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DDP's City Budget Campaign Wins

Every year, Detroit City Council and the Mayor lead the creation of the city budget. As Detroit residents with disabilities, it's our duty and right to weigh in on the budget and inform the process. 

Since 2021, DDP has mobilized disabled Detroiters and our allies to demand that council and the mayor prioritize people with the disabilities in the budget. Continue down below to see our campaign demands and wins.

2023: The fight for $1.4 million continues. 

What we accomplished together:


Dollars allocated to the Office of Disability Affairs for 2023-2024. An increase of $100k from last year.


Letter sent to Council and Mayor urging them to raise the budget of the ODA.


Coalition partners; other organizations in the area that backed up our demands


Dedicated members and supporters that signed up to give a public comment at council budget hearings

Other notable wins during 2023's city budget campaign:

  • An increase of $100,000 in recurring funding for the ODA, bringing the total ODA budget to $850,000. The added funds will be used to hire one additional full-time employee who will serve as a liaison between the disabled community and city departments.

  • A one-time increase of $50,000 for media services to increase accessibility and address the needs of the disabled community.

  • A one-time increase of $200,000 for the Health Department for outreach to the disabled community, advocating healthy outcomes, and cultural competency training for health care providers.

  • A one-time increase of $100,000 from ARPA funds to request Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department (CRIO), Housing and Revitalization Department (HRD), and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) to jointly develop specific job training and placement programs for disabled persons.

  • $150,000 from the existing Detroit Police Department (DPD) budget will be used to establish an Invisible Disability Training for DPD officers. DPD will report to the City Council on the program created.

In addition, the City Council described many other priorities and changes they wanted to make but that didn’t make it into the budget. These items were written into their closing resolution, which keeps track of Council’s budget priorities in case the City has extra money during the next fiscal year.

  • Media Services Accessibility - If the $50K allocated to Media Services to address the needs of disabled residents (above) is not enough for services needed, City Council urges the department to use its existing budget for a one-time allocation of an additional $50K. 

  • Annual Report on Outcomes for Residents with Disabilities - City Council urges the CRIO to prepare an annual report on program spending and outcomes related to disabled residents (including media, housing, law enforcement, employment, and health programs).

  • Long Covid Study -  City Council urges the health department to conduct a study on long covid and its effects on Detroiters.

  • Social Determinants of Health Study -  City Council urges the health department to conduct a study on social determinants of health in Detroit.

  • Language Access - City Council urges CRIO to allow for interpretation services in American Sign Language (ASL) and any requested language during formal session, standing committees and charter mandated meetings to be the standard, and get rid of the requirement for residents to request such services, allowing for greater access and involvement from residents. In addition, City Council urges Media Services and CRIO to work together to develop programming and social media content in various languages.

  • Public Transportation - City Council urges the administration to increase the Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) budget to $80M with Workforce Investment funds to cover costs for offering a starting wage of $29/hour for bus operators (and appropriate raises for current drivers). In addition, they recommend increasing the DDOT budget by $400K in ARPA funds in order to give $1,000 bonuses to all active employees. They also requested the administration to allocate $7M to build more bus shelters across the city. Finally, Council urges DDOT to establish a pilot program for one month of free DDOT ridership, as well as developing and implementing a transit-oriented development (TOD) framework (AKA building housing near accessible transit to create more connected communities).

  • Sidewalks - City Council urges the Department of Public Works (DPW) to develop and implement a Residential Sidewalk Repair Program to maintain safe and accessible sidewalks.

  • Mental Health - City Council urges the administration to spend $1M to combat mental health issues and fund initiatives for people with mental health disabilities.

  • Department on Aging - City Council urges the administration to establish a Department on Aging to provide senior resident services like case management, meal deliveries, mental health services, and more.

  • Housing - City Council provided $1.8M increase for the Detroit Housing Trust Fund (which requires more accessible units than typical), as well as another $19 million in ARPA funds for affordable housing purposes. Council also urges the administration to look for funding for the Detroit Affordable Housing & Development Fund (promotes building affordable housing) beyond the proceeds of City owned commercial land sales to fully fund the affordable housing needs. This could include philanthropic donations and grants, and allocate additional funding. In addition, City Council urges the Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) to develop a plan to survey, identify, and adapt vacant office spaces into affordable housing units. Finally, City Council urges the creation of a Community Land Bank/Community Land Trust Program, so large sections of vacant Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA) owned land can be devoted to community based non-profit trusts who will develop properties for the benefit of the community.

  • Eviction Protection - City Council urges the administration to fully fund the Right-to-Counsel Ordinance and appropriate $12 million dollars from ARPA funding over two years to assist Detroit tenants with legal representation who are at risk of losing housing. In addition, the City Council supports the creation of a Tenant’s Rights Commission to hear complaints by both tenants facing eviction and landlords having complaints against their tenants in a mediator setting.

  • Universal Basic Income -  City Council strongly advocates for a universal income and are committed to working with local, state and federal partners on creating a Universal Basic Income Supplement program for Detroiters.

2022: Calling for an equitable $1.4 million to the ODA

Coming soon!

2021: A new Office of Disability Affairs

Coming soon!

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