Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his sixth State of the City address live from the East English Village Preparatory Academy on Tuesday evening. The hour-long address underscored a commitment to creating opportunities for Detroiters.
There was a heavy emphasis placed on job opportunities, including training initiatives, a commitment from skilled trade unions to triple their Detroit membership, and high-profile company investment in the city, including Ford’s purchase of Michigan Central Station, and FCA’s newly proposed plant.
In addition, Mayor Duggan discussed expanding opportunities for citizens with criminal histories, including job placements, criminal record expungement, and “banning the box”.
The second-term mayor also reflected on the efforts that have been made to eliminate blight, acknowledging that while the demolition process may have had some flaws, the benefits of reduced crime and improved neighborhood safety are far-reaching and undeniable. He outlined the goal to have every single house in Detroit demolished, boarded or occupied by the end of 2019.
He touched on safety in Detroit, saying that while homicide and non-fatal shootings rates have declined, “We’re not celebrating what we’ve done but we’re going to build on it.” In order to curb violent crime, the city is aiming to connect DPW operated traffic cameras to the existing Project Green Light system, resulting in a network of over 1,000 cameras across the city.
He concluded his speech by discussing the strides that have been made placing homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing in prime locations, accessible to public transit.
Listen to the full speech above.