Why are you so positive… or negative when it comes to Detroit?

Why are you so positive… or negative when it comes to Detroit?

Earlier this morning the Detroit Journalism Cooperative released a poll.

It asked likely voters throughout the state about their feelings toward Detroit and the state funds that could go toward the bankrupt city to shore up pensions and, ultimately, prevent the sale of a portion of the art collection out of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The poll found that there was widespread support for providing funds to Detroit. Specifically:

…roughly eight in ten respondents view Detroit’s financial health as very important or essential to the health of the state. Nearly two-thirds of people in the survey say it’s a top priority or important for their elected officials to address Detroit’s financial recovery. And they say they prefer Gov. Rick Snyder’s original 20-year plan for annual $18 million payments rather than a single lump sum payment to Detroit.

(You can grab a more detailed layout of the findings here.)

The poll also recorded a number of positive and negative responses. We visualized them. Of the 28 “positive” responses, this is what its word cloud looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 1.07.43 PMAs you can see, “things” seem to be the most used word. In comments like: “Contracting work has gotten better, things seem to be improving.” And, “There’s an opportunity for some really good things to happen there.” Bull list below.

On the other side, 38 “negative” comments were recorded. It looked like this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 1.11.32 PM

As you can see, “crime” seems to be the most used word when it comes to the negatives of Detroit. Not all that surprising. Many of the responses for the negatives were simply “crime.” There were a few variations of this such as “The crime rate,” or “Crime is too high.”

Here are the full responses:


Why positive?

Downtown looks good

They’re really trying to bring things back

The improvements to belle isle


They’re trying to improve the business climate to create more jobs

I like to go there, they have a lot of sporting events

Great cultural activities

It’s my favorite vacation spot

Detroit is moving forward with the bankruptcy the right way

It’s a great place going toward the right direction

They declared bankruptcy which is a step in the right direction

Contracting work has gotten better, things seem to be improving

The neighborhood is getting cleaned up

There’s a lot of hope in the people who live there to bring the city back

Now there’s a mayor who is working to improve the city

Gm is coming back

Greenfield village community

They have new elected officials who are going to manage the money

All the places to go there, like the sports facilities, opera house and detroit institute of arts

I’m from the bronx, it’s not much different from there crime wise

Things that have been neglected are starting to be fixed now

There’s an opportunity for some really good things to happen there

The tigers are winning

The current lack of corruption

The involvement of the state to help

Downtown development

Improvement in the economy

Sports bring money into the economy


Why negative?

It’s lost so much industry

Poor past leadership

The city government there is corrupt


The whole city isn’t safe and the leadership is terrible

There are too many murders

They’re full of poverty

Seeing all of the blight and good houses going to waste

The education level is bad there

Crime is too high

I understand they’re tearing down houses

Urban blight

They have so many problems


There’s still too much of a good ol’ boy network in detroit

They’ve failed to fix financial issues for the past 40 years


The bankruptcy situation

The crime rate

No one takes care of it

The failure to get justice

The city in general

People being moved out of their homes because of jobs lost

The high rate of illiteracy


Criminals with no pride in their city


The city is filled with greed

Colossal mismanagement

They’ve been ignoring problems for decades

Not being able to fix the bankruptcy issues

High crime

The lack of services

Bad government structure

The rundown areas

Crime rates are too high there

The crime

The economy isn’t being handled properly