DETROIT — Mainstream politicos might be going about things dead wrong. On February 28, artist, curator, and community organizer Ingrid LaFleur made the exciting announcement that she would throw her (no doubt stylish) hat in the ring of the upcoming Detroit mayoral race. It came in the midst of a dance party called Detroit is the Future at the headquarters of creative-activist collective O.N.E. Mile that featured DJs, an enthusiastic crowd, and the collective’s mother ship: an Afrofuturist space capsule created by Detroit architecture and design firm Akoaki. Assuming LaFleur amasses the 500 signatures necessary to enter the primary — and from the looks of the crowd, she is comfortably on her way — the four other candidates in the competitive race, including incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan, may wish to take notes on how to do politics real Detroit style.
“The truth is, my experiences as a creative and as a Detroiter have led me to this decision,” said LaFleur during a brief speech announcing her run, which took place between DJ sets. “In my daily life, I have seen the best of Detroit: our innovation, our creativity, our ability to bring beauty and humanity to every corner of our city. Around the world, Detroit is known as a global arts destination and as a leader in social justice and business. At the same time, we have gone in and out of bankruptcy, and now our public schools are under threat of further closures. These contradictions are not new, but we are at a juncture now [where] we as Detroiters must come together and ensure that our city is not simply known as an arts leader, but a leader in innovation, education, and creativity in every field.”