Duggan focuses on neighborhoods in State of the City
Mayor Mike Duggan focused not on downtown in Tuesday's State of the City address, but on neighborhoods.
Jobs, cutting crime, dropping car insurance rates and improving neighborhoods were some of the issues as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his State of the City address Tuesday.
Duggan also discussed more affordable housing, more job opportunities and more services for residents including street sweepers to clean up roadways.
All in all, the mayor says for the city to experience a real comeback, everyone has to benefit from Detroit's newfound buzz and not just a few.
"You've got all this investment in downtown and midtown," Duggan said. "It's great, I like it, but when is the investment coming to the neighborhoods. I want you to know it's starting today."
A tale of two Detroits no more. In his fourth State of the City, Mayor Mike Duggan doubled down on neighborhoods--announcing a partnership with philanthropic groups to invest $30 million in southwest Detroit, West Village and the McNichols-Livernois corridor.
"If we can prove that when you invest in these neighborhoods the neighborhoods start to come back, the first $30 million will only be the beginning," Duggan said.
And Duggan says building up neighborhoods means tearing down abandoned homes. The goal for 2017 - about 10,000.
"In 2017 we are going to speed up the demolition of homes and we're going to do it in full compliance of all federal and state regulations," Duggan said.
Mayor Duggan also unveiled a new program called Detroit at Work to cut down the city's nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. It places residents in job training programs for specific job openings with Detroit businesses.
He's also partnering with plumbers and carpenters unions to get more Detroiters in apprenticeships programs. While he condemned the state closures of possibly 25 public schools, he announced the expansion of the Detroit Promise Scholarship Fund.
"And now for those who are really diligent in their studies, who exceed a 3.0 GPA and a 21 ACT this fall, four years of college education will be paid for by the Detroit Promise," Duggan said.
While college will be free for some Detroiters, the cost of living here is anything but. High homeowners' and car insurance remains a thorny issue. The former could come down in 2018 - the latter is anyone's guess.
"Everybody in this state is getting screwed by the no fault system," Duggan said. "I will be in Lansing and I will work hand in hand with people of good will who look in the mirror and say this system is immoral when have of Detroiters are driving illegally, when people across this state are being overcharged, it's wrong."
As for crime and public safety, the mayor says more resources will go towards investigating gun crime, he's also asking city council to require Detroit businesses open late to sign on to Project Green Light.
Duggan also talked about wanting the city to be a welcoming city, pro-immigrant and pointed to an old ordinance on the books of anti-discrimination that keeps police from profiling potential illegal immigrants.
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