Detroit Mayor-elect Mike Duggan heads to Washington to meet with Obama

Duggan boards flight for lunch meeting with economic leaders

By Will Jones - Reporter

DETROIT - After speaking at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's annual meeting at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit Mayor-elect Mike Duggan packed and headed to the airport Thursday night to board a flight to Washington, D.C.

Duggan will be one of more than a dozen mayors from across the country at the White House on Friday.
"I'm going to make friends and to learn. This is a relationship business," Duggan said. "Obviously, it's an honor to sit with the president and vice president."

President Obama will meet with Duggan and the other city leaders at an economic forum. On the agenda: jobs.

Duggan will take over a city with an unemployment rate more than twice the national average. He plans to push the president to put more resources in the job corps program.

"It's a program that needs to be dramatically expanded. That's something that I am going to advocate because everything in this town starts with a job," said Duggan.

The Obama Administration has been criticized for not doing enough to help Detroit. Back in September, the administration responded with a $320 million pledge of federal, state and private aid mostly grant money to help fight crime, remove blight and improve transportation in the city.

While in Washington, Duggan plans to repair Detroit's reputation of incompetence when it comes to managing federal dollars.

"First thing I need to do is reassure the federal government that we are going to have a team in place that is going to use that money effectively, and not going to embarrass them," said Duggan.

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