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Detroit voters approve community benefits proposal backed by city and business leaders

Proposal B is in; Proposal A is out

Two community benefits proposals were on the ballot for Detroit residents on Tuesday. The first, Proposal A, was a community backed proposal for developments with a project investment of $15 million and asking for $300,000 in public incentives. The second, Proposal B, had a much higher threshold, at $75 million with $1 million in public incentives.

Proposal B passed with about 53% of voters voting yes. Proposal A did not gain the 50% vote to be considered, with about 46% voting for it.

If both proposals ended up with more than a 50% yes vote, the one with the most votes would be chosen.

Proposal B was backed by many city leaders and developers. Proposal B has a loosely defined "advisory council" of neighborhood representatives for projects.

Proposal A was backed by many community groups and would have had a more defined community group represented in negotiations.

What does this mean going forward? Larger projects seeking public incentives should be working more with people in their surrounding communities, in terms of input, job training, and community improvements. Hopefully.

The biggest development in Detroit, the Little Caesars Arena, was recently fined for not hiring enough Detroit workers for the project, which was part of their massive community benefits agreement.