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Mayor Mike Duggan Talks Detroit’s Progress

“We are going to build a first-class city,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan during his keynote about the city’s progress and his goals for the next five year, on Thursday, May 30 at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference.

When he was elected as mayor, the city struggled with blight, a lack of public transportation, and damaged infrastructure, he said.

Since taking office, one of Duggan’s proudest accomplishments was his team’s ability to deliver a balanced budget consecutively over the last five years.

Since taking office, Duggan sited significant accomplishments in the following areas:

  • Reducing the number of abandoned homes in the city by 18,000.
  • Moving 6,000 people into previously vacant houses in the city.
  • Rebuilding 63 public parks.
  • Partnering with local business leaders like Gary Torgow, Stephen Steinour, and Daniel J. Loepp to sponsor neighborhood clean-ups.
  • Working with philanthropic organizations like the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Kresge, and Kellogg Foundations to renovate neighborhoods.

Progress is being made, but there is more to be done. Duggan stated that the plan for Detroit’s recovery has three distinct steps: improve public services for Detroit residents to reduce the exodus of people and businesses, remake the physical appearance of the city by removing blight, recreating parks, and building a modern landscape, identify Detroit’s competitive advantages and use them aggressively to attract residents and businesses.

Regarding this last point, Duggan announced a new city program, Detroit At Work, which trains residents for incoming jobs.

Detroit At Work will offer assessment preparation, interview training, application assistance, identification and document assistance, and a work readiness training program to help Detroiters obtain the skills they require to land a job. Duggan described it as “an employment agency” that the city will operate to make Detroit more appealing to incoming businesses. For businesses interested in utilizing these services, visit DetroitAtWork.com.

“The city, philanthropic, and business communities are coming together to change the city of Detroit. If we continue to do this in a respectful way, this city will come back in a way nobody expected.”