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Fiery Coleman Young II Says 'People Are Dying Out There' From Water Shutoffs In Detroit

(WWJ) Hot on the heels of his one and only debate with Mayor Mike Duggan for the job he hopes to earn, challenger Coleman Young II was spitting fire.

"I'm feeling great, we're feeling like we're winning," Young told WWJ's Vickie Thomas Friday morning. "That's how we're feeling right now. We're putting in the work, we're putting in the miles, and we're going to see where we go from here so we're really excited about it, and I think we're doing what we need to do."

Polls are telling a different story, putting Young well behind Duggan. The latest polls show Duggan with 63 percent of the projected November vote, to Young's 28 percent.

"Polls, they don't ... look, look, some of these people, I swear to God, they ... I can shoot lasers out of my eyes and fire out of my ass and it wouldn't be enough to convince them to support me. I mean they ... for somebody who says (I don't have) a chance in hell, they are working overtime to diss me. I mean every other article. I understand once or twice, but every other article is something that's negative and then on top of it being negative, it's like you have some of these folks, some of these editors of theses papers, it's like they hate me more than they love their own readership."

He claimed people have said he's lying about hepatitis A outbreaks in Detroit. Young asked the Michigan attorney general to look into what he called a hepatitis A outbreak in Detroit in May, claiming it was related to water shutoffs in the city. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jennifer Eisner said in an email at the time that hepatitis A is not a waterborne disease.

With the state now investigating hepatitis A outbreaks across Michigan, Young says he was just the first to sound the alarm.

"What I'm saying is acknowledge the truth, regardless of how you feel about the messenger, don't deny the message. that's what they're doing and it's wrong ... I swear to God, I don't know what else I have to do or say, people are dying out there," Young said. "Don't forego the truth, don't forgo the message, don't let your lack of support or lack of respect for me be greater than your pursuit of the truth, which I thought was your job as a journalist, maybe I was mistaken.

"Maybe it's beat up Coleman Young day, I don't know, but damn, people are dying out here, they're losing their life because they don't have access to water."

The 34-year-old added the he's fighting a two-front battle, one against Duggan and his rich supporters, and the other against the media. He adds the things that he's saying are facts, reiterating the point that "people are losing their lives."

It's a real thing that people are putting buckets outside their houses to collect rain water because there's no water in the house, he added -- despite the lack of proof for that notion. In May, it was revealed there were 9,000 Detroiters at risk for having their water shut off due to lack of payment. Many feel that's a violation of basic human rights, but there's no evidence people are dying from lack of water in the house.

Young is spreading that message wherever and whenever he can, spending his days shaking hands and hugging residents at bus stops and community events, trying to drum up support. He calls his run for mayor a grassroots campaign.

As part of the discussion about his impetus for running to become the mayor, he points to the legacy of his father, Coleman Young, who ran the city from 20 years, from 1974 to 1994. Young II was born Joel Loving and later changed his name when DNA tests revealed Young was his father. The elder Young had to be sued by his former lover to admit paternity.

"There's no problem in this city a good-paying job can't fix," he told Thomas, quoting his father.





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