By Sara Powers

DETROIT (AP) — Voters in Detroit on Aug. 3 rejected a ballot proposal that called for the creation of some new city departments, restructuring the police and fire departments, and linking water rates and public transportation fares to income.

Proposal P called for changes to the city charter and received 22,696 votes for passage, while 46,707 people voted against it during the city’s primary, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting.

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Jennifer Johnson, 61, of Detroit, votes at the Detroit Service Learning Academy in the state’s primary election, Tuesday morning, Aug. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)

The proposal had been opposed by some who said it could have increased spending by the city, which still has to carefully monitor its finances that for several years had been under state oversight following Detroit’s historic 2013 bankruptcy.

Supporters said the proposal addressed concerns raised by Detroit residents about social justice and other issues in the majority Black city. They took the measure to the courts to keep it on the ballot after Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declined to support it.

Robert Plant, Jr., 70, of Detroit, votes at the Detroit Service Learning Academy in the state’s primary election, Tuesday morning, Aug. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)

Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned decisions by lower courts that would have kept Proposal P off the ballot. It already was on absentee ballots distributed ahead of the primary.

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The changes were drafted and approved by the Detroit Charter Revision Commission.

The proposal would have created new city departments covering disability rights, environmental justice, veterans affairs, and economic justice. It also would have created a task force to consider paying reparations to Black people.

Voters on Tuesday also chose Mayor Mike Duggan and former Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams to face off in Detroit’s Nov. 2 general election for the city’s top elected seat.

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