“People’s Bills” 51% workforce and water affordability

January 2019 - December 2019

Summary

Six Ford School students conducted relevant policy research, engaged with the community, and provided recommendations to aid on legislative initiatives that addressed workforce development and water security for Detroit residents.

Community partner

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield

Students

Eric Hanss (MPP ‘20)
Tia Hicks (MPP ‘20)
Riyah Basha (BA ‘19)
David Bluhm (BA ‘19)
Shannon Weaver (MPP ‘20)
Kara Naseef (MPP/JD ‘19)

Project overview

Six Ford School students conducted relevant policy research, engaged with the community, and provided recommendations to aid on legislative initiatives that addressed workforce development and water security for Detroit residents. The students’ work focused on the “People’s Bills,” a package of legislation that City Council President Pro Tem Sheffield introduced as a result of years of research, meetings, and listening to the community regarding their priorities.  The PCLP students worked on two specific ordinances of the “People’s Bills”-- 51% workforce and water affordability. The 51% workforce ordinance applies to city contracts and publicly-funded construction projects, requiring a local hiring target of 51 percent. The water affordability ordinance introduces an income-based water affordability ordinance to ensure that no Detroiter is without access to clean, safe drinking water.

The students worked on their designated deliverables, which included:

  • A philanthropic grant proposal to provide funding to a local, large-scale construction training company to boost workforce development.
  • An op-ed to be published by local media to focus on restructuring the payment/billing policies of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, along with proposals for statewide and local ordinances regarding income-based water affordability. They will also recommend the stoppage of water shut-offs by framing the juxtaposition of development and innovation that is helping the city’s growth versus the quality of life needs of long-term residents.