Another Sham Mayoral Election
Meanwhile city elections were held on November 5 where a corporate agent Mike Duggan was installed with less than 25 percent of the electorate participating. Duggan is the first White man elected as mayor since 1969 when Roman Gribbs won by 7,000 votes.
When Gribbs was elected in 1969, Detroit had a population of 1.4 million. Today it stands at half that number with 700,000. Gribbs’ administration faced virtual collapse with massive police misconduct resulting in a crisis in 1972-73 that could have prompted another rebellion even more violent than the one in 1967.
Since 1973, when former labor organizer and leftist Coleman A. Young took control and held power for two decades, no White man has held this position. Nonetheless, since the retirement of Young in 1993, all of the subsequent mayors have been more than willing to accept the full corporate program for the city without question. Young died of natural causes four years after his retirement in 1997.
Even Dave Bing, a former CEO of an auto-related firm, who took office in 2009, was promoted by the corporate media as a successful businessman that could make and implement “difficult decisions.” Since Bing took office 4,000 city employment positions have been eliminated and the overall conditions for residents are worsening.
Duggan, who was a political functionary of the previous Ed McNamara Democratic Party county machine, later became the Wayne County Prosecutor. When the County administration fell on hard times, Duggan was offered the CEO position over the Detroit Medical Center.
When Duggan took over at the DMC it was listed as a non-profit organization. He privatized the system and sold it off to a firm operating out of Tennessee.
Duggan was denied ballot status during the spring but ran as a write-in candidate. He received only 74,000 votes but due to the abysmal turnout won the election by 14,000 votes against his opponent Benny Napoleon, the Wayne County Sheriff who was the former police chief for the City of Detroit under the administration of Dennis Archer when police misconduct and brutality resulted in a federal investigation and two eventual consent decrees that the City still remains under at present.
Duggan’s campaign and ballot status has been subjected to allegations and legal challenges claiming massive fraud. It is obvious that Duggan is working closely with the corporate elites in Detroit to continue the process of indebtedness and the denial of fundamental democratic rights.
The offices of the EM and Duggan, who is slated to take office in January, are providing no real solutions to the Detroit crisis. There is no mention of the need to cancel the bank debt, to provide jobs and city services to the people of Detroit.
Consequently, the people of Detroit have no choice accept to continue the movement against the banks and corporations which have driven the City into the present crisis. The outcome of the bankruptcy trial and the overall struggle for jobs, city services, pensions and healthcare will portend much for the future of other municipalities around the U.S.
There are at least 18 other states that have been designated as having pension systems that are underfunded. The Obama administration has also floated plans for the reduction in Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare benefits as well.
Unless the working class and nationally oppressed communities organize independently of the two major capitalist parties under a program for jobs, economic equality, self-determination and self-rule the conditions of the overwhelming majority of people throughout the U.S. will worsen. Capitalism and its functionaries have no program to address the crisis other more austerity and repression domestically coupled with imperialist war abroad.
By: Abayomi Azikiwe