On Monday, September 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM, Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield (D – District 5) will hold a pivotal press conference in Spirit Plaza, alongside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. She will be joined by community leaders, advocates, and local organizations to mark the 5 Year Anniversary of The People’s Bills, a transformative package of legislative initiatives that has been shifting the needle toward housing justice, economic inclusion, and opportunity for all Detroit residents since its inception in 2018.
“Since the announcement of The People’s Bills five years ago, I have worked alongside the community and organizations that have been at the forefront leading these efforts. It is an honor to stand together with the community to celebrate what we’ve accomplished so far, and to recommit ourselves to the work that needs to be done to secure equitable and inclusive progress for all Detroiters.” Exclaimed President Sheffield.
The agenda for the day will feature an update on numerous milestones reached through The People’s Bills. Noteworthy among them are the Right to Counsel law, the Neighborhood Improvement Fund, Industry Standards Board, Senior Home Repair Program, Detroit Resident Discount Program, and Property Tax Exemption. The bills, which span a myriad of areas from government surveillance to housing, have not only seen local adoption but have also created a framework that other cities can adopt.
Professor Bernadette Atuahene of the Coalition for Property Tax Justice emphasized, “Property Tax Reform and Justice are long overdue. The Coalition for Property Tax Justice is excited that Council President Sheffield, our longstanding advocate and partner, is sponsoring the Property Tax Reform Ordinance, which will bring structural reform, ensuring unconstitutionally inflated property taxes never happen again in Detroit. At the Coalition, we will believe that when we fight together, we win together. We are happy to be fighting alongside Council President Mary Sheffield”
Forthcoming legislative initiatives will be discussed as well, including Responsible Contracting, Property Tax Reform, DDOT Low Income Fares and Bus Driver Salary Increases, Right to Renew, and Water Affordability. Sheffield’s tireless advocacy for these measures underscores her commitment to create a Detroit where opportunity is not just a catchphrase but a tangible reality for its residents.
Sheffield’s tenure has been marked by other legislative wins such as the Detroit Reparations Task Force, Wage Increases for DPD Officers, Cash Bail Elimination, and the Homeless Bill of Rights. The overarching message is evident: as long as Council President Sheffield holds her position, there will always be a legislative pathway toward greater equity, social justice, and systemic reform.
This is not a moment; it’s a movement. We have come far, but our journey towards a more equitable Detroit is far from over. The spirit of collective action that got us here will propel us into the future.
The press conference will feature representatives from Laborers’ Local 1191, Coalition for Property Tax Justice, Detroit People’s Platform, Hydrate Detroit, Transit Justice United, Steward Tenant Council, Right to Counsel Coalition, City of Detroit Board of Review, Dignity Restoration Project, SEIU Local 1, and NW Goldberg Community among others.
For those who care deeply about Detroit’s future, Monday’s press conference is more than a milestone; it’s a rallying cry for continued action and advocacy. The work is far from done, but as Sheffield’s track record shows, with a community united, significant change is not just possible; it’s inevitable.