Detroit voters reject revised city charter

Welcome to the Thursday, August 5, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Detroit voters reject new city charter; incumbent Mike Duggan advances to mayoral general election
  2. Organizers have until Aug. 11 to submit signatures in recall effort against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin
  3. Redistricting review: Colorado Supreme Court adjusts redistricting deadlines

Detroit voters reject new city charter; incumbent Mike Duggan advances to mayoral general election 

Yesterday’s Brew featured election results from primaries in two Ohio congressional districts holding special elections on Nov. 2—the 11th and 15th districts. Let’s take a closer look at some other races we covered on Tuesday.

Detroit Proposal P, Revised City Charter

Detroit voters defeated a measure that would have replaced the city’s existing charter with a new one. The Charter Revision Commission developed the new charter after voters approved the creation of such a commission in August 2018. According to unofficial results, 68% of voters opposed the measure, and 33% were in favor.

The city’s new charter would have made changes to policy regarding broadband access, police practices, healthcare, taxes and utilities, and reparations, among other topics. The revised charter would have been 145 pages long, adding 25 pages to the existing 120-page charter that voters approved in 2011 and enacted in 2012. 

The proposed charter included the following changes to city policy:

  • developing free public broadband internet;
  • providing reparations to Black residents;
  • changing police practices, policies, and training requirements;
  • giving residents amnesty for water and sewer fees; and
  • granting tax credits to residents who show proof of overassessed property taxes.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on July 29 that Detroit voters could vote on the measure on Tuesday after two lawsuits were filed in May seeking to block the measure from the ballot. The lawsuits argued that state law required that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) approve the proposed charter before it was presented to voters. Whitmer declined to approve the proposed charter earlier this year.

Detroit mayoral primary

Incumbent Mike Duggan and challenger Anthony Adams received the most votes among 10 candidates in Detroit’s mayoral primary Tuesday. Unofficial results had Duggan receiving 72.4% of the vote and Adams receiving 10%. Both candidates will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013, defeating Benny Napoleon, 55% to 45%. He was re-elected in 2017 after defeating Coleman Young II, 72% to 28%. Before becoming mayor, Duggan’s professional experience included serving as CEO of Detroit Medical Center, Wayne County prosecutor, and deputy Wayne County executive.

Adams is an attorney who served as Detroit’s deputy mayor under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools and interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Organizers have until Aug. 11 to submit signatures in recall effort against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin

We’ve been providing regular updates in the Brew regarding the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Voters will decide whether to recall Newsom in a statewide election on Sept. 14. Here’s the status of a recall effort involving another noteworthy elected official in California—San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Organizers have initiated two recall efforts against Boudin this year. The first was approved for circulation on March 4. Recall organizers have until Aug. 11 to submit at least 51,325 valid signatures to put a recall election on the ballot. A second effort was started on April 28, and organizers have until Oct. 25 to gather the same number of signatures.

San Francisco voters elected Boudin district attorney over three other candidates in November 2019 in an election conducted using ranked-choice voting. The previous incumbent—George Gascón—was first appointed to the office by then-Mayor Newsom in 2011. Gascón declined to seek re-election in 2019, leaving the seat open for the first time since 1909. Gascón is currently Los Angeles County’s District Attorney after defeating incumbent Jackie Lacey, 54% to 46%, in last November’s election.

At the time of the election, Boudin worked in the city’s Public Defender’s Office. His endorsers included presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I), Our Revolution, and the city affiliate of the Green Party. Boudin received 35.7% of the first-choice vote, followed by Suzy Loftus with 31.1%, Nancy Tung with 19.3%, and Leif Dautch with 13.9%. Although the election was officially nonpartisan, all four candidates were Democrats.

Supporters of both recalls allege that Boudin’s approach has led to increased crime rates. Boudin has stated that he is reforming the criminal justice system, and the recalls are politically motivated. 

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Redistricting review: Colorado Supreme Court adjusts redistricting deadlines

The Colorado Supreme Court modified its schedule on July 26 for reviewing congressional and state legislative redistricting plans after the state’s congressional redistricting commission petitioned the court to extend the deadline for submitting a final plan. 

The court’s July 26 order requires the commission and all other interested parties to submit briefs within seven days after the commission submits a final plan to the court, which must be no later than Oct. 8. The commission had asked the state supreme court to establish a deadline of Oct. 28.

In response to the court’s order, the congressional review commission set a Sept. 28 deadline for completing its redistricting plan. The state supreme court said it will rule on the state’s congressional district plan by Nov. 1. 

So far, two states—Illinois and Oklahoma—have enacted state legislative district plans, and no states have enacted congressional district plans. The U.S. Census Bureau has agreed to deliver redistricting data to states by Aug. 16. 

Colorado is one of eight states where commissions draw congressional district lines.

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