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Mayor Mike Duggan: Detroit Must Grow and Move Beyond Racially Divided History

Returning to the Mackinac Policy Conference, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered a powerful keynote about the often-forgotten truths of Detroit’s racially charged history along with ideas of how to sustain America’s great manufacturing city by learning from its past.

“We were at a crossroads in the ’50s and ’60s,” Duggan said. “Now we are at another (crossroad), during this important time in the city’s history – we must create a Detroit for all.”

Key Takeaways

  • Detroit must be one city, for all of us.
  • Detroit is not a blank canvas; we must respect those who have lived in the city and contributed to the fabric of Detroit.
  • The government owes it to the people to prevent displacement of disadvantaged residents due to private investment.
  • Development will combat economic segregation; there will be a place for people of all incomes in all areas of Detroit.
  • Blight removal is a top priority that must continue, while preserving as many salvageable structures as possible.
  • Detroit must work to build neighborhoods of density, where daily needs of citizens can be met within walking distance.

Following Duggan’s keynote address, Paul W. Smith, host of WJR NewsTalk 760 AM, joined him on stage for a one-on-one conversation. The session was sponsored by DTE Energy and aligned with the Conference pillar of increasing economic opportunity.