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Mayor Duggan: Detroit on road to recovery

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Last night Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave his first State of the City address since the municipality emerged from bankruptcy.

"Well, as we gather here tonight, I can sum up the condition of our city in a phrase we haven’t been able to use for years. Detroit is now on the road to recovery."

Duggan outlined progress made in getting families into once abandoned houses, demolishing blight, and putting up street lights.

He assured the audience bus service would improve as Detroit adds ten new buses a week between now and August, putting a total of 80 new buses on the routes.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

The crowd gave a standing ovation when he said the city was on track for a balanced budget for the first time since 2002. The Mayor reminded everyone it could get rid of a state Financial Review Commission that still oversees the city’s budget.

“If we balance our budget and pay our bills for three straight years, we’re out from under the control period and we return self-determination of the City of Detroit and that’s the goal of every one of us up here.”

Duggan stressed the city's recovery should not be limited to newcomers in a handful of thriving areas.

“Can we build our recovery on a principle of economic inclusion? What does the recovery of the city mean if the folks who have been here aren’t a part of it?” Duggan asked.

He's been successfully pushing for affordable housing in new developments in rapidly growing areas of the city and is calling for more job training opportunities for residents who want a career.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.