DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan introduced his new vision for Detroit during his 9th State of the City address on Wednesday night.
Duggan focused on eliminating blight and expanding job opportunities for Detroit residents. Right at the start of the address, he spoke about what is still a gigantic eyesore in the city -- the long abandoned Packard Plant. The city is taking the owner to court and hopes to take possession of the site.
Duggan’s administration has shepherded along redevelopment of 11 eyesores over his tenure as mayor. The one outstanding piece of ruin still out there is the Packard Plant.
Much of the address was spent talking about blight -- both commercial and residential -- and a new program from the Land Bank offering neighbors the opportunity to pick up vacant lots in their neighborhoods to transform them into parks, gardens and playscapes.
There is money to help Detroiters learn to earn in a variety of fields under the umbrella of the Detroit At Work program. All of this is courtesy of federal funding.
“I don’t care if you’re 25 or 45 or 65, this is 100 million scholarship fund for you,” Duggan said.
One departure tonight in the address was a very thinly veiled swipe at former police chief James Craig.
“When Chief White doesn’t attack the prosecutor, or the judges, or the feds, and everybody works together, let me show you what happened,” Duggan said.
Duggan touted how homicides and shootings are down since chief James White took control of the department.