Pastor Glenn Plummer, a household name in the faith community, next Monday will announce his run for Congress in the 13th District, currently represented by Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. But first Plummer sat down with Michigan Chronicle senior editor Bankole Thompson for an exclusive interview focused on the issues he plans to tackle head-on if elected. In the marathon interview Plummer denies that he is a member of the Republican Party. Though he keynoted the Republican National Convention in 2004 in New York, Plummer said he is a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party laying out the principles that make him a Democrat.
Among other issues, Plummer said he is concerned about division along racial lines in Southeast Michigan. Excerpts from that interview follow.
MICHIGAN CHRONICLE: Why did you decide now to run for Congress?
GLENN PLUMMER: Actually it’s been about a little more than a year process. It really began for me more formally at the end of 2008 and it was not until 2009 that I really seriously consider forming an exploratory committee. But in 2008, as you recall, this city was really just beginning to go into unreal dire spin politically. So I really believe that I have some real answers. I think we have some fresh ideas. I personally have loved this city for a long time.
MC: You are running for a congressional seat, not for city council. How can the problems of Detroit that emerge from city hall be equated with congressional representation?
GP: Well, 2008 wasn’t just a shift in city council. We had a new president so there was a shift nationally. So the issue for me was not Detroit only. First of all let me back off and let you know that I really see Detroit larger than the city itself. I see Detroit as really the greater Detroit area. I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Then I’ve lived in a number of different places. Detroit is probably the only major city in America that is polarized as it is in three areas: the area of east and west, we have a suburb/city mentality where the lines are clearly and we have a Black/ White metality. Of all cities in America that have 100,000 population and more, Livonia is the most White city in America. Warren is number three. My point is we have racial polarization. My issue is Detroit is bigger than that and we have to somehow find a way above the divide and see our city as a regional area.
MC: Then wouldn’t it better if you ran for city council instead of congress?
GP: City council of what?
MC: The Detroit City Council.
GP: No. Why?
MC: Because you are talking about regional ism and running for congress.