DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The first State of the City address for Detroit since the city declared and was allowed into bankruptcy will be delivered by Mayor Mike Duggan.
Attendance is by invitation only for the annual speech which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Erma Henderson Auditorium in City Hall.
It comes less than a week after state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr filed his plan of adjustment to pay creditors while providing money for city services and improvements in the coming years.
Ahead of Duggan’s address, WWJ’s Vickie Thomas talked with some Detroiters who expressed feelings of hope, even as the city faces many challenges.
Tawana Harris, who lives in a rather desolate neighborhood off Gratiot Avenue and St. Aubin Street, said she is very appreciative of blight fighting efforts taking place across the city.
“I think now [the neighborhood] is pretty decent but, you know, everybody is moving out, businesses are closing down and it’s looking real destitute. I wish to see businesses come back and they build more homes and the families come back here because it’s just not the same anymore,” she said.
And Tracey Carter couldn’t agree more. She said the city needs to continue it’s focus on tearing down abandoned houses and building up new ones.
“They need to do the new housing. The old housing, either tear it down or just do something with it. You know, keep up the same work clearing out the blight,” she said.
Still, both women think the city is on the right track.
“Just keep up the work. It has made a difference,” Carter said.
“I’m very optimistic,” Harris said. “All you’ve got to do is pray and something will happen. It will get better. They say you have to go through something in order to see the glory and the blessing in it,” she said.
Duggan, a former Detroit Medical Center chief, was elected mayor in November. Under the state’s emergency manager law, Orr controls Detroit’s finances. Duggan is in charge of financial matters relating to day-to-day functions of city government, blight removal and some other city operations.
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