Q: If elected in the May special run-off election, and, assuming you are among the two finishers in the August primary, what three things can you promise to accomplish before the November run-off election?
A: If I win the special election for Mayor, I still plan to run for Common Council next year. I have goals, not promises. Each fosters a cleaner, greener Detroit, benefitting the present and future of our city, not friends or relatives, but all of us.
- Renew our Forestry division: Plant and trim trees: for air quality, beauty, serenity; food, fuel and materials of the future, and JOBS.
- Summer and Afterschool Recreation: Youth camping, arts and crafts, Intro to NEW sports, and JOBS.
- Update and improve the 1960's Olympic plan, ready for our next Mayor to accomplish.
All of these provide JOBS, enriching Detroit and Michigan's present and future.
Q: Depending on who is doing the estimating, the city of Detroit faces a potential budget deficit of $100 million to $200 million by the end of this fiscal year in June. Name three specific cuts you'd make to help balance the budget and the savings they'd achieve.
A: I think that estimate is only half our deficit. Our current Mayor doesn't know, and our last Mayor would not provide accurate accounting.
1) Appointee Salary cuts (10% minimum)
2) Hire Dave Bing for a $1 to create employment opportunities
3) Offer to cut mayoral salary the same % as the council will agree to cut their own (after all, they are equally responsible for our deficit.
Q: The city of Detroit continues to lose thousands of residents a year. Name one innovative program that you'd implement to reverse that trend.
A: My entire platform, if enacted revitalizes Detroit and improves quality of life. I plan to offer HOME IMPROVEMENT TAX CREDITS, unlike the ballot proposal which is a home improvement tax INCREASE. This is the wrong time to raise taxes, or I would support the proposal.
Q: Do you think Detroit should continue to send garbage to its waste-to-energy incinerator?
A: As an asthmatic, I am tempted to say close it immediately. There must be better ways to deal with our waste disposal, including recycling. Detroit should lead, not follow our "GREEN economy", and that includes the incinerator. Until better solutions are realized, I hope the incinerator is meeting or exceeding current clean air standards. Doesn't Michigan still have some of the cheapest landfill rates in the country? Isn't that why Canada shipped their waste here?
Q: To reduce dependence on foreign oil and address the problem of climate change, President-elect Obama is promising that the federal government will make significant expenditures to promote the development of green technologies and energy-efficiency programs. What would you do as mayor to help Detroit become a leader in the "green economy"?
A: Detroit is full of empty factories, big, and small. We have the capacity and ability right now. Why we aren't already the leader in solar cell and wind turbine production is beyond me and reflects poorly on recent leadership.
Q: Can you recount a difficult situation that required you to display a high degree of personal integrity?
A: As a DPS school teacher I was "written up" for using the text book in science class. I still have the write up, and yes, I would do it again for the students. I received no gain from doing the right thing, except integrity. I am the only teacher at MICT&T whose students' MEAP scores rose while I taught there.
My cars have been damaged every year since 2003, when I first ran for Council. I still have the bullet(s) shot into my radiator. I risk my own life to try to serve the people. I will not OWN another car anytime soon. If I am mayor, I will drive a streetsweeper, or snowplow when feasible. I'll call them "Lincoln Navigators"
Q: What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made in your life, and what did you learn from it?
A: Let's pray it isn't running for Detroit office. You're going to have to wait for my memoir to see what I learned from it.
Q: Name one of your favorite books (other than the Bible). Why is it significant?
A: Just one?! I'd list dozens of life changing books, including the Bible.
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau: Living off grid (before the grid was).
- God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: Kurt's Homage to the (volunteer) fireman, and the insanity of war.
- Most anything, possibly everything by Mark Twain
Q: Tell us what one of your favorite movies is, and why it is that you like it so much.
A: As a former film major, I recommend the works of Francis Ford Coppola (Detroit born), Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, The Hughes brothers, and the Coen brothers. My (1) choice is The Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont. The story is about an innocent man convicted of murder and his overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. "Hope can set you free".
Q: Is there a piece of music or work of art that moves you deeply? Tell us why.
A: When I was 17, I washed dishes at an all night diner, and the Famous Coachman (WDET) would play a song that still makes me emotional. "I was born by the river in a little tent Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since It's been a long, a long time coming but I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will.
What's Going On, by Marvin Gaye also moves me. The entire album is just as relevant nearly (4) four decades later as when it was released (..."blame it on the have nots"….)
Q: What was your nickname as a kid?
A: My uncle (who died in 'Nam) called me Critter. Grandpa called me Bosco. Female family members called me Yossarian.