City's future drives discussion at 3rd Annual Detroit Policy Conference

Mayor Duggan, Chief Craig prepare to tackle Detroit's next chapter

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - With the bankruptcy and a new mayor, the question of what Detroit will look like in the future is on many minds.

On Thursday, the Chamber of Commerce weighed in on the subject.

On the heels of Mayor Mike Duggan's rousing State of the City speech last night, many of the go-to names in Metro Detroit are weighing in on how Detroit can move forward in a positive way.

To hear the dreamers tell it, Detroit's next chapter is, in many ways, like a white sheet of paper with exciting possibilities. The reality calls for the change to start by dealing with high crime rates and public safety concerns. New Police Chief James Craig says working with the FBI and State Police in major raids is bearing good fruit.

"We talk about jobs and the lack of jobs and how that drives crime?" Craig said. "Technically research shows that's not the case. It's really not the case. We have to change a mindset to identify those and we have to empower our neighborhoods to give them a sense of hope."

Tom Wilson is one of those behind-the-scenes movers and shakers Detroiters recognize. He's the guy running the new Red Wings arena project that was recently approved.

"Understand it's more than an arena, this is also accompanied by $200 million in investment and residential and retail commercial buildings," Wilson said. "It's going to make a difference in terms of tying downtown to Midtown."

One of the more interesting thoughts about what Detroit can be came from new M-1 Rail Public Affairs Director Sommer Woods, who said the neighborhoods are key to the city's success.

"To make sure there is walkability and travel through that entire corridor and really bridging all those those neighborhoods," Woods said. "I think a lot of times the neighborhoods north of midtown get lost in the sauce."

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