DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joined leaders across to country Friday morning to meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House.
It was a part of a group to discuss the American Rescue Plan, a nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus plan, and what is needed to help get the economy roaring again.
Duggan has had Biden’s ear for a long time. So when it came time for rollouts of major legislation meant to help America’s big cities -- like Detroit -- the President’s office picked up the phone and asked Duggan to go to Washington to take part.
The Oval Office meeting had mayors and governors from both sides of the aisle.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York
- Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico
- Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland
- Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta, GA
- Mayor Latoya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA
- Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami, FL
- Mayor Jeff Williams, Arlington, TX
At the Presidential Briefing Friday afternoon, Duggan said Detroit’s vaccine effort is good, but it needs help getting from 15,000 vaccinations a week to 25,000.
The American Rescue Plan includes $20 billion for vaccinations and $50 billion dedicated for testing and reopening schools. Michigan can expected more than $600 million for vaccines and another $550 million for schools.
Duggan said Detroit’s unemployed and closed businesses are a major concern.
“They’re worried as the landlord tenant courts open up they may be facing eviction and have no place else to go,” Duggan said. “They’re looking for help. Those businesses that opened up their storefronts with such optimism are now very afraid if they don’t get help, the plywood is going back up with boarded up business districts.”
The American Rescue Plan has made it through the House and Senate through reconciliation, but there are still some differences in the bill needing to be worked out. The hope in Washington is to have the bill passed and the money rolling by March.