DETROIT (FOX 2) - Anthony Adams is throwing his hat into the Detroit mayoral race to bring what he calls "The Whisper Campaign" to the forefront - that Black Detroiters have been left out of the city's renaissance under Mayor Mike Duggan.
"When you talk with the everyday Detroiter what they're telling me is we need some empathy," said Adams. "We really need someone that's going to connect with us on an emotional level that understands our plight and what our conditions are.
"When you talk about a renaissance, there clearly can be no renaissance in this city when you've had over 140,000 people lose their houses to tax foreclosure and more than 100,000 people have had their water shut off."
Adams says he's the man to bring about more equity and opportunity for Detroiters by taking a bottom-up approach to economic development.
"When you talk about a 7.5 square mile area probably getting 90 percent of the tax abatements, all of that money is captured in the downtown business district and it's not allowed to trickle out into the community," he said.
"The strategy and the approach should be aimed at driving economic development with those small businesses that are out on Greenfield, Joy Road and E. Jefferson. Let's drive development there."
Protests against police brutality last summer are also shaping Adams' agenda on public safety. He wants more progressive policing that's still tough on serious and violent crime.
"When we have a homeless person who is being rowdy, the police don't need to be responding to that," Adams said. "The people who actually handle those types of issues such as COTS or organizations like that, they need to be out handling and involved in those situations like that. And when the young people are talking about transforming the police this is what they're talking about.
"We've got to begin to decriminalizing some conduct: park violations, possession of a small amounts of drugs if a person has a drug problem. Why are we not citing them for alternative court so they can possibly get some treatment as opposed to criminalizing that kind of conduct?"
Adams' political resume is long. The attorney served as an executive assistant for Mayor Coleman Young, president of the Detroit School Board and as Kwame Kilpatrick's deputy mayor.
Adams had this to say to those who only see him in light of his connection with the former mayor who was released from prison last week:
"Before there was Kwame Kilpatrick there actually was Anthony Adams," he said. "Anthony Adams who was doing work in the community who was involved in what was happening in the city.
"People want to associate me with Kwame Kilpatrick but (he) isn't the issue. The issue is what is going on downtown now. The fact that the friends of the mayor are benefitting from economic development deals, the fact that people who are connected, are benefiting from city resources.
"The issue is Mike Duggan and his policies and how he's disrespecting Detroiters."
Mayor Duggan's Office released a statement that said, "Detroiters will have a chance to decide whether they rehire Mayor Duggan. We expect a number of people to enter the race for mayor of Detroit. Mayor Duggan has strong support across our city and is focused on bringing more opportunities to our city and our neighborhoods."
While Adams is not seeking Kilpatrick's support but some argue it could bolster his campaign. According to some political insiders what may be more beneficial for Adams is if the former mayor simply encouraged Detroiters to go vote and if there was a larger than normal turnout. Adams says getting people out to the polls is something is the campaign will be focusing on in the months to come.