Update on the Detroit city Charter Commission: nearly a year in, where does it stand?

Author:Scott, Mike

The Detroit Charter Revision Commission is charged with something that will change the city for the next 10 to 20 years - drafting proposed revisions to the city of Detroit Charter. Nearly a year into the process, they are making progress and are now seeking input from the business community.

Jenice Mitchell Ford, partner, Foley & Lardner, is the new chair of the nine-member commission. Mitchell Ford was a steering committee member for Michigan Lawyers for Obama, coordinating voter protection efforts during the historic 2008 election. She has served on transition teams for elected officials and worked on presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral elections.

"One of our main goals is to listen to what Detroit residents, business owners and other stakeholders would like to see happen that requires the Charter Commission's activity to pass a law," Mitchell Ford said. "We want to get a better understanding of what should be changed in the charter and what the priorities are." Mitchell Ford noted that a comment that the Charter Commission has often heard from residents and business owners is that there needs to be a process to better streamline economic development in the city. In addition to economic development, some other key issues the Charter Commission will address include council by district; ethics and forfeiture provisions; and structural reforms that can reduce government regulations and improve efficiencies.

The Charter Commission has been holding community...

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