Detroit down-ballot results: Reparations, shrooms, police oversight incumbents win

November 03, 2021, 12:02 AM

By Cath Nouhan and Violet Ikonomova

In addition to voting in races for mayor, council and clerk, Detroiters elected new members to the city’s police oversight board and voted to approve two proposals. One could pave the way for reparations for some Black residents and another will decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms.

With all precincts fully reported, Prop R appeared headed for victory, with 72,462 voting yes and 17,956 voting no. The proposal requires City Council to establish a reparations task force to make recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against Detroit’s Black community. The proposal does not define the task force's membership, set timelines, or ensure any recommendations will be implemented.

"Trippy" Prop E won with 53,709 voting yes and 34,222 voting no. It creates an ordinance decriminalizing the use and possession of entheogenic plants in Detroit — a category that includes hallucinogens like psilocybin, mescaline, and peyote.

Decriminalization in the state’s largest city could create momentum for future statewide efforts. A bill introduced by state Sens. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) and Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) would allow the possession, cultivation and delivery of psilocybin and mescaline.

Commercial production or sales of these two psychedelics would still be illegal.The plants are generally classified as Schedule I drugs under federal law.

A final proposal that generated some confusion, Prop S, was defeated with 44,800 voting no and 38,308 voting yes. It would have enabled residents to petition for the enactment of city ordinances that include the appropriation of money. Currently, the city charter provides just two methods by which money can be appropriated: through the annual budget process and through budget amendments.

Elections were also held for seven Board of Detroit Police Commissioners seats. Election results left it unclear as to who would win in Districts 1 and 7, open races that feature all write-ins. Incumbents won each of the races where they were featured and a newcomer with no opponent on the ballot fended off write-in challenges. 


  • District 2: Commissioner Linda Bernard won with 11,325 votes to Lavish Williams’ 5,783
  • District 3: Cedric Banks, a pastor who was unopposed on the ballot, won 7,596 votes while write-ins pulled 214
  • District 4: Commissioner Willie Bell beat reformist Scotty Boman 6,627 to 3,915
  • District 5: Commissioner Willie Burton, who was unopposed on the ballot, won with 11,819 votes. Write-ins garnered 187.
  • District 6: Commissioner Lisa Carter beat Landis Spencer, who ran as a reformist with support from the Democratic Socialists of America, 4,390 to 3,318.

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