By CANDACE ROBERTS
Detroit, Michigan, also known as The Motor City. This major port city, gave us both Ford and Chrysler. Home of the Motown sound that produced artists like The Temptations and Diana Ross & The Supremes. Detroit was once home to rapper Eminem, the late singer Aaliyah, actor Tim Allen, actress and singer Della Reese; Founder of The Cheesecake Factory, David Overton, hip hop group Slum Village, gospel group The Clark Sisters, boxing great Joe Louis; and The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The Motor City also host major sports teams: Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons.
Today Detroit struggles with keeping public schools open, keeping crime down, paying its debts, supplying jobs, and even keeping the street lights on. According to BestPlaces.net The Motor City ranks #2 for Hypertension spots and #5 for America’s most stressful cities. The site also states that Detroit’s unemployment rate is 11% above the national average with it’s future job growth in the Negative. City-Data.com ranks Detroit at #61 for Least safest cities, while NeighborhoodScout.com ranks the city at #14 on it’s Top 100 Most dangerous cities in the U.S. In just ten years, between 2000 and 2010, Detroit’s population has declined by 25% coming in second to New Orleans, Louisiana. Although, Detroit is still America’s 10th largest city by population.
In one area of Detroit, over 1,000 streetlights were shut off and the poles ripped out. Why? The city is $58 million in debt and simply can’t pay it’s electric bills.
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NPR writer, Sarah Hulett wrote this on education in Detroit, “In the past two years, Detroit has closed 59 schools and cut 30 percent of the school system’s workforce. But the district is still staring at a deficit of more than $300 million, and thousands of students continue to flee every year.”
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Detroit is filled with vacant houses, schools, churches, and other buildings. The city is falling more and more into debt and is more known these days for crime than cars. Homes in Detroit that were once worth $100,000 are now only worth $10,000. It’s been known for some of the homes to go for just $1. These prices have attracted buyers from all over the U.S. and countries overseas. There is no shortage in foreclosure notices and Detroit has the lowest home ownership for single families. The Associated Press calls Detroit, “Landlord Nation.”
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So, what is being done to reshape Detroit and it’s image? BelieveInDetroit.org invites people to volunteer to clean up Detroit, tutor a child and even plant trees. Former NBA star and now Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, seems to have several plans to fix Detroit. He wants to get more officers patrolling the community, provide jobs, keep people in their homes, and clean up the city. Let’s hope that all those things come true and Detroit can be saved from anymore hardship.
- Detroit on verge of financial meltdown, says Mayor Bing (windsorstar.com)
- Detroit Sees Signs of Turnaround – WSJ.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Motor City: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has just… (curbed.com)