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Politics & Government
Wed November 6, 2013
Lessenberry discusses election highlights
This Week in Michigan Politics Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss some of the highlights from Tuesday's election, including the Detroit mayoral race, elections on LGBT issues, and proposals to decriminalize marijuana.
Duggan to be Detroit's next mayor
Former Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan will be Detroit's next mayor.
Duggan maintained a 55-to-45 percent lead over Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
He was originally a write in candidate and had little chance to survive the primary.
Now he’ll be the first white mayor of Detroit in 40 years.
Lessenberry says what Detroiters really want in a mayor is, “someone who can fix things. Who can make police come in under an hour, who can get the street lights turned back on.”
But Duggan and the newly elected city council aren’t going to have a lot of power until next October because they will be working under Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.
Lessenberry says Duggan might not have a big problem with that lack of power for the first year.
“That’s because the city has to go through bankruptcy and there’s going to be some very unpopular decisions that have to be made.”
Royal Oak votes yes for LGBT ordinance, Holland votes no for a gay city council candidate
LGBT rights were at the center of other proposals and elections in the state.
Voters in Royal Oak approved a local ordinance that protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Meanwhile, the city of Holland did not elect the first openly gay candidate for City Council. This comes two years after Holland City Council voted against a proposal that would’ve made it illegal for landlords and employers to discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Lessenberry says while Holland is still very socially conservative, Royal Oak has changed its view on LGBT issues. The ordinance in Royal Oak to protect LGBT rights passed by 54 percent.
“This is notable when you consider 12 years ago essentially the same ordinance was voted down by Royal Oak voters by more than 2-1,” Lessenberry says.
Voters approve to decriminalize marijuana
Voters in Lansing, Jackson, and Ferndale voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in their communities.
Lessenberry says these votes say a lot about what Michiganders think about marijuana and where law enforcement should focus it's attention.
“I think it’s pretty clear that you have a diverse number of communities here that really don’t want criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana,” Lessenberry says. “I think [voters] probably think that whether you like marijuana or not, the energies of the police and the prosecutorial forces might be better engaged elsewhere.”
Politics & Government