2nd night of Dem Debate includes more Detroit, state attention by candidates

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At night two of the Democratic Debate in downtown Detroit, our city earned a few more mentions than night one, including a big one at the end. 

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker - who endured an interruption earlier meant for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio earlier tonight - talked about the D in his closing statement. He compared the resilience of the city to Newark, where he served as mayor - and mentioned his mother was born here.

"One of the reasons I respect this city is because it has the kind of defiant love that I find in many American cities including the city of Newark. Detroit is turning around and Newark is turning around."

Booker said that was because we let "no one divide us, degrade us or underestimate our worth" adding that through pulling together with common purpose and common cause, that is the history of Detroit. 

In talking about how the American dream is under threat due to President Trump, Booker pointed toward the coin-flip percentage of whether millennials will earn as much as their parents.

"My mom is sitting there who was born in the city of Detroit," he said. "Born to a guy who was a UAW worker, my grandfather, who pulled his family out of poverty in the depression, my grandmother joined him, she was really entrepreneurial and opened a pool hall and a laundromat right here in this city. That is the American Dream. And so many of us have stories like that." 

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Former Vice-President Joe Biden weighed in on Detroit on helping GM and mentioning he received the endorsement of Mayor Mike Duggan.

 "I was part of the organization in our administration that pushed bailing General Motors out, saving tens of thousands of jobs here in this state," he said. "I was also asked ... to help Detroit get out of bankruptcy and get back on its' feet. I spent better part of two years out here making sure it did exactly that. 

"We invested significantly in this city and transportation -- anyway the point is, we have made significant investments in this city and I expect that's why the mayor endorsed me."

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang opened the night with a mention to Detroit as he hammered the topic of automation costing jobs in the future - and how to prepare for it.

"We've already automated away millions of manufacturing jobs, and chances are your job can be next. If you don't believe me just ask me an auto worker in Detroit," Yang said.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet spoke about segregated schools and brought up Detroit. 

"We've got a group of K-12 schools that are good because families can spend a million bucks and you've got the Detroit Public Schools that are as segregated as they were, equal is not equal."

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke about visiting Michigan by bus, bringing up how bad trade deals by President Donald Trump including a trade war with China, amounting to broken promises.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee brought up environmental justice, talking about visiting the neighborhood near the Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit. 

"I was in the zip code 48217 in a Detroit neighborhood the other day right next to an oil refinery where the kids have asthma and adults have cancer clusters," he said. "And after talking to these folks, I believe it doesn't matter what your zip code is, what color you are you ought to have clean air and clean water in America."

It took more than an hour and a half before Flint was mentioned, and Julian Castro spoke about his time helping the city when he was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro said he improved the standard of how children with elevated blood lead levels was improved, during the crisis.
"I was back in Flint six weeks ago and I released a plan to invest $50 billion dollars, so we remove lead as a major public health threat. We need to do it; we can do it. and I will do it," he said.