Following a prayer breakfast, the clergy group – representing more than 50,000 Detroiters – discussed the importance of partnering with faith-based leadership in efforts to transform the city. Often mayoral candidates will campaign at churches, only to return while in office on rare occasions. The group, partnering with Napoleon, discussed how an ongoing dialogue of collaboration is necessary to transform the city for generations to come.

“Today, we heard a vision that will transform this city from a leader who has the capability, capacity and relationships to implement real change,” said Bishop Charles H. Ellis III of Greater Grace Temple, one of the largest churches in Detroit. “Benny Napoleon deeply understands what Detroiters face when they wake up in the morning. We stand together as one to set a new course for this city. It is time to conquer the challenges, not divide us even further. We stand with Benny who will usher in new collaborative leadership with a vision to transform this city one square mile at a time.”

This ecumenical leadership group joins others who have endorsed Napoleon’s mayoral candidacy including the Michigan/Ontario Council Bishops of the Church of God in Christ, Incorporated (COGIC) and pastors of the AME/CME/AME Zion Methodist churches, along with labor unions ATU Local 26, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, UFCW 876, and Unite Here Local 24.

“My father taught me the value of relationships in order to accomplish tasks,” said Napoleon. “I understand that the work in transforming Detroit cannot be done by one person or one government agency alone. Clergy leaders will be instrumental in convening citizens to be part of the process as we make Detroit’s neighborhoods livable, walkable and sustainable.

First we will work together to identify the issues that are core to each and every neighborhood. While crime and public safety are top of mind for many of Detroit’s residents and businesses, there are issues that are specific to each square mile of this city. Together with clergy and other stakeholders, we will identify, craft a strategy and implement real and lasting change. Our focus will be on four areas as we move forward: public safety, city services, neighborhoods, and jobs and jobs training.”

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