Scott Benson is connected to the people of the 3rd District and the challenges they face every day. Since becoming Councilman of the 3rd District in January 2014, Scott has been a tireless and innovative leader working to bring jobs into the community and making public safety and quality of life his top priorities. His primary goal is to make District 3 a community where families settle and grow, and where the youth and seniors thrive and prosper.
As a longtime resident of the Osborn community, Scott has seen firsthand the community, family and personal impact of the recent economic downturn, resulting in severe job losses, more abandoned and blighted homes, and increased crime in our neighborhoods. Coupled with over 17 years experience in community development, Scott has a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create jobs and revitalize a community from the ground up.
Since taking office, Scott, who served twenty-four years in the United States Coast Guard, has helped to create or received commitments on close to 1,000 jobs for the district. He reduced blight by authorizing the demolition of over 10,000 residential and commercial properties, and helped to reestablish the citywide street sweeping program. He has also improved the district’s quality of life by writing and implementing an ordinance to aid in shutting down non-compliant and ultra-violent strip clubs. He’s also successfully worked to close over 165 illegal marijuana facilities. His ongoing legislative work on blight reduction has helped to increase neighborhood property values and removed thousands of decaying eyesores and safety hazards. He was also an early supporter of using modern data collection methods to reduce crime, via ShotSpotter.
Drawing on his professional experience, including his role as Small Business Director with Midtown Detroit, Inc, Scott continues to leverage his business acumen to create the necessary conditions to attract more business investment to the commercial corridors of East Mc Nichols, East Seven Mile Rd., E. Eight Mile Rd., Kelly Rd. and Gratiot Ave. As a former real estate developer in Southeast Michigan, he helped create jobs for hundreds of Detroiters and is laser focused on creating more jobs and economic opportunity in the 3rd District.
With over 20 years experience as a Coast Guard officer, achieving the rank of Commander and serving in two overseas deployments, Scott is no stranger to hard work, sacrifice and devotion to duty.
The son of two public school teachers, Scott was born and raised in a working class neighborhood of Los Angeles knowing the importance of education. He went on to graduate from public schools and put himself through college with student loans, part-time work and a US Coast Guard scholarship. He holds an undergraduate degree from Hampton University, obtained his Masters of Urban Planning from Wayne State University, is a graduate of the National Naval War College and holds a certificate in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Scott and his wife, Andrea, are actively involved in the Detroit community, donating time and money to organizations such as the International Institute of Metro Detroit, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, and the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. He has a passion for preserving the environment, Detroit’s historic architecture portfolio, is known for riding his bike to work and around the community, and for promoting recycling.
Scott sees his role in the Detroit City Council as an extension to his life’s work of service to his family, country, and community.