Stir It Up
Coalition of the winning
Victories are made by broad, united fronts
Published: November 21, 2012
Cities matter: Another dynamic of this past election is that it showed that cities matter. Romney running mate Paul Ryan said as much when he blamed "urban areas" on his team's electoral loss. "Well, he got turnout," Ryan said. "The president should get credit for achieving record-breaking turnout numbers from urban areas for the most part, and that did win the election for him." Well he got that right. An article in The New Republic magazine pointed out cities and the near-ring of suburbs around them voted for Obama. "America is only growing more urban, with cities that had been losing population since the 1960s finally starting to swell again," the article asserted. This phenomenon is reflected in the Democratic gains in formerly reliably Republican Oakland County, in older suburbs such as Ferndale, Oak Park and Southfield where demographics have changed in recent decades.
Another reflection of the political clout of cities comes from the marijuana-friendly votes in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti. The line from anti-pot crusader Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and his friends has been that voters were bamboozled in 2008's vote for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. They claim that voters really wanted very tightly controlled access for people who are very seriously ill. But the success of initiatives in five Michigan cities (most in the 65 percent range) show that most voters do not believe they had the wool pulled over their eyes in 2008. Folks in Lansing noticed. News reports on the agenda for the lame duck session of the Michigan Legislature (between now and the end of the year) show that several bills that were deemed unfriendly to medical marijuana will probably not come up for discussion. If those bills do come up it won't be until 2013.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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