The Detroit City Council has a new president, and she’ll be with the council for a several years.
The council met for the first time this week and appointed councilwoman Mary Sheffield to server as president for the next four years. She was elected by a vote of 7-2. Sheffield has served on the council since 2013. Prior to this year, she was president pro tem.
“First and foremost, I’d like to give honor to God for ordering my steps and giving me the ability and fortitude to walk in my purpose,” Sheffield said in a statement released from the Detroit City Council. “To my colleagues who so graciously entrusted me with the awesome responsibility of presiding over this body which has the sacred duty of protecting the interest of the residents of our great City, I extend my sincere gratitude for your support.”
She added, “I would like to also thank everyone who took the opportunity to encourage me to pursue the Office of City Council President and offered prayers, their counsel and assistance. It meant the world to hear your expressions of confidence in my ability to lead.”
Among the goals Sheffield has for her term, according to a statement, are modernizing council proceedings and voting via technology; increasing transparency and sharing of information with the community; enhancing the public’s ability to attend and participate in meetings; setting weekly agendas in a manner that respects the public’s and members’ time; working to establish better working relationships with other governing bodies; developing a collaborative annual legislative agenda; and prioritizing inclusion and equity for Detroit residents via City expenditures.
At the same meeting, James Tate was voted president pro tem. That vote was 6-3. The full council was also sworn in at the meeting.
Sheffield is replacing former Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones.