Reeves Advances In Detroit Council Race
Motown legend Martha Reeves felt like dancing. "I want to jump around up in here, but we're in the VIP room and everyone is being very sophisticated," Reeves said early today (Aug. 3) following a succMotown legend Martha Reeves felt like dancing. "I want to jump around up in here, but we're in the VIP room and everyone is being very sophisticated," Reeves said early today (Aug. 3) following a successful primary run for Detroit City Council.
Competing in a field of 120 candidates, Reeves advanced to the Nov. 8 general election along with 17 other council hopefuls.
With 685 of the city's 720 precincts reporting, or 95 percent, Reeves had 26,306 votes, or about 3 percent, putting her in ninth place in Tuesday's primary. The top 18 vote-getters will be on November's ballot. Nine will win election to the City Council.
"We're going to walk it off at Belle Isle and let everyone know how happy we are," Reeves said. The 64-year-old singer planned to campaign at the city park today.
Reeves, who still travels and performs, was the lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas, whose hits included "Dancing in the Street," "Heat Wave" and "Nowhere to Run." She was identified as a "recording artist" on some of Detroit's ballots, which allowed candidates to include short descriptions underneath their names.
Keller Andrews, 70, said Reeves' fame didn't sway him to vote for her. "We need some people that are for real," the retired contractor said. "Show business is fine."
Still others appeared to be attracted to the celebrity aura of Reeves, who signed autographs and thanked well-wishers while sitting at the lounge with campaign volunteers, including Motown's famed etiquette teacher Maxine Powell.
"My biggest concern are the youths of the city," Reeves said. "I want to see them have as much love as we received while creating the Motown sound. Music has been my life, and it will always be my life."
Reeves moved to Detroit from Alabama when she was 11 months old. She said in a recent interview that her top priority is ensuring the city's neighborhoods are adequately policed. She said she's been unable to fix up some of the 18 old buildings she's acquired since 1999 with the intention of renovating because the neighborhoods are wild areas.
"Junkies and crackheads have been taking down boards and even held some of the workmen at gunpoint until they ran away," she said. "The policing needs to be there and it needs to be visible."
She also has her own vision of sprucing up the struggling city's downtown: a mall to draw businesses and keep shoppers in the heart of the city, a landscape dotted with Motown's musical legends and a nightclub devoted to the record label's legendary sound. Those endeavors, she said, "could increase our tourism 100-fold."
"One of my biggest dreams is to put up statues downtown -- statues of Stevie Wonder ... and Smokey Robinson. That would be really great," Reeves said.
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