Mayor Mike Duggan wants former Detroiters to visit the city for a homecoming. The idea is to attract people who wrote off their relationship with the city. The “Detroit Homecoming” is aimed to bring them back for a visit, a little flirtation. Detroit Journalism Cooperative member Michigan Radio has this report.
When a group of teens turned out to the WDET/Next Chapter community meeting, hosted in conjunction with Urban Neighborhoods Initiative on June 25, we couldn’t pass up asking them about their neighborhoods and how they envision the city’s future.
“I actually do see that bankruptcy has affected my neighborhood because even across the street from me, there’s houses that need to be taken down or even are on the list of being taken down,” says Anthony Keeth, 18. “I’ve heard stories about this great city. The houses used to be full. The neighbors knew each other. You might as well say they were family, but now it’s like, I don’t see where that’s ever happened.
The meeting one was of 12 we plan throughout the city this year, where we’ll answer questions about the bankruptcy process and hear about what it means to city residents. These community meetings will help shape our coverage of the bankruptcy on WDET and at Next Chapter Detroit.
The five youth in this video range from 15 to 18 and are part of the youth development programs developed and coordinated by Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, also located in District 6 in Southwest Detroit.
We asked the teens about their neighborhoods, what they think bankruptcy means and what how they envision the Detroit’s future. Their common themes and issues for them? Abandoned lots, blight and violence. They also say that even though there is litter and blight, not everyone in the neighborhoods treats their property and their city that way.
At the beginning of the year, newly elected Mayor Mike Duggan said to watch what happens in six months. The media partners of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative did just that, examining how the city is functioning while in bankruptcy and how the leadership of Mayor Duggan is impacting services and neighborhoods.
Next Chapter Detroit posted the DJC’s coverage of the mayor’s first six months in office as it was released…and now brings this compilation of all the partners’ work:
We start with a look at the mayor himself. Here’s a profile by Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham. Also Bridge Magazine’s Mike Wilkinson looked at Mayor Duggan’s penchant for creating his own performance measures, both how they’re defined and reported.
Benchmarks from Bridge
After this introductory piece, Bridge magazine published a series of stories looking at how well Mayor Duggan is meeting certain benchmarks, some of which he set for himself, at the beginning of his term. They are:
City Services, written by Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham Jobs, written by Rich Haglund Livability, written by Nancy Derringer Public Safety, written by Michigan Radio’s Sarah Hulett Public Transportation, video by Hailey Zureich and John Zyski Schools, written by Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek
The Craig Fahle Show
Craig hosted guests for several segments to talk about aspect of the mayor’s work and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative coverage. He was joined by Bridge Magazine’s Nancy Derringer, Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham and WDET/Next Chapter Detroit’s Sandra Svoboda to discuss what the mayor has — and hasn’t — done.
Craig also spoke with listeners on June 23 to hear their assessments of Duggan’s performance. Generally they think he’s doing a good job — but say the city needs more.
In Mayor Mike Duggan’s first six months in office, one of the biggest difference between him and previous mayors has been his relationship with the City Council: Council member Saunteel Jenkins tells Craig it’s a cordial one that works. “It’s different because the mayor has actively pursued a relationship with council,” she says.
Detroit Public Television
On the television airwaves, DPTV aired two programs with discussions about Mayor Duggan’s first half year. First, the MiWeek team evaluated some of the mayor’s biggest successes and remaining challenges. Then American Black Journal dug into the Blight Removal Task Force, one of Mayor Duggan’s signature efforts.
Every Detroit mayor for decades has talked about blight. One of the biggest problems facing Detroit is the huge number of abandoned houses, buildings, and vacant lots. Here’s a look at what’s changed in how that issue is addressed since Mayor Mike Duggan took office, by Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham.
Graham also reported that one out of every three Detroit households doesn’t have a car. They rely on the bus system. But it’s broken. People at the Rosa Parks Transit Center in downtown Detroit disagree whether it’s gotten any better since Mayor Mike Duggan took over the Detroit Department of Transportation, but officials at the department say they’re working to get more buses on the roads.
Michigan Radio’s Stateside program on June 23 featured Detroit Reporter Sarah Cwiek and Investigative Reporter Lester Graham who talked about Mayor Duggan.“He’s showing some real leadership skills for a guy who has been elected to serve a city with no power,” Graham says on the program. Stateside also hosted a conversation about transportation in the city.
Until recently, almost half the streetlights of Detroit were dark. Thousands of new streetlights are replacing the old broken ones. Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham caught up with one of several crews installing streetlights in neighborhoods around Detroit and discovered fewer, less expensive lights to power and maintain means a big drop in cost.
When elected, Mayor Duggan took over a city run by someone else: state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Still, Michigan Radio reports that doesn’t mean Duggan has been denied all the rites of passage of the job including the schlep to Lansing to ask the state Legislature for something. Every mayor has to do it. And Duggan had to go to Lansing with a really big ‘ask.’ We’re talking about the $195 million dollar rescue package for his city (that’s right, ‘rescue,’ ‘settlement.’ Just don’t call it a ‘bailout.’)
WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter found some Detroit residents say the initiatives undertaken by the Mayor are producing mixed results as he works to create what he calls a “livable” city – one that attracts new residents and maintains a stable tax base. WDET’s Pat Batcheller looks at efforts to improve the city’s bus system and transportation department.
Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged one of the single biggest hurdles city residents face when it comes to transportation during his State of the City address in January: the high cost of auto insurance. WDET’s J. Carlisle Larsen takes a look at what the situation is for drivers in the city.
To get a sense of how a candidate plans for success and how they go about implementing such a strategy when elected, WDET’s Travis Wright spoke with former Mayor Dennis Archer. Twenty years ago this week, Archer, a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice was wrapping up his first six months as mayor. When Archer looked back on those crucial first months in 1994, he said it all started when he tapped six University of Michigan professors to help him craft a city improvement plan in 1990.
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
@WDETSandra and firstname.lastname@example.org
“Every Neighborhood Has a Future…and It Doesn’t Include Blight,” is the title of the comprehensive plan and set of recommendations to eliminate blight in the city of Detroit. DPTV/American Black Journal Host Stephen Henderson speaks with Glenda Price, co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force, about how Mayor Mike Duggan plans to accomplish the goal of removing the blighted structures within five years.
“For much of his public life, Mike Duggan has promised results by setting targets – and hitting them,” writes Mike Wilkinson in Bridge Magazine. “But for all of the mayor’s numbers, his office is the one reporting them, making them difficult to verify.” Here’s the full story, as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s coverage of the mayor’s first six months in office.
Jennifer White, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Michigan State University Economist Eric Scorsone about the challenges facing the city of Detroit and the key systemic issues that the city must address. He emphasizes that although there has been some recovery in the city, the challenges remain of high unemployment rate, the big differences in the Detroit labor market when it comes to earnings of city residents compared to non-residents, upgrading the skill levels of city residents and the creation of jobs.
Mayor Mike Duggan has been in office for six months. When he took office he asked residents to give him that same time period to show improvement in city services and government before they made a decision to leave the city. This week, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative has been taking a look at how and what Duggan has done in his first six months in office. Today on the The Craig Fahle Show, Bridge Magazine’s Nancy Derringer, Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham and WDET/Next Chapter Detroit’s Sandra Svoboda discuss with Craig what the mayor has — and hasn’t — done.
So, how has the vaguely defined category of “livability” fared under the first six months of the Mike Duggan administration? Let’s start with the obvious: The temperature rose to a high of 18 degrees on New Year’s Day, when Duggan took the oath of office. The weather is markedly better in June. That has a way of improving anyone’s outlook. What else? Bridge magazine reports on other benchmarks and the mayor’s progress on them.
Every Detroit mayor for decades has talked about blight. This week Michigan Radio and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative are looking Mayor Mike Duggan’s first six months in office and at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. One of the biggest problems facing Detroit is the huge number of abandoned houses, buildings, and vacant lots. Here’s a look at what’s changed in how that issues is addressed since Mayor Mike Duggan took office.