Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroit Policy Conference > Warren Evans: “We Got Some Core Things to Do Before We Attract Others”

Warren Evans: “We Got Some Core Things to Do Before We Attract Others”

January 12, 2024

Key takeaways

  • Evans wants the Detroit Region to focus on retention strategies before considering population growth. 
  • Relationships between the tri-county Executives have grown exponentially over the years. 
  • Evans also toyed with the rumors of him running for higher office. 

View the session recording below.

During the 2024 Detroit Policy Conference, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans sat down with the Detroit Free Press and CBS 62’s Carol Cain to talk about the county’s progress, core strengths, and much how stronger the Detroit Region has become since he first took office. 

The County Has “Weathered the Storm”

Kicking off the conversation, Evans praised his county’s “wise moves” of paying attention to the diverse communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We’ve weathered the storm of COVID the right way—which is supporting our small businesses and workers who needed our help,” he said. “We have the variations … that I think is important for communities to come.” 

Evans also challenged the audience not to assume laziness is why some people are unemployed. He also stressed the need for disability accommodations and eliminating “ghost job postings” to retain workers within the Detroit Region. 

 “The idea that these people don’t want to work is ridiculous. They don’t show up because they believe it is the same-old, same-old,” he said, “Health issues shouldn’t keep you from working either. I think we got to do that before we worry about the importation of others.”  

Related: “Infrastructure is the Backbone of Our Economy”

His Neighboring Counties’ Relationships Are Better

The conversation also touched on Evans’s relationships with other county executives, like Macomb County’s Mark Hackel and Oakland County’s David Coulter. He explained that the relationships between these offices have grown much better since he first took office. 

“One of the great things now is that all the county executives talk to each other now. There’s always got to be more government collaboration,” he said. “Whether I’m the shot-caller or not is not the issue; can we identify the problems that affect all of us? Can we start the process of lobbying each other to address what changes need to occur and why?”  

Related: Growing Macomb County With Manufacturing, Concise Messaging, ‘Badass Bass’ 

With that said, Evans appeared more disgruntled when stressing the importance of “better coordination of information” between projects and ideas that are taking place within his county.  

“There are a number of projects that will be talked about that I could be helpful with in terms of at least giving a perspective about it, but I won’t get a call about it,” he explained. “Talk to us, then see if [what we say] makes sense.”

Will He Stay, or Will He Go?

In closing, Evans playfully addressed the rumors of him running for higher office, such as Detroit mayor or even Michigan governorship.  

“I’m still weighing options and looking at things. But at the end of the day, my decision will be based on what I think is the best for everybody,” he said. “I understand the Governor’s only got two more years…”