Local council members in Flint, MI don’t quite fit in with the stereotypical image of politicians. Sitting on the new Flint City Council: one man convicted of a killing, another convicted of felony assault and two people with history of bankruptcy.
Wantwaz Davis, convicted of second-degree murder in 1991, never denied his history and even discussed his conviction with the public. Despite his transparency, however, the media did not report on the issue.
The Flint Journal learned of the conviction on Wednesday, but by that time the election was over.
Davis served 19 years in prison for the killing. "I want the (Morris) family to know that I am extremely apologetic for what I did to their family member,” he said, adding that his experiences only made him a stronger leader. "The elders and youth are looking for someone who actually understands what they're going through and who has rebounded and made something of themselves."
The other ex-con, First Ward councilman-elect Eric Mays, was convicted in 1987 for assault, and served one year of probation. Eric claims that he was simply defending himself from a man who threatened to kill him.
Second Ward Councilwoman Jackie Poplar filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2004, while Seventh Ward councilwoman Monica Galloway filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1999.
Political analyst Flint native Bill Ballenger and was less than optimistic about the new council, saying, "My reaction is this is not good for Flint. This is probably still another black eye for the city of Flint."
According to Business Insider, Flint is the most dangerous city in the United States. The troubled city was once a booming auto town, but was devastated when General Motors packed up operations and moved many of the jobs to Mexico.
Flint was famously documented in Michael Moore’s film “Roger and Me,” which highlighted the poverty that has plagued the city since GM moved its factories.