On Sept. 3, 2014, the City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan spoke with Fox Business Network about the state of Detroit’s economy highlighting the city’s upcoming projects, and a promising future for the Motor City. “I think people are seeing city services improve,” says Mayor Duggan, adding “people are moving into Detroit at a rate we haven’t seen in 40-50 years.”
Duggan, Detroit’s first white mayor in 43 years, was elected to office in 2013, running on the winning campaign slogan, “Every neighborhood has a future.” The affable mayor is dedicated to rebuilding a once thriving city by implementing a viable plan for financial turnaround, crime reduction and economic development.
“We’re putting lights on in the city, we’re knocking down abandoned houses,” Duggan replied when asked what he’ll do differently as mayor. Citizens are eager to see change, and people are ready for growth. With water problems on the rise, and the city’s fallen economy, the mayor addressed the controversial Grand Bargain to get out of debt.
“What happened was you had pensioners who worked their entire life and were relying on those pensions for the rest of their lives, and you had the Ford foundation and a number of corporations put up $800 million to restore those pensions, so it wasn’t that something was taken away from the bondholders, it’s that the business in the philanthropy community came together to protect both the art institute and the pensions.”
Duggan went on to explain the future of guaranteed pensions, “Part of the plan of adjustment that the judge is considering right now makes sure the guaranteed pensions for life go away, but you still have your past obligation that people who might be 75 or 80 years old, and [they] retired 10 or 20 years ago are relying on.Sso what they’re trying to do is balance fair treatment of those who have retired and a much more lean pension program for those still working.” Duggan remarks.
The people of Detroit are ready for a booming downtown, better neighborhoods, and a sustainable economy, and Mayor Duggan with a hard road ahead of him appears to be ready for the challenge.
Interview credit: Fox Business Network