Public safety is the single most important core service that the city provides. Too many Detroiters live in unacceptable conditions, death is an extreme risk to too many of our children. Too many people also feel that they absolutely “know” what to do about it. What Detroit has seen is high turnover the helm of the Police Department in recent years. Detroit needs to produce a clear and consistent plan based on the best practices available that we can and will stick with until it works. We also need citizens to step up and recognize that things will not improve until we begin to work with the police department to improve public safety.


Blight is a symptom that needs to be addressed and contained before it spreads even further. Along with greater code enforcement and demolition of dangerous properties, we must also empower residents with the resources they need to fix up their own properties. Energizing communities and encouraging resident participation to do walks and cleanups, making home-repair grants and low interest loans available and accessible are keys to creating healthy and prosperous neighborhoods.

Jobs and Economic Development

We can’t demand jobs but put off employers. Detroit needs revenue. From the start-ups in Midtown to the small businesses in Southwest Detroit, the sixth district features some of the most vibrant commercial corridors in the city, it is the heart of the revitalization engine and a strong small business ecosystem. City government must develop policies centered around small businesses rather than the heavy industrial focus it has had in the past. Detroit must become the most attractive place in the world to start or bring your business – we need to capitalize on a low barrier to entry.

When growth occurs, revitalization must be local as well as global – we need to be smart – we need to use community benefit agreements and other tools so that all Detroiters don’t just see progress, but experience it as well.

Emergency Financial Management

Emergency Management should be brief and efficient. We can’t emerge from this fiscal crisis only to find ourselves with another emergency manager in 10 years. At this point, while there are those who hold onto the idea that there will be some way to depose the emergency manager, I choose to focus to focus on the stable city that must emerge after the emergency financial manager transitions out. As a democracy advocate, like many of you, I find the situation incredibly frustrating. Practically speaking, many of the Emergency Manager’s toughest decisions will likely be made by the time the 2014 City Council is seated. It will be our job to deal with the impact to our community.