- Business friendly
- Voice of reason
- Good listener
- Consensus builder
- Although he voted against awarding the city’s recycling contract to Synagro Technologies, Cockrel was questioned in an FBI probe regarding alleged bribes given by the company. His chief of staff, John Clark, resigned after being caught on tape accepting money.
- Cockrel joined in the controversial council decision not to hear Mayor Kilpatrick’s proposed city budget for 2008-2009 after the council asked him to resign.
- According to some critics, Cockrel could be clearer regarding his stance on several policy issues and more aggressive in regard to some of his stated goals, such as pursuing the money Mike Ilitch received from the city for maintenance of historic Tiger Stadium.
Cockrel graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Journalism from Wayne State University and is currently working toward a Masters in Public Administration. He also participated in the invitation-only, three-week training Program for State and Local Government Officials at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Cockrel started his career as a newspaper reporter. He worked at the Cincinnati Inquirer, Grand Rapids Press and the Detroit Free Press. He was also a columnist for Metro Times.
Cockrel was elected to the Wayne County Commission and served from 1994 to 1996. During his tenure, he worked to prevent overcrowding in Wayne County jails and strengthened the Wayne County residency requirements.
Cockrel was the youngest person ever elected to the Detroit City Council in 1997. He is currently in his 3rd term. He became president of the council after receiving the most votes for councilman in the November, 2005 election.
Cockrel is perhaps best known for his meeting with community groups regarding neighborhood issues. He also holds quarterly town-hall meetings. These meeting helped to focus his efforts as a councilman. For instance, he’s worked to create a solution regarding the city’s many abandoned homes and buildings, improve the city’s police department, improve housing opportunity, and limit drug trafficking and disruptive elements in the city’s residential neighborhoods. In the future, he plans to make sure Detroit-based contractors receive their fair share of work from the city. He will also continue work to reform the Detroit Police Department, demolish dangerous buildings and improve Detroit’s parks and recreation centers.
Specifically, Cockrel helped to launch the Friendly Neighbor Program, which is aimed at getting first-time homebuyers into city-owned homes in need of repair, and the City Council Green Task Force, which helps to educate the community and implement green policies.
Cockrel also Co-Chairs the Economic Development Standing Committee and the Internal Operations Standing Committee. He also serves on the Detroit Elections Commission and on the board of directors for the Detroit Transportation Corp.
Ken Cockrel, Jr. grew up surrounded by Detroit politics. His father was Kenneth Cockrel Sr., who was himself a councilman for the City of Detroit and a community activist. In fact, his father’s second wife, Sheila Murphy Cockrel, is currently a councilwoman alongside Cockrel, Jr.
Ken Cockrel, Jr., is married and has five children.
City of Detroit's website for Kenneth Cockrel, Jr.
- David L. Malhalab's blog(Critic)
- The next in line: Cockrel not eager, but ready to be mayor if Kilpatrick leaves post by Brent Snavely / Crain’s Detroit Business (2/11/08)
- City of Detroit website (biography)
- City of Detroit website (Media Advisory: Vote not to Hear Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's 2008-2009 Budget Address)
- Detroit recycling contract probed / The Toledo Blade (7/3/08)
- FBI TARGETS DETROIT, IGNORES BRIBE SOURCE by Diane Bukowski / The Michigan Citizen (8/29/08)