Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi believes that people will re-elect her — and that she should be re-elected — because she has a history of having produced and worked on vital issues, as well as a plan to take the city further into the future.
“We know that we all want to see Detroit based businesses prosper in particular, that’s why I created the Office of Targeted Business Development, which provides an opportunity for Detroit-based businesses to engage in business more often, and that does open the door for Detroit-based businesses to come to table and do business with the City of Detroit.”
She also cited her history in substance abuse prevention and treatment, and said she’s always felt that getting to the root causes of what has gotten us in some of the situations that exist today means dealing with the substance abuse issue.
She is proud to say more than 300 groups are part of the partnership for a Drug Free Detroit, which she founded 15 years ago.
“And it continues to grow, and it continues to heal, and it continues to allow people to live their lives to the fullest,” she said.
An issue of paramount importance to her is getting more police officers visible in the community.
Another important issue is the fiscal crisis.
“We know Detroit is hit especially hard, and because of that, we’re going to need legislators at that table who are willing to make the tough decisions, but making those decisions in a carefully thought out manner that would — for me at least — have us looking at maintaining core services, initially,” she said.
By core services she means police, fire, EMS, water, transportation and DPW.
If Detroit doesn’t make the tough decisions now, someone else will make them later, she believes.
She also wants people who are in foreclosure or face that possibility to have an opportunity to go through the mortgage document with a fine tooth comb to see if and where there could potentially be errors.
Tinsley-Talabi described herself as a bridge builder with a history of working with people, and said she would work well with whomever serves on the next council.
“I am about the business of this city, and right now our city needs focus on it. Not on individual personalities, but on meeting the needs of this great city.”
She also favors council members being elected by district, and wrote a position paper on the issue 20 years ago.
She added that it isn’t simply a matter of electing council members to particular districts. There’s also the question of how resources would be allocated to the districts, given that some areas of the city experience poverty at a higher level, while others experience prosperity at a higher level.
She also said council by district goes much further than addressing accountability.
“Certainly that’s a part of it, but to be effective as a candidate in a district, one has to look at those council members who will be able to administer and work with the mayor in terms of services,” she said.
“That means we might have to consider joint appointments or approval of appointment to departments, allocation of resources. It’s deep when we move into that direction, but at the end of the day, I do believe the city would be better served.”