislative Assistant to Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen, D-Dist 1
Currently, I am a Legislative Assistant to Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen (10 yrs); a former Neighborhood City Hall Manager- Northeast Detroit & S Schafer offices (3 yrs); and a former Legislative Assistant to Detroit City Council Members Brenda M. Scott (3 yrs) and Clyde Cleveland (5 yrs). In addition, I have worked for Mich AFSCME Council 25; Detroit Public Schools; SmithGroup as a Community Organizer; and New Detroit, Inc as a Youth Caucus Coordinator. With such an extensive record of public service, I have the commitment, fortitude and experience necessary to help the legislative body to govern our City by monitoring contracts, budget, tax abatement issues, line items, risk management oversight, encouraging new revenue streams, inter-governmental relationships, rescinding unfair ordinances and setting a real urban agenda will be a priority. I am on several non-profit boards.
The City of Detroit needs a legislative body of Council Members who will diligently prioritize the business of the City by functioning as a check and balance to the Mayors Initiatives. I pledge that I will come to the Council table prepared to do my very best everyday. I will uphold the Detroit City Charter as we all strive to improve, grow and sustain the City of Detroit for the common good of its residents. I will seek ways to restore the "Spirit of Detroit" that was damaged in the "bankruptcy", in particular, making our retirees as whole as possible.
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