Wednesday, July 9, 2008

12-Step Program for Detroit

Last week, I asked: "Does Detroit Need Emergency Surgery?" As part of that answer, I announced that I would outline a "12-step" Program for Detroit and Detroiters.

With apologies to AA, I will modify the "12-steps" into something for healing for Detroit. I will also attempt to approach this from a positive outlook--not "Pollyana-ish", but constant negativity/victimhood gets us nowhere.

Step 1: Admit that the Power Structure is broken; that it has become unmanageable

At the time of this writing, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is under a 12-count indictment, and there will probably be more charges coming soon. We, the citizens and voters in Detroit, have to admit that no matter what good things for Detroit that the Mayor may have made possible, it is almost impossible to Detroit "on the good foot" while under such a cloud of multiple scandals.

As if that weren't bad enough, some members of the Detroit City Council are under suspension because
of rumored corruption with a sludge-removal contract approved last year. The FBI has interviewed many of the Council members. The Chief of Staff for Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. has resigned; but Council President Cockrel himself is not currently under suspicion. The Detroit City Council has become a laughing stock around the world: with cat-fights, name-calling and other childish behavior, ridiculous and unnecessary "resolutions"; all while trying to boot the Mayor out of office and keeping their own scandal problems under control at the same time.

Have all of these scandals made effective governing and oversight of the day-to-day issues of The City of Detroit unmanageable?

When I go to various venues in Detroit, I still see lots of people of all ages and races out enjoying themselves and benefiting from the wonderful attractions Detroit has to offer. Detroit has even been listed (finally!) as "travel destination"!

Are there ways to rescue the positive image that Detroit was again beginning to cultivate?

I'd love to hear your ideas...let's not just complain...let's do something: Detroit is now, and has always been, about its people.

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