Garlin Gilchrist II files nominating petitions to become Detroit’s next City Clerk

Listening campaign around the city proves Detroit residents are ready for a change to make sure they have a voice in city government

Detroit, MI– Citing the need for an innovative civic technologist as Detroit’s next City Clerk, Garlin Gilchrist II filed paperwork today to join the race.

While engaging Detroit residents talking with people around the city, Gilchrist has seen clearly that Detroit residents want to participate in elections but often run into barriers, as was noted by many news organizations during the last most recent presidential election. The proud husband and father to three-year-old twins is equipped with a background in software engineering for Microsoft, community organizing for and President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and solving problems that impact all Detroiters for the City of Detroit. His track record, and the support of his community, shows that he is ready to fix the broken systems in the City Clerk’s office.

“Detroit’s City Clerk is the city’s Chief Participation Officer. Detroiters should have more opportunities to have their voices heard, respected, and acted upon, even when it’s not election season,” says Gilchrist. “I will aggressively use new tools to make sure every Detroiter, in every neighborhood, regardless of their access to technology, can play a role is the decision-making processes that impact them.”

Making elections work for more residents is a priority, but there is more to the role of City Clerk, including working closely with Detroit’s City Council to ensure their public records are accurate and easily accessible to the public. Since starting work as the director of Innovation and Civic Technology for the City of Detroit in 2014, he has proven to be a skilled collaborator as he has worked to make many city records open and accessible to the public without the need for filing Freedom of Information Act requests.
Gilchrist has also worked tirelessly to solve complex challenges in the city with simple technology solutions.

“Creating a way for the Detroit Fire Department and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to work together to fix broken fire hydrants was an exciting challenge,” he says. “After a lot of listening, we were able to find the core of the challenge and pull together a solution that worked for both departments, which helps make Detroit safer for all residents.”

That type of win often goes without notice, but Gilchrist has never been motivated by praise or publicity. Ensuring that Detroit is a city where everyone has a voice that is heard, a Detroit where families like his can thrive, is what keeps him going and what will give him the drive to be Detroit’s next City Clerk.

To find out more about Garlin Gilchrist II and his bid for Detroit City Clerk, visit