Ingrid LaFleur's Mayoral Campaign for Detroit lives in the future

To make a change, you sometimes have to risk leadership - and even if you fall short in the enterprise, your path might well have trailblazed and cleared the space for new alternatives. 

Thus we celebrate the amazing campaign of artist and activist Ingrid Lafleur for the Mayor of Detroit (elections on Nov 7th, 2017, in which LaFleur is a "write-in" candidate - ie, she's not on the ballot paper, but you can still write her name on the paper and vote for her).  

The Michigan Chronicle has laid out her full prospectus - built from weekly "co-creation" sessions LaFleur has held. But the headline grabbers are here: 

A central focus of the plan of action is the implementation of a universal basic income (UBI) for Detroit residents. “Because of automation will be taking over a significant portion of our work force and Detroit faces a near 64% poverty rate, we must be strategic in developing a system that no longer perpetuates the cycle of poverty but instead allows for Detroit citizens to cover basic expenses–flood, shelter, utilities, transportation–and also helps to grow the local economy. UBI paired with a local cryptocurrency is the way forward,” said LaFleur.

LaFleur proposes every Detroit citizen receive $2,000 a month, half in fiat currency and the other half in a local digital currency using blockchain technology. She calls the local cryptocurrency the D-coin. The D-coin will be used at local businesses for goods and services only within the city limits. Additional D-coins can be earned by working in service of the community. The city of Detroit will charge a fee to process every D-coin transaction, called mining. A portion of the revenue generated will go back into the UBI system, and schools and training programs for youth and adults.

Blockchain technology, she states, can also help create a more transparent and efficient government because blockchains record and securely verify each transaction instantly so time- consuming bureaucratic administrative work is no longer necessary. She lists land contracts, licenses, medical records, and the ability to vote online among the many uses of blockchain technology within city government.

LaFleur’s plan of action also includes a municipal bank to process D-coin and money from the cannabis industry, a city-wide solar power cooperative, a comprehensive climate plan and a creation of a cultural affairs department to strengthen the creative economy.

[NB: Our great pal Chris Cook - who alerted us to Ingrid LaFleur - is exploring new kinds of "fin-tech" (or financial technology) for community empowerment. See his work here on this site, and this article on the P2P Foundation site).] 

Here's a great interview with LaFleur, and some background on her artistic Afrotopia project. This essay on "Detroit Open City" gives much bigger context on the groundswell behind LaFleur. 

The imagery and public symbolism around LaFleur's campaign, as you might imagine, is thrilling - see below:

Here's her campaign song, "Right In", by Coco Buttafli and Bryce Detroit. As you might imagine, from the spiritual home of techno, it bangs more than somewhat:

Follow @ingridlafleur on Twitter. She may not win the numbers, but she looks like she may win some arguments about the future - of cities, humans and technology.