While corporate profits soar and our biggest corporations increase in value by billions, the people of the city of Detroit, some of whom are also the customers and employees who keep those corporations in business, are insolvent.
Like most young writers/artists/creators who entertain the idea of moving to Detroit, I visited for all of the reasons Patti Smith told me to and also because I'd found a house for one dollar through a Re/Max agent on the Internet.
Our cities were once engines of growth and prosperity. They're still rich with potential resources, both human and material. But restoring them will require faith -- in the future, in our people, and in our ability to meet and overcome challenges.
The refrain on repeat across news outlets includes some combination of the following: decades of mismanagement, a shrinking tax base, the decline of industry, and corruption. All of these factors doubtlessly contributed to Detroit's financial distress, but as an explanation for it they are woefully incomplete.
One part of my blueprint however, always stayed the same. After traveling the world I'd ultimately settle down in my hometown. But what do you do when the place you planned your dreams around no longer exists? What do you do when you're from Detroit?
The world will shrug when Detroit's art collection is put on the block, when cops are fired, when schools close and when real people suffer. But don't pay back bondholders and attention must be paid.
The Windy City is likely the next shoe to fall. Above all, elected officials around the country must take this lesson from Detroit: Do not spend money you do not have because one day, the bills will come due.
Going over the depressing news about the Supreme Court's slash and dash of the Voting Rights Act, I began to lament further about the Emergency Management appointments in Michigan. Suddenly, I became even more energized to work harder to build the movement to Washington.
Recently, in a lightning decision reserved generally for Right-To-Work votes, the Michigan State Senate committee passed a bill that would protect the Detroit Institute of Arts fabulous collection from being sold to help pay the bills for the city's financial deficit.
Most say Detroit is done for, finished. But I just can't reconcile that attitude with what I think is plain to see: Detroit is the best investment opportunity since some numbskull bought Alaska for $7 million.
The Educational Achievement Authority is an experiment that has failed. Legislators are considering a bill to expand it from its current 15-school version in Detroit to a statewide district that takes over the "bottom 5 percent" of schools. This system must be abolished completely, certainly not expanded statewide.
I vehemently believe that Detroit is a place and time where we can come together to design our collective outcomes. It is indeed the opportunity of a generation and it will take everyone, incoming and resident, black and white, young and old to harness it.
This year's NCAA tournament once again demonstrated that leadership has a considerable impact on a team's performance and is key to motivating and ins...
Note the grand ambitions here: A little consulting firm will address homelessness or truancy "for as long as it takes to make your problem our own" (shouldn't homelessness already be "our" problem?).
This year, in an unprecedented shift away from transparency, the General Government budget legislation allots two bulk sums of money, totaling nearly $240 million, to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. I believe this is bad governance.
Somehow we have lost our way as a city. We have lost sight of what really matters to our quality of life and to a strong Detroit.