Having first come into print a mere three years ago (the hangover from our birthday bash last week still hasn’t subsided, despite multiple hair-of-the-dog Bloody Marys throughout the week), News Hits is far too young to have experienced the last Tigers pennant (1984), the last earthquake to rock Detroit (1986) or the last Detroit City Council race to fill a vacancy (1991, when Detroit School Board member Kay Everett defeated then-State Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick).
So the upcoming race to fill the vacancy created by the death of Brenda Scott sets this column’s political heart a-pounding.
Still caught in an alcohol haze, we speculated among ourselves that the contest might provide some vision of what Detroiters would see if the city were to replace its current at-large council with district-based representation where candidates actually have to address — even debate — their opponents.
Alas, when we attempted to run this thought past an expert, political consultant Mario Morrow offered News Hits this sobering assessment: Get real. Rather than the enlightening contest of ideas and positions that district elections promise (in theory, at least), the upcoming contest, even though limited to just one seat, will still be of such sheer scale that it’s all but guaranteed to get negative. At least that’s the way Morrow sees it.
“They’re going to beat each other up like Tyson and Holmes,” he says.
Well, we can drink to that. And as soon as the intern gets back with more vodka, we will.
In fact, if this election contributes anything to the district debate, says Morrow, it’ll be by negative example. “People will reflect and say there’s got to be a better way,” he says. “This could be a wake-up call.”
Pity the foo’ who wakes up Detroit.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org