Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is getting ready for an important summit this week with top members of the Obama administration who are looking into the city’s dire financial situation.
Bing will participate in the meetings which will take place in the city on Friday with Obama administration officials. He believes more federal dollars will be on the way through the administration helping Detroit maximize grants and join programs.
He also thinks there’s a more focused effort to assist Detroit than there was before.
“I’ve been consistently going down to Washington, meeting with a lot of the secretaries,” Bing said. “But for the first time – and I say the last year or two – there’s a bunch of them now that are getting together so that they’re not working in silos. And they’re trying to figure out, once again, programs that they may have in their particular area (to figure out) how we can, I guess, work together, coordinate our efforts so in the end it’s gonna benefit the city.”
Those attending include Attorney General Eric Holder, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Economic Advisor Gene Sperling.
Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer said the Friday trip should be the first of several, saying he wants federal help to center on several things, including EMS and police service.
“We’ve got people who are standing out waiting for buses and sometimes the buses are not capable of being repaired, they need the help to provide people the chance to go to church, the doctor, to work,” Archer said.
He also hopes to discuss his “impossible dream” with Washington leaders.
“I know it’s an impossible dream, but if we can tear down every house that ought to be torn down, can you imagine what the city of Detroit would look like?” Archer said.
A group of local corporate leaders, meanwhile, has launched an advertising campaign promoting a bright future for Detroit despite its bankruptcy filing. The campaign began Sunday with full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications. Ads are scheduled to run Tuesday and over the next week in other papers. The ads cost about $600,000. About 28 corporate leaders are part of the effort.