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New Flint Mayor Karen Weaver: “They voted for a new leader, so let me lead.”

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is beset by many challenges and problems, which means the city’s newly elected mayor has not had the luxury of gradually learning the ropes.

Karen Weaver ousted incumbent Mayor Dayne Walling on November 3, making her the first woman to hold the office of mayor of Flint.

Water was one of Weaver’s most crucial campaign issues. As part of her 100-day plan, she intends to have Flint declared a Federal Disaster Zone.

Weaver tells us that Flint’s water situation is both a public health crisis and an infrastructure crisis, and the city just doesn’t have the resources necessary to adequately tackle the problem.

“What we’re putting in place isn’t the solution. People are using filters. That’s a Band-Aid for something that we need major surgery for,” she says. “If we don’t address the infrastructure, then what’s the point?”

Weaver says that federal assistance would both provide the funds necessary to fix the city’s infrastructure and create a number of jobs in the process.

Another big-ticket item on her agenda is returning the city of Flint to home rule.

“It’s always better when you can take care of yourself instead of having someone doing that for you,” Weaver says. “We’re not under an emergency manager anymore, we ought to be able to take care of ourselves and have our say-so in what goes on in the city.”

She points out that the city’s charter hasn’t changed, and that the people voted “overwhelmingly” for her to lead the city.

“They voted for change, they didn’t vote for a different face to do the same thing,” Weaver says. “They voted for a new leader, so let me lead.”

Mayor Karen Weaver tells us more about her plans for Flint in our conversation above.

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