SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
Mayor-elect Dave Bing celebrates with his wife, Yvette Bing, and supporters Tuesday night at the Doubletree Fort Shelby.
The City of Detroit held a special election to elect a mayor and the winner was Dave Bing, former basketball professional with the Detroit Pistons and area businessman. His opponent was Kenneth Cockrel who was the interim mayor and former president of the City Council.
One can look at Mayor Bing's position as enviable or hopeless. Detroit is at its nadir. One in four Detroiters are unemployed. The city is literally falling apart. After nearly three decades of black racial politics, a large portion of the city's intellectual and civic leaders... both black and white... have left. One conniving, unethical character after another has risen to positions of power throughout the city's government. It's hard to imagine that things could be worse... but with the reality of a Chrysler bankruptcy and the strong possibility of a General Motors bankruptcy, it is likely that things will get worse for the city. But Mayor Bing may be able to take credit if there are any improvements.
Mayor Bing has the opportunity to be a rallying point for the city. He brings back memories of a time when the name "Detroit" was associated with winning and excitement. Nevertheless, old glories don't necessarily translate into future hope. Detroit is and will remain a city that will be living on hand-outs to continue as an entity. The first thing that Mayor Bing must do is restore a long-lost sense of ethical government by cleaning Detroit's political house.
If people do not perceive a fundamental change in Detroit politics beyond the mayor's office, nothing will change for the better. Mayor Bing has a challenge much bigger than winning a basketball championship. Don't expect him to turn Detroit into a winner; expect him to begin the process of stopping Detroit from being such a loser.