Monday, May 13, 2013
Educator and activist John Telford joins Detroit mayoral race
By Ann Zaniewski
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
The ballot for Detroit’s mayoral race got more crowded Monday with John Telford’s announcement that he would seek the city’s top job.
“I haven’t been happy with the way things (have been) going in city hall ever since the (Kwame) Kilpatrick administration,” Telford, former interim superintendent for Detroit Public Schools, said. “I want to see more cooperation between schools and the city.”
Telford, 77, is among about a half dozen candidates who have submitted signatures to appear on the August ballot.
Telford is a civil rights advocate with an educational career that spans more than five decades. He has taught, coached and served in administrative roles at several Detroit schools, according to a news release from his election committee.
His résumé includes serving as deputy superintendent for Rochester Community Schools from the mid-1980s to early 1990s, and in 2009 he served briefly as interim superintendent in Madison District Public Schools, where his plan to end the district’s deficits by recruiting students from Detroit was met with controversy. He served for about 10 months as interim superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools district before being replacedin late March after state-appointed emergency manager Roy Roberts gained academic control over the district.
Telford said if he’s elected mayor, he would offer police, recreation and other city services to high schools to turn them into community anchors.
Telford said that in the mayoral race, he’s targeting front-runner and former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan. He criticized Duggan’s role as a board member of the Education Achievement Authority, the controversial school district set up by the stateto reform troubled schools. Duggan recently resigned from the board.
“Some folks think I’m running to keep Mr. Duggan out,” Telford said Monday. “But no, I’m running to win.”
Telford said he submitted more than 1,000 signatures Monday to the city ensure a spot on the August ballot. Mayoral candidates must turn in at least 500 signatures from registered Detroit voters by the end of the day today.