Mayor Dave Bing is one of the prominent officials who urged Detroiters to vote Tuesday. He called the election the 'linchpin of our city.' (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)
Detroit — Mayor Dave Bing joined Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony and others Friday to urge city residents to vote in Tuesday’s election.
Bing said despite discussions about the city’s bankruptcy filing, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s presence and pending lawsuits over the constitutionality of the state’s emergency manager law, new elected officials will one day take over city operations, so it’s important to get the right leaders.
“This is probably the most important election based on so many things going on in our city,” Bing said Friday morning.
“We know that many of our citizens are frustrated and feel disenfranchised based on what’s going on. It more important than ever for our citizens not to sit at home, not to think this race is not important (and) this race is over. You’ve got to come out in numbers and vote. Your voice is important. If you stay home and sit this one out, you’re not going to have a voice.”
Anthony, head of the NAACP’s largest local branch, said polls should not determine whether people show up Tuesday at voting precincts. He added that if Detroiters are concerned about issues in their neighborhoods and protecting their democratic rights, they need to vote.
“The polls do not determine the measure of the impact of the people who make the ultimate decision,” Anthony said. “It is the people who will demonstrate the final poll as they cast votes on Election Day. It is the treasure of your vote that will determine the real value of quality of life.
“If your concerns are better neighborhood services, you must go vote. ... If your concern is safe neighborhoods for you and your children, you must go vote. If your concern is jobs, pensions and retirement, then you must go vote. ”
Bing and Anthony were joined by several officials and groups at the press conference. They included Clerk Janice Winfrey; attorney Nabih Ayad of the Arab American Civil Rights League; Therese Tran, president of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote Michigan; Chris Michalkis, president of the Michigan Detroit AFL-CIO; and Mildred Madison of the League of Women Voters.
“Every election is important, but the municipal race is where you vote for those individuals that will affect your day-to-day lifestyle,” Winfrey said. “If you don’t like the fact that we sit under an emergency manager, now is the time to do something about it. We need to hear from you.”
Added Madison, who helped spearhead the council by district proposal in 2009: “We don’t have deep pockets, but we sure have a vote.”
Bing later called the election the “linchpin of our city.”
“We’ve got to get the right people in positions to make the hard decisions that are necessary to bring our city back,” said Bing, who hasn’t endorsed in the mayor’s race involving Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan. “It can’t be what we read about all the time. It can’t just be downtown and Midtown.”
Anthony added Detroit’s future is in the hands of residents.
“The future of Detroit is not in the hands of Kevyn Orr, the governor (or) the media,” Anthony said. “The future of Detroit is in the hands of the people that live in this city. Unless we exercise our franchise, shame on us. Vote on Tuesday like your life depends upon it because quite frankly it does. If you don’t vote, you need to shut your mouth and be quiet.”