Who supports an EFM in Detroit?
Judging the recent public protests and media reports, one might assume that no one does.
Several familiar faces have come out against Snyder's decision to appoint an emergency manager. Civil rights titans like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton recently expressed their disapproval, and the buck does not stop there. Many local leaders have summoned citizens to protest, alleging that a state takeover is an "attack on democracy ". Yet, does such opposition tell the complete story?
A recent poll conducted by the Michigan Chronicle found that of 400 individuals surveyed, nearly half support an EFM. Most of those in favor were between the ages of 41 and 50. This prompted us to consider, what's behind this segment of the population's support of a state takeover?
Some Detroiters in favor of an EFM believe it's what's needed to bring city government together to resolve it's issues. They suggest that until now, voter-appointed leaders have been unable to get the job done on their own.
Lavaughn Carter, 40 is a Detroiter who currently works in sales and customer service. While he denies such demographic factors influence his stance, Carter says he supports an emergency manager for several other reasons.
He does not believe an emergency manager takes away democratic rights. Carter referenced Roy Roberts' appointment as such for the Detroit Public Schools system. He called attention to the fact that the school board is still in place and involved with the process of restructuring. Carter believes the mayor and city council will continue to play a similarly vital role.
"The only difference, they won't have their pens to the checkbook."
Carter questioned the necessity of elected officials' having to know what the financial manager will do next, considering that their failure to properly act is what caused the city's money troubles in the first place.
"The EFM is here to restore Detroit's finances so that the assets outweigh the liabilities, and not vice versa."
Carter believes the governor's most recent appointment might be just what the city needs to establish and sustain new growth. He referenced a fear among some Detroit workers that the EFM poses a threat to their union contracts. Carter, however asserts that he hopes Kevyn Orr's appointment will improve conditions by possibly re-negotiating terms for city employees.
Lavaughn Carter is not alone in his belief that the state's intervention will benefit the city. Detroiters who support an EFM are fed up with the status quo. They believe it will take outside action to resolve the city's biggest challenges. It's an uphill battle that many are afraid the current system cannot win on it's own.
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