Michigan Supreme Court hears final arguments on the Detroit City Charter

July 11, 2021

Proposal P has been printed on the ballots, but the State’s High Court will decide whether the vote will count.

Detroit – On Wednesday, July 7th the Michigan Supreme Court heard final arguments on whether revisions to the Detroit City Charter, Proposal P, will appear on the August 3rd ballot. Parties on both sides had an opportunity to present arguments and were questioned by some of the Justices.

Several amicus briefs were submitted to the court and signed by a diverse group of Detroit community organizations and several legal scholars. These briefs will be read and considered by the Justices.

Over the last two and a half years, the Charter Revision Commission has engaged with Detroit voters in a democratic revision process. They formed committees, hosted hundreds of meetings to engage with community and heard from over three hundred groups to draft the revised City Charter.

This revised document increases government transparency and accountability. The Charter Revision also embeds policies like affordable housing, stronger community benefits on qualified development projects, transit accessibility, public oversight, and water affordability.

Almost from the beginning there has been there has been opposition to Detroiters exercising their democratic right to draft revisions that reflect the contemporary needs and priorities of the nation’s largest majority Black city.

The Michigan Supreme Court decision will be the final word on the matter and will determine whether or not Detroiters will have a chance to vote on the Charter. Detroiters are waiting on the high court’s decision.

In the meantime, Detroit voters are subject to a fierce oppositional campaign targeting Proposal P. The special interest and big monied interest that initially called for denying Detroiters the right to vote on the charter are also presently advocating for a NO vote.

The ‘Proposal P is a Problem’ campaign is funded by ‘Detroiters to Protect Our Future.’ From the looks of the number of commercials, mailers and full color flyers they have pumped out, Detroiters to Protect Our Future have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to block what supporters are aptly calling the People’s Charter, Proposal P.

“What Detroiters are facing is the power of organized money and special interest groups using fear and misinformation to scare Detroiters out of their vote” remarked Linda S Campbell of Detroit People’s Platform. “Detroiters recognize these tactics and will continue to organize and fight for a City Charter that prioritizes responsive government and the needs of Detroiters.”