Angel’s Night: A Model for People-Powered-Policy

October 30th, the day before Halloween, has in the past been referred to as Devil’s Night in Detroit. This has been a night notorious for violence, vandalism, and arson. Over the last 10 years, a lot of work has been done to change that. USA Today has an article that is talking briefly about this.

This is a great example of what I’ll called People Powered Policy. People Powered Policy is anything that starts as a volunteer or community effort that grows so greatly and quickly that politicians have no choice but to become participants. For those that “don’t like politics” or who “don’t care about politics,” understand that politics is not always conducted by politicians. Politics is action-focused conversation. Angel’s Night began because people got together, voiced their concerns for their safety, the safety of their children, and the safety of their community on this night before Trick-or-Treat Day. From that meeting, from those conversations, action was born. This should be a model for making positive changes any and everywhere that change is needed.

Look here for more info on Angel’s Night. Note that this is an official City of Detroit website.

One Love. One II.

Community Service


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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