Whenever Democrats are in trouble, they come looking for the Black vote which always proves to be a potent force for their return to power. This is an election where early polls are showing that if voters went to the polls today, Republican flag bearer Rick Snyder would be the next governor rather than Democrat Virg Bernero.
Detroit has always bailed out the Democratic Party in Michigan as it did eight years ago to install outgoing governor Jennifer Granholm for two terms. Now the question most Democrats are facing is whether Snyder, who proved that he is a moderate Republican by walking away from the base of the GOP, can attract voters in Detroit and other urban areas across the state.
Virg Bernero, fast-talking Lansing mayor, has to make the case that urban voters are in fact better off with him in office than a businessman who could easily be viewed through the eyes of Wall Street.
Whatever strategy these two candidates devise for the Black vote, there must be a realistic plan to create jobs and save the economy, according to Angel Moreno and LaKeisa Branhan, both of whom have become the face of a severe urban crisis that Lansing has too often overlooked or ignored. Critics contend that urban centers like Detroit only matter during the elections when people are bombarded with speeches designed to convice them that their concerns are top priority.
But for 27-year-old Moreno, the mother of 5-month-old Demi Rose, the candidates have to show a plan before she votes for either of them.
“This is really important for me. I am worried about my baby’s future,” Moreno said. “I won’t be lying to you if I tell you I don’t really know where Bernero is coming from.” Moreno said the same goes for Snyder whose plan for jobs she is not familiar with or his background. That sentiment rings true for a lot of voters, which explains the low turnout on Election Day. The candidates only come rushing to Detroit near voting day instead of spending real time in the city to get to know voters and their concerns.
Moreno, a single mother currently taking media studies classes at Wayne State University, basically had to raise herself with the help of relatives after her mother was killed due to domestic violence when she was two years old. Though she did not get to spend time with her mother, she is her inspiration in life, and she wants her daughter to have a meaningful life. That includes getting a job to care for the 5-month-old and ensuring her a good education.
“So it is important for me who becomes our next governor,” Moreno said, adding that her daughter’s life will be impacted by whoever is in the driving seat in Lansing. “I am worried about my baby’s future. What school is she going to if most of the schools are closed? Where is she going to play if all the parks are closed?”
In this election she says the candidates should tell voters the truth, not just what they want them to hear.
Reviving the economy by raising taxes in an already depressed economy is not an option for Moreno.
“I don’t think raising taxes is necessarily going to help us,” Moreno said. “They should work to create jobs first.”
There is concern among some Democratic Party bigwigs about disillusioned voters sitting out the election or crossing over to Snyder.