Let’s spend the next four years healing the political divide


          Time to move on.

          This election season ended on Tuesday with the re-election of Mayor Karen Majewski and four city councilmembers, three of whom are brand new.

          Tuesday’s election was unlike any other in Hamtramck. Unfortunately, it divided the community. For lack of a better way to explain it, it pitted non-Muslim candidates against Muslim candidates.

          Both sides put forth a slate reflecting that divide.

          It’s no secret that Hamtramck is a city in transition. We have seen a growth of Bangladeshi-Americans and Yemeni-Americans becoming involved in politics. The Bangladeshi community is now a powerful voting bloc.

          There will be three Bangladeshi city councilmembers in office at the start of the new year.

          And for the second time in Hamtramck’s history, an African-American candidate has been elected to the council.

          This election also produced accusations of ballot tampering and other dirty tricks.

          We need to heal, but we also need to make sure nothing illegal took place.

          Hamtramck may be transitioning, but it has to be done so in an orderly fashion because much is at risk. The city is currently under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager. This is the second time in recent history that the state has had to step in and fix the city’s financial situation.

          We’re going to take a guess that if it happens again once this mess is cleared up, the state won’t hesitate to simply merge Hamtramck into Detroit.

          That means we have to get our act together and become united politically. We have four years to work on this. We highly recommend the mayor and council create a commission with a fixed timetable to bring the city’s ethnic communities to the table and talk about how we can bridge our differences and work toward a common goal.


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