04/10/2013 03:33 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2013

Spirit of Detroit Statue Represents the Potential for Our Great City

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.

Eyes from around the world are watching. Wondering how we have gone from one of the most influential cities in the world; how we will overcome the dysfunction in government and devastation in our neighborhoods; and the whether the transformation of Detroit is even possible.

Like many Detroiters, I have been impacted by the ills of this city, but -- together -- we get to choose where we head from here.

As long as we allow the spirit of every Detroiter to guide us forward to a strong, safe, prosperous city, I am convinced that we can transform Detroit.

As we embark on some very serious decisions regarding our finances and city service delivery, I encourage you to take a deeper look at the Spirit of Detroit statue and what it symbolizes.

The Spirit of Detroit statue, which sits in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center near Detroit's international riverfront, is world-renowned and the most frequented photo spot for residents and visitors from around the world. It represents the character and heart of Detroit -- past, present and future. The Spirit of Detroit statue is a brand for our city; much broader than an image. It is Detroit.

The artist had a vision that remains very relevant today.

The statue's body represents man that lifts up the community. In his left hand, he holds a sphere representing God and all that is good in possessing faith. In the right hand, he protects the family unit, which is representative of a strong city. The statue expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest of human relationships.

And, the Bible verse from 2 Corinthians 3:17 accompanies the statue, "Now the Lord is that spirit. And where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

I firmly believe that statue represents the heart, character, tenacity, passion, commitment and faith in our city and its people.

As a city we have lost sight of our spirit. Today, we need a major course redirection. We have failed in educating our babies, in protecting our children on their walks from school, in picking up the trash, in lighting our streets, in providing strong police, fire protection and emergency response services. And, we have lost faith in our leaders.

Now we have the opportunity to chart a new course. It's time to move forward.

The spirit of Detroit and how it's represented in Detroiters across this city and region -- those who have invested their heart and talents in our city -- inspire me daily.

A few weeks ago -- in that spirit of Detroit -- nearly 2,000 Detroiters gathered together at the Masonic Temple for a special announcement regarding our city's future. I announced a movement to restore glory to our city and create a strong Detroit. This mayoral campaign is truly a movement -- not about me -- but about we.

How does the spirit of Detroit exist in you? Tweet your response by mentioning @BennyNapoleon and using the hashtag #SpiritOfDetroit.