Maryann Mahaffey speaking at 50th anniversary for Henry D. Messer and Carl House
January 18, 1925|
July 27, 2006
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
Maryann Mahaffey (January 18, 1925 – July 27, 2006) was born in Burlington, Iowa. She served on the Detroit City Council from 1973 until 2005, from 1990 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2005 as council president. She was the last white female city council president of Detroit. She died on July 27, 2006 from leukemia, aged 81.
In both terms as council president, she proved to be a very controversial leader. It was under her that a majority of Detroit's public housing projects were shut down - most notably, the Brewster-Douglas projects in 2004, which are still vacant- and the city's crime and abandonment rates almost tripled; though she resisted this strenuously. However, she oversaw redevelopment of several inner city neighborhoods, and championed construction along the Woodward Corridor.
She was a Professor Emerita at the School of Social Work at Wayne State University in Detroit, where she taught from 1965 to 1990. She had an undergraduate degree from Cornell College in Iowa and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.