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Earning Kudos From The Nation

At a time when the clown quotient in local politics continues to creep higher, I thought it was kinda nice to see The Nation magazine offer up a tribute to Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson recently. Watson was named by the magazine's John Nichols as the country's "Most Valuable Local Official."

Watson has led fights for greater transparency and accountability in government, has gone after predatory lenders and has promoted a multifaceted Detroit Marshall Plan to revitalize her economically battered city. She's proudly controversial and remarkably successful at getting local, state and national officials focused on fundamental issues.

As I wrote back in October, I've always placed Watson among the most fearless politicians in Detroit, bold and unflinching in pronouncements that very often go against the popular political grain in the state. For instance, her recent call for a massive infusion of federal cash to bail out the city certainly didn't win many friends among those who get constipated at the mere thought of billions in tax money flowing to cities like Detroit--but that hasn't muted her one bit.

From the bailout proposal to her fight to shutter the Detroit incinerator to her opposition of privatization of city jobs, Watson continues to be an advocate of progressive values as well as a lightning rod for criticism from the media and others. Personally, I have immense respect for her activism and ideas, even as I realize that many around Detroit disagree with her vehemently and some others just don't like her. But like her or not, at least with JoAnn Watson you're never confused about where she's coming fr0m--because she never hesitates to speak her mind.

In a Detroit starved for backbone in its leadership, I consider that a plus.

What're your thoughts on Watson and her MVP from The Nation? Deserved? Why or why not?

(Hat tip to the Metro Times for this one...)

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  • 1

    I have no quarrel at all what is interesting is when the local media kingpins get trumped by national media types... IT really is tragic when is takes outsiders to acknowledge the talent here..

    I am of course waiting for the outsiders to lionize me and then I will stick my nose up to the locals,lol,lol

  • 2

    Well it was interesting that it wasn't mentioned that she was only paying $68 dollars a year in property taxes. How transparent is that?

  • 3

    The problem with her "Detroit Marshall Plan" is that she has no idea how to make it happen. I don't see her making a case in Washington or even winning the support of Detroit Congressional delegation. This plan, such as it is, barely rises to the level of barroom chatter. As a serious policy suggestion, it ranks down there with calls to Impeach George Bush or disprove Barack Obama's citizenship.

    And really, without dramatic reform, what's to stop the "Detroit Marshall Plan" funds from ending up in the bank accounts of the Farbman Group, Frank Taylor, Matty Moroun, and the rest of their ilk?

    Listen to Watson for five minutes and it is clear she's as much a theocrat as Jerry Fawell or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She wants to make Detroit right for God. It's a shame that so-called progressives like The Nation continue to offer a double standard to urban politicians who wish to govern civil society with God's law.

  • 4

    Apparently Dyspathy cannot separate his religious bias from Watson's ideas.. Who cares about God worshipping issues when ideas matter...

    Enough already with these turf battles while rome is burning...

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