Detroit Declaration

Political Action

Steve Tobocman, Kirsten Ussery & Scott Benson get out the vote

To fully realize the principles set forth in the Detroit Declaration, we need leaders in Detroit and Lansing who are committed to creating a stronger, healthier city. Since the Declaration was drafted in 2010, signers have supported candidates who share these values by volunteering and donating to their campaigns.

In January 2013, we launched a Political Action Committee (PAC) to further support candidates, ballot initiatives and legislation to move Detroit forward. To donate, click here.

We’re also working with partners to promote voter registration in the city. If you live here but have been voting elsewhere, today is a good day to make the switch. Visit to find out how.



2010 State of the City Address:

Thanks to the over 300 people who gathered at The Majestic Theater on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 to celebrate civic engagement. For more information, read here.

Detroiters from all over the region came together to discuss the Declaration and movement, and to watch and respond to Mayor Bing’s first State of the City Address. The drafters of the Declaration gave a short presentation explaining the origins of the movement and presenting the different avenues we believe can be used to advance the Declaration’s principles — getting involved with elections, advocating for solutions, and taking personal actions.

The forum was hosted by Craig Fahle, host of The Craig Fahle Show on WDET 101.9 FM, Detroit Public Radio. The event was presented by Model D Media, WDET and Michigan Front Page.

2010 Elections:

In 2010, Declaration signers identified local candidates running for state office who supported the Detroit Declaration. These candidates were:

  • Scott Benson (candidate for State Representative, 2nd District, Detroit)
  • Lisa Nuszkowski (candidate for State Senate, District 1)
  • Harvey Santana (candidate for State Representative,10th District, Detroit)
  • Maureen Stapleton (candidate for State Representative, 4th District, Detroit)

We also asked all of the candidates for State Senate and State House in districts representing Detroit to answer questions pertaining the future of Detroit and policies set forth by the Detroit Declaration. Thanks to the candidates who answered the questionnaire. Click on the names to see their responses:

We then invited Declaration signers to meet the candidates and their campaign staff, receive training in door-knocking, and then hit the streets, sharing information about the candidates and the principles of the Detroit Declaration.

  • Sat, May 22, 2010, 11 a.m. – Maureen Stapleton (1300 Lafayette, Detroit)
  • Sat, May 29, 2010, 11 a.m. – Scott Benson (15100 Gratiot, Detroit)
  • Sat, June 5, 2010, 11 a.m. – Lisa Nuszkowski (4474 Third Street, Detroit)
  • Sat, June 19, 2010, 11 a.m. – Harvey Santana (5700 Brace, Detroit)

In November 2010, the voters of Detroit elected Maureen Stapleton and Harvey Santana to office.

2012 Primary Election:

In the summer of 2012, Declare Detroit encouraged all fans of the Declaration (wherever they reside) to not just vote in the primary on August 7, but to support candidates who share the Declaration principles by volunteering and donating to their campaigns. In Detroit, we invited candidates to complete questionnaires and asked citizens to support two local leaders and one ballot initiative:

The ballot initiative passed, demonstrating the power of regional cooperation to support one of Detroit’s key cultural assets.

2012 Speaker Series:

In October 2012, Declare Detroit teamed with Model D, Detroit Free Press, Urban Innovation Exchange, Publius, D:hive and others to present “Making Government Work,” a public forum held at the University of Michigan Detroit Center. The program offered voter information and a panel discussion to explore opportunities for greater civic participation and innovation. For a recap of the event, click here.

Ongoing Taskforce Meetings:

In April 2010, Declare Detroit convened our first public meetings around three avenues of engagement: Advocacy, Political Action and Personal Action. The first Political Action meeting was held Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 6:30pm at Anchor Bar, 450 W. Fort Street, in downtown Detroit. The taskforce continues to convene monthly, with meetings open to all. For more info, contact Bradford Frost at bradford.frost[at]


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