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Metro Detroit Greens (Wayne, Oakland & Macomb Counties)

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Detroit HARD BALL AGAIN! - May 1, 2001

Indie Journalism and social commentary
written and edited by Mike Madias
(because it is time to resurrect this old war horse)
Published and distributed by ThinkTank Publications
(From high atop the Legendary Woodland Arms between
the beautiful sister cities of Detroit and Highland Park Michigan)
9 Woodland #408, Detroit, Michigan 48202
Voice: (313) 883-4833
Editor's note: Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Livin' Jus Enuf . . . . for the city

An open letter to Bucko

from Mike Madias
Dear Bucko;

I am considering a run for mayor of the city of Detroit. I just wanted you to be one of the first to know.

Detroit has attempted to resuscitate itself over the last thirty years by building up mass entertainment venues close to the base of Woodward, on the Detroit River.

I can think of one smashing success, Hart Plaza. I enjoy, hell, I love going to Hart Plaza for a picnic or a conversation with a wino and sometimes even talking to a cop. I usually jump for an over priced Good Humor Ice Cream Bar. I am a sucker for the almond crunch bar. I love the festivals and the music. I love the crowds. When I see kids running through the mists under the Naguchi donut, on Hart Plaza, it too, like the ice cream, is worth every penny we overpaid to get it there. Of course, Hart Plaza came from Coleman Young's watch. And the People Mover moved people when Young was Mayor, and now it sort of does, though the stations are not all open.

But what I am saying is that, with this election, we have the opportunity to really examine policy and not get hung up on personalities.

We have had decades of work and building and investment behind us. We can confidently examine the idea of whether a whole city benefits from localized recovery in the center of town.

Does it really work that way? Well, we have tried to turn downtown into Six-Flags over Griswald. We spent the money claiming it would make life better in places like Mack and Mt. Elliot, or Evergreen and Joy Road, the residential districts, far from the showy center of town. We have four story growling Tigers at Comerica Park honoring baseball has beens. But it doesn't play in the hood, where decay and blight continue.

There are dozens of issues, and thousands of questions that can and should be asked of mayor and common council and now is the time and the opportunity to ask them.

I am considering running for mayor to act as a gad fly, to torment the horse's backsides who covet the perks and the power and will continue the failed policies and top down development of Detroit. A very cool sarcophagus does not make for a resurrection.

If I run, it will be with one idea in mind, and that is to demonstrate grass roots democracy as the source of sovereignty in this town, not the musings of the millionaires. The common knowledge is that there are pragmatic reasons for avoiding public office. People of sound mind, and experience are not running for mayor because:

1) they have no million dollar war chest;

2) they do not have a past that is squeaky clean;

3) they are too old;

4) they are "disabled;"

5) they are not straight, that is they represent sexual variance and diversity;

6) they have a history of alcohol abuse and/or drug abuse, (even after several years of being clean and sober, this can still be a factor);

7) They have ideas that are not in the popular political agenda; ideas like the US paying reparations for slavery, Black Nationalism, legal assisted suicide or legalizing drugs,

8) They do not look the part, and do not seek to dress or diet for success;

9) They are innovative, creative, and original; and loud.

10) Finally, that they are ghosts, people that are kept invisible and on the margin of the political system.

In other words, they are the kinds citizens that make up the majority of Detroit's population. People like you and I. The salt of the earth.

In a city like ours, with many an example of a horse's ass; a gadfly like me is worth more than my weight in dung.

I want to assure my people that I will run:
- despite being church mouse poor,
- having a checkered past,
- being old and "disabled".

I have been a card carrying outsider for most of my life. I am a former drunk, and yes I inhaled and enjoyed it. Ich ben ein Detroiter.

When I think of the declared candidates, it makes me wonder, Bucko.

We know that the police department attempts to solve homicides by dragging in everyone they can, holding them incommunicado until one confesses and rolls over on another as the shooter, stabber etc. The DA goes to court without a case on the accused purp. He walks. The guy who confessed, had copped a plea and snitched, he goes to jail. You are the weakest link, Good Bye! Knowing this is the case, police candidates Gill Hill, and Benny Napoleon still want a promotion.

According to WDIV's "Liala's good health", Detroit has the highest rate of syphilis of any berg in the U.S. This is given a spin so to imply that Detroiters (read black folk) are fornicating fools. We see that spin on the afternoon court shows and talk shows. And, as a result of this propaganda, the wrong question is asked. We ponder dead end debates eternally asking why are black youth so immoral.

As an eccentric gad fly, who wants to be your next mayor, I see the same statistic differently. The city health department of Detroit is evidently so incompetent, they can't get penicillin distributed. Without antibiotics, infections spread geometrically. The increase in rate of syphilis is due to delay in treatment. Not necessarily a decline in public morals. But I believe that immorality abounds in the management levels near the top of the health department.

And Donald Barden brought one of his creative ideas, A Michael Jackson kiddie-land park. A place where the King of Pop can sing "Beat It!!" with his tiny friends and Peruvian wild life. . . I will pass on that.

I run for mayor, despite the fact that my advisors (2 of them) tell me I can't win. I do not care. But it only takes some 600 signatures to nominate me.

So if I run I will also see to it that dozens and dozens of other ordinary folk also get nominated. Maybe 100, maybe 200 mayoral candidates, maybe more, and all on the same bed sheet ballot.

If just I do it, they will call me an idiot and ignore me. If there are a dozen of us who do it, then it may rise to the point of getting some mention in the media. But if 100, I say if 100 angry residents of Detroit march down to city hall and declare themselves a candidate and run for mayor and this crowded scene occurs many days in a row, that's 700 mayoral candidates a week, and then the media will call it a movement. And YES, it will be a movement. It will be the Detroit Hardball Again Power Grab Movement. It will be the political equivalent of the Boston Marathon.

So Bucko, they say we shall overcome someday. I have said it for nearly forty years. Today is the day. Run for Mayor with me Bucko. You won't be alone. Tell your friends.

And Good Night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.




P.S. I'll vote for you.


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