Monday, July 20, 2009

Charles Pugh for Detroit City Council

I met Charles Pugh for the first time on May 18, 2005, which was the day that the City of Detroit decided to demolish the historic Madison-Lenox Hotel and replace it with a parking lot. I was the local press contact for the historic preservation groups, which meant that it was my job to remind everyone that there were developers ready to redevelop the hotel, creating jobs and tax revenue in the process. (There is more from that fateful day over on my personal blog.)

I also got to remind everyone that the City of Detroit had recently falsified the inspection reports for that hotel. They argued that the building was found to be in eminent danger of collapse when, in truth, their own records showed that the building hadn't even been inspected.

Charles Pugh was one of the reporters who got the importance of the story. He seemed to understand the value of not only preserving a piece of Detroit's cultural identity, but the importance of jobs and tax revenue that a reborn hotel can create.

Of course, it didn't stop there. When Detroit Synergy launched its Shop Detroit project to encourage people to discover some of the retail options that exist within Detroit, Charles Pugh went out of his way every year to make sure that the project got the media attention that it deserved.

Charles Pugh is also one of a handful of individuals who never let his celebrity status get to his head. Over the past few years, I have seen him on several occasions on Riverfront downtown or at one restaurant or another. He is one of the most approachable people around; always willing to listen to anyone who wants to talk - regardless of whether they're happy or upset with him.

He takes that experience as a reporter and a lifelong Detroit resident into the campaign with him. He has made crime and police response time key issues in his campaign as well as taxes, mass transit and economic development. You can read more about his platform here.

It's for all of these reasons that I join the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO and others in endorsing Charles Pugh for Detroit City Council.

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