While full of possibility and enormous opportunity for growth and renewal, Detroit's future remains tenuous. Our civic leaders must urgently confront the deep historical challenges that are engulfing us today with three essential tasks.
It appears that some folks have really got their priorities mixed up. Maybe they should let everyone else in on why Belle Isle appears to have become a symbol of Detroit's demise and it must be extricated from the city
Before I sound preachy, allow me just to say this: your power is your ability to act. You can decide to engage, mobilize, and commit to making Detroit's public square more accountable. And, in 2013, Detroit needs your civic action more than ever.
I am concerned that there are not sufficient strategies in place to reduce the number of crime victims in Detroit and change the perception that Detroit is not a safe city. In my view, there are 10 strategies to achieve the goal.
The attitude that one neighborhood is safer than the other and that it is each community's own crime issue to be dealt within isolation. It is the muggers and thugs being told to hit the 8 mile.
A series of billboards and ads placed on bus stops in Brooklyn make the raw data behind the New York Police Department's controversial stop and frisk program plain, Colorlines reports. "In 70 out of 76 precincts, Black and Latino people accounted for more than 50% of stops, and comprised more than 90% of stops in 33 precincts. Even in precincts where the numbers of Black and Latino residents are very low (e.g., 8% in the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village), they were still more than 70% of stops in six of those precincts," according to the tubmler page racismstillexists.tumblr.com. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo openly criticized the program in a speech this week, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists that it is a useful crime fighting tool.
As Detroiters, we embrace our city's non-residential stakeholders. We embrace the fact that many are rooting for us; understanding that we will never have a thriving state of Michigan, or southeast region without a vibrant city of Detroit.
As Detroit nears the possible appointment of an emergency financial manager, it's important to note that although the current pace of change is not as rapid as necessary to extinguish this fiscal crisis, we have made progress since 2009.
We can make our neighborhoods safer. We can light our streets, clean up the blight and fix our roads. We can educate our babies.
I will not waver in an effort to join with my council colleagues and Mayor Bing to make the necessary bold financial reforms. If we don't move swiftly, the certainty is an emergency financial manager will take even bolder action on behalf of Detroiters.
Detroit is not a broken-down city. We are not going to fall into the river. Let's be clear on this fact. It's city government that is broken.
There are 88,000 street lights operated by the city. More than half of these are out on any given day. I believe most Detroiters want their lights on, regardless of who repairs them.
Governor Snyder has portrayed the bridge issue as cut and dry: Michigan will get a "free" bridge, with the cost shouldered entirely by Canada. While this sounds good in theory, there are still many pressing issues for which the governor simply has no answers.
Detroiters have come accustom to the talk of deficits, low cash flow and payless paydays during the past several years. The reality is that the City of Detroit still faces a fiscal crisis that will continue if implementation of reforms is not moved forward.
If it has not occurred to the people of Detroit yet, on the heels of 32 murders in 15 days, the bell should be ringing loud and clear soon enough that we are nothing more than collateral damage to Governor Snyder, Mayor Bing and his financial advisory board.
As the nation moves closer to a pivotal moment of presidential decision, Detroit prepares to make its own history.