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Chamber Applauds Detroit City Council on Selection of Mary Sheffield as New President

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Detroit City Council chose Mary Sheffield as its new president. The Detroit Regional Chamber supported Council President Sheffield during her reelection campaign in 2021 and congratulated her on becoming the city’s legislative body leader.

Council President Sheffield was president pro-tempore last term, rose to the top spot as City Council president in a 7-2 vote. Brenda Jones, who decided not to run for reelection, was the president. Council also voted in member James Tate as its new president pro-tem — a position that presides over council when the president is unavailable.

“The Chamber applauds the Detroit City Council for electing Mary Sheffield as president and James Tate as president pro-tem,” said Bernard Parker III, director of government relations. “Collaborative and thoughtful leadership on the City Council that works closely with Mayor Duggan will be critical in addressing the challenges that Detroit faces.”

Sheffield has been on the council since 2014 when she joined as the youngest-ever member at age 26. She represents District 5, which covers the central part of the city. Tate, who represents District 1 in northwest Detroit, is this council’s longest-serving member. The new president pro-tem, who began his tenure in 2010, focused on reforming the city’s cannabis industry and introduced an ordinance last term that aimed to get longtime Detroit residents involved in recreational cannabis.

“I’m looking forward to this challenge, moving the city forward and working with each of my colleagues,” Sheffield said. “We may not always agree, but I can guarantee each and every one of you there will always be an open line of communication and that our No. 1 goal is that we continue to move the city forward. So thank you for your vote and confidence in me.”

There are six new members and three returning after two incumbents lost their seats to newcomers in the November election and two other council members last year resigned over guilty pleas for bribes.

“This is going to be a very challenging year as we already know, but with that we know that there’s a lot of promise that we have ahead of us, as well, and I promise to make sure that I never besmirch this body,” Tate said during Tuesday’s session.

The Chamber will be actively working with Mayor Duggan and City Council on a cohesive policy agenda that advances the strong recovery Detroit has seen over the past decade.