PuLSE Institute Editor-in-Chief Debates Detroit insurance redlining

Bankole Thompson, editor-in-chief of The PuLSE Institute and opinion columnist at The Detroit News, appeared on Flashpoint on WDIV-Channel 4 (Detroit NBC Affiliate) on Sunday, September 2 to discuss the high cost of auto insurance in Detroit. The Sunday morning public affairs show is moderated by WDIV anchor Devin Scillian. Thompson was joined by state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo who has been opposed to the mayor’s plan of dealing with the issue.

The exorbitant cost of automobile insurance is one of the major quality of life issues facing Detroiters who live in a city that has already been ranked by the 2016 Census as the largest poverty area of its kind in the nation at 35.7 percent. Thompson, has written extensively on the issue as a major impediment to economic prosperity for many low-income Detroit residents. In fact, in his most recent Detroit News column, which appears on Mondays and Thursdays in the newspaper https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/bankole-thompson/2018/08/27/duggan-no-fault-auto-insurance-legal-fight-bad-politics/1083977002/  he took issue with Mayor Mike Duggan’s federal lawsuit against the state’s no-fault insurance law. The mayor argues is unconstitutional because it is not fair and equitable.

But Thompson argues that targeting factors such as education, zip codes and credit that insurance companies use to determine rates is the best way to deal with the crisis. Because those factors amount to redlining.

In 2013, Thompson, moderated a town hall at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District with then candidate Duggan, where the current mayor first publicly unveiled his “D-Insurance” proposal to fight redlining. The proposal eventually died in Lansing last year when lawmakers voted to kill the bill because it was flawed on many levels. Thompson is urging the mayor to go back to the legislature and work with all the stakeholders to address a matter that is making Detroit’s majority poor only poorer.

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