Ethics in Detroit

November 19, 2023

Ethics In Detroit and the Community Benefits Ordinance

For years Detroit People's Platform and Equitable Detroit, the citywide CBA coalition have raised concerns with both City Council and Department of Planning regarding the need for a more robust practice of transparency and vetting for potential conflict of interest in the Community Benefit Ordinance process.

The concerns relate specifically to Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC ) members who serve as the representative voice of community during negotiations with the developers. This is especially concerning given that the power of appointment to the NAC is controlled by City Council and the Administration.  Impact residents are allocated only two  (2) of nine (9) seats on the NAC and those are by direct vote of members of the impact area.

A disturbing pattern of repeat appointments to the NAC via the Administration coupled with the fact that some NAC members were employed with active developments in the impact area. 

After repeated complaints to the Planning Department it looks like there may be some movement on the issue.  Recently, Law Department has signaled that the City of Detroit Ethics Ordinance may be applied to those who are appointed to the NAC.

The Ethics Ordinance provides much stronger guidance on the issue of conflict of interest that we believe will bring greater scrutiny and more accountability to the appointment process.

Stay tuned for more updates as we have them.