A Sober Detroit

    Yesterday was the State of The City Address given by Mayor Bing. The address, Bing’s first as Mayor, was a perfect reflection of the changes that are talking place in the City’s government.  In years past, the State of The City address was more closely recognized as a fiction intended for bolstering public relations  than an assessment of the City’s real world status.  This perversion of the State of the City mirrored the blinders that those administrations had in when approaching the City’s systemic problems and the falsehoods it sold to the City’s people.   As the saying goes, the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem.  Past administrations refused to confront their demons for fear of loosing favor with the public they continually pandered to.  Mayor Bing’s address was something very different.

The sobriety with which the Mayor spoke was, well, sobering.  It was both shocking and empowering, it felt real and clean and refreshing.  The reality is we have problems.  For the first time in decades we have an administration willing to acknowledge the full depth of those problems.  As a result, we are able to start our recovery.

While there is no denying that the solutions to Detroit’s problems will be many years and several Mayors away, those solutions will only become a reality when we start from a position of understanding.  I applaud the Mayor for his reality check and for resisting the temptation to pander to the masses by attempting to spray a rose scented perfume over the rotting stench of Detroit’s problems.

I will be the first to state that many positive things are happening in Detroit and that there is plenty of reason for Detroiters to be optimistic. The people in charge are taking care of business, business leaders are taking part in expanding the infrastructure and employment base within the City, non-profits and foundations are filling in gaps for funding essential services, citizens are taking responsibility for their property and their neighborhood. All of these efforts will combine to improve the City and get us on the road to recovery.  But it is equally true that to keep things moving forward we must know what direction we are moving in any why.


~ by rmkasak on March 25, 2010.

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