Huffpost Detroit
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Marcelus Brice Headshot

Improving the Quality of Life in Detroit and Hamtramck Is My Focus

Posted: Updated:

Detroit and Hamtramck residents -- in fact many residents across Michigan -- have a primary, burning issue. They have a strong need for their quality of life to be improved. Public safety, education, jobs, recreation, even responsible government all point to quality of life. I get that people are struggling and do not want their leaders to turn the other direction anymore.

When I decided to run in the Fourth District for the Michigan House of Representatives, I would only do so if I could have a workable plan that would improve the lives of my neighbors given a Republican-led legislature and administration. After much thought, I developed a four-point plan to improve the quality of life of Detroit and Hamtramck residents.

Every resident is concerned about public safety. But how do we improve it at the state level in a responsible way that maintains local leadership?

I have created the Expected Response Initiative. Police and fire departments, specifically in Detroit, have long response times that make the emergencies even more dangerous. I get that police officers, firefighters and EMS techs are overburdened. My plan is to use state revenue sharing to provide financial incentives to cities that meet or beat the national average for police and fire response times. This gives cities motivation. When cities, like Detroit and Hamtramck, meet the qualifications it provides two primary benefits; addresses a major concern of citizens -- improve public safety -- and provides additional funding for city services.

I also support a ban on assault weapons to address crime. These specialized weapons should only be allowed for military and public safety. On Sunday, July 29, I stood with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Congressman John Conyers, Pastor Marvin Winans and Pastor David Bullock to call for a ban on assault weapons not only in Detroit and Hamtramck but across the United States.

As the next state representative in the Fourth District, I will draft legislation that provides grants for police departments that partner with community organizations to have gun buyback programs to get the guns off our streets. This has been done successfully before in Detroit, but is limited when the police departments don't have the resources to host gun buyback events on a regular basis.

Seniors need to be protected too. The most disrespected members of our society are senior citizens. They have fought for our freedoms, built the infrastructure we enjoy today and have wisdom to share. I will fight to protect their livelihoods. First, I will draft legislation that increases the penalties for people who impose crime on citizens aged 65 and older. Second, I will join with other legislators to repeal on the pension tax.

My other two points to improve the quality of life revolve around job creation and education. I plan to work with Republican legislators and elected officials in Detroit and Hamtramck to simplify the process to launch businesses. I will also craft legislation to provide more funding for business training and workforce training for technology jobs.

Finally and just as importantly, I will partner with other legislators and school districts to improve the environment in and around the schools. We need to reduce the distractions both teachers and students have when schools are not clean, neighborhoods are not safe and parents are not involved. As the next state representative in the fourth district, I will introduce an initiative that will help parents become more involved in their children's learning through workshops and a job placement program.

Tuesday's election is not about me. It's not about any other candidate. This election is about what voters want most for your lives. I believe that a plan to improve the quality of life is a real solution. Please vote this Tuesday, August 7.