Mayor Candidate Questionnaire

Susan Dabaja

Healthy Dearborn is a vibrant community coalition that has partnered with the City of Dearborn since 2015 to create a culture of health in Dearborn by working to reduce health disparities through active living and healthy eating strategies. For more on Healthy Dearborn, please visit our website: How do you see your Mayoral administration or Dearborn’s City Council working with Healthy Dearborn? And what specific ideas do you have for implementing Healthy Dearborn initiatives? *

If elected Mayor, I will have an open-door policy in which I will frequently engage and have regular and consistent meetings with stakeholders and community groups like Healthy Dearborn. As a mother of three young adults, I have a vested interest in promoting a healthy, attractive, and health-conscious Dearborn where our young professionals have a reason to stay. While on Council, I have been a huge proponent and advocate of Healthy Dearborn’s many initiatives, including the Healthy Streets initiative, Walk n Roll, and helped promote the passage of the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which Healthy Dearborn developed. As Mayor, I will continue to engage Healthy Dearborn, exchanging ideas about the betterment of our city, and working hand-in-hand to increase community awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle for Dearborn residents alike.

What do you see as Dearborn’s biggest health challenges and Dearborn’s biggest health assets? How can we best leverage our assets to address our challenges? *

Truly, one of the biggest health challenges Dearborn faces is its geographic placement. While we are blessed to have such a large and diverse city, it also poses a challenge because we often find ourselves sectioned off into three distinct parts of the city. Moreover, although our city is rich with diverse languages and cultures, we often struggle to find ways to engage every member of our community. There simply isn’t a blanket solution that meets the needs of all of our community members. Another unique challenge we face as a city is our issues combating traffic violations and promoting non-motorized travel. Now as far as assets, we are lucky to have a large array of beautiful walking trails and bike lanes which can help combat Dearborn’s 3 way partition by increasing walkability, mobility, and ultimately connectivity. Dearborn also possesses other assets which help combat traffic violations including the rectangular rapid-flashing beacons and other traffic control measures to improve public safety at uncontrolled, marked crosswalks. As with all situations, a key component to leveraging our assets is engaging stakeholders and hearing the concerns of residents and community members. If elected, I will continue to listen to our experts and adopt and implement policy and procedures like the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan to help move Dearborn forward.

Do you believe that "Health in all Policies," which is the use of health assessment tools to guide decisions on major civic projects and policy decisions, should be implemented in Dearborn? Please explain why, either way. *

Yes, absolutely! I am a data-driven individual and believe that data is crucial to holding ourselves accountable and setting metrics for a better, safer, and healthier city. The safety of my city is a top priority and I believe all major decisions should take into account the necessary facts and data to assess and identify troubling areas we may struggle with and forge new, meaningful solutions that put people first.

Dearborn’s Multimodal Transportation Plan (MMTP) ( was developed with significant community involvement, including Healthy Dearborn, and was adopted by the Dearborn City Council on October 6, 2020. How do you see the implementation of the MMTP fitting into your community health priorities as Mayor? *

While on Council, I have been a fervent advocate of the MMTP, voting for the plan myself and advocating for its passage amongst my colleagues. As Mayor, I would be excited to see its follow through and implementation through the various different phases of the plan. I look forward to work with Health Dearborn, the new City Council, and other major stakeholders to see through the enforcement of many of the plans and procedures outlined in the MMTP.