Voices of Detroit: A Year After Bankruptcy

Residents have wide-ranging opinions on the city’s needs, improvements a year after bankruptcy.

WDET’s Bre’Anna Tinsley traveled around the city, asking people if they believe Detroit is making a comeback and listening to their thoughts about the bankruptcy case and its effects.

Click on the photos to hear their voices.



Aja Dier grew up in Detroit and recently moved back to the city’s West Village neighborhood. As a frequent city bus rider, she finds the service unreliable.

“I think that if we’re really trying to be a world-class city, we need to get that together for people who don’t have cars,for people who don’t drive and also so all of us can reduce our carbon footprints.”



Kelly Patillo has lived in Detroit her whole life. She sees the city improving.

“I’ve never seen Detroit like this, just the turnaround. … It’s a slow process but I’ll be here all my life and I’m just loving the turnaround.”

























Nick Dicrese is retired from Detroit emergency medical services and lives on the east side of the city. He remains upset that his pension was cut while police and fire retirees’ were not.

“I got shot at three times and hit by drunk drivers, and rolled over an ambulance, … I was out there risking my life everyday too.”













Mikal Abdul, owner of Healthwise Enterprise, says the bankruptcy was a scam so that the city could take senior citizens’ money.

“How are you going to have three casinos that’s making over a million dollars a day and call yourself broke? It’s just obvious to me that they didn’t want to pay all the senior citizens their money. If they can get it through Detroit, we’ll see if we can run this scam in other cities.”
















Jesse Horn works with Downtown Detroit Partnership. He thinks the Detroit City Council needs some improvement.

“The City Council is too much in competition with each other instead of looking out for the people in the city.  … Shouldn’t City Council boom with the things that are booming within the city?”












Jermaine Cortes moved to Detroit in 1953.  She left for seven years to live in Mexico but came back. She keeps a sense of optimism, despite saying she often hears gunshots while at her home.

“Still living in the city,  I still love it. … There are some things that need fixing but we’re getting there.”














Daryl Williams, who works with Downtown Detroit Partnership, says he sees improvements in city services. He likes Mayor Mike Duggan but has some criticism for City Council.

The Council to me was always bickering and fighting back and forth, about who gets this and who gets that. And that was especially when Dave Bing was mayor. … (Duggan) has a better relationships with City Council.”















Curtis Daniels shared his thoughts about the city while he was walking to his bank. He says the neighborhoods need more work.

“We need all those old houses and buildings torn down. We need more building in the inner cities as far as for parks and playgrounds and activity centers or beautification of the city.”




  • Bre'Anna Tinsley
    Bre'Anna Tinsley is a reporter for Detroit Public Radio, 101.9 WDET. She covers city government and housing, as well as co-hosting the "Detroit Evening Report" podcast.