Detroit Mayoral Candidates Bump Heads in Debate - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue


Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel and businessman Dave Bing agreed on very little at their second mayoral debate Wednesday evening, except that — as General Motors, a top Detroit employer goes bankrupt — the city is in desperate need of revenue and jobs.

Bing went into the debate in attack mode saying that Cockrel lacked leadership in convincing the Detroit City Council to transfer authority of the Cobo Convention Center to a regional authority. Cobo, which produces 16,000 jobs, is at the center of a battle between Cockrel and the city council. Bing, owner of the Bing Group (No. 35 on the BE 100s Industrial/Service List), also said that the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget Cockrel presented Monday has a lot of “fuzzy math.” Cockrel reminded the Detroit Economics Club audience that for all of Bing’s criticism, he had not created any alternatives and was short on specifics.

Detroit News Columnist Laura Berman felt that both candidates were too vague, and from her observations viewers seemed frustrated. Besides Cobo, the moderators queried the candidates about short term solutions to the 22.8% unemployment problem, and how to prevent unethical behavior in their administration.

Speaking of which, the winner of the election on May 5 will replace convicted former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. A third and final debate will be held April 23.

Marcia A. Wade is a reporter at

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.