In addition to voting for the next president in the November election, Michigan voters should prepare to vote on a few proposals that would change the state’s constitution.
Proposal N -- on the Nov. General Election ballot for Detroit voters -- aims to eradicate blight and dilapidation across the city. The plan does have some opposition, however, due to distrust in Detroit leadership.
Proposal N would allow the city of Detroit to sell $250 million in “Neighborhood Improvement Bonds” that will be used to save 8,000 vacant homes and demolish 8,000 others that can’t be saved. The homes that are preserved, as well as the land from those demolished houses, will be sold to buyers who live in the area. The city planning commission said the freed-up land could also be used for things like urban farms or energy banks.
Those behind Proposal N are hoping to make real headway without hurting Detroiters. Sen. Adam Hollier said the proposal will provide revenue to remove blight without raising taxes.
The fight against Prop N isn’t about money, but rather how the city has previously spent money. Opponents point to financial audits that reportedly reveal mismanagement and mishandling by the city for years.
“They have double bookings, they have mismanaged money, they have paid vendors who were not on the approved vendors list,” said Agnes Hitchcock. “They have done so many things with the money they already had.”
The bond money will only cover about half of the cost required to fulfill the plan, but the city stresses that it is in good financial standing despite losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Election Day for the U.S. presidential election is on Nov. 3. You can view a sample of what your Michigan ballot will look like online right here.