Tonight, BridgeDetroit will help host a free town hall event on Belle Isle to give Detroiters the chance to express what we need from city government and how we want city tax dollars spent.
Thus far, the local media outlet has spoken with over 135 residents across six city council districts. The discussions have mostly focused on the distribution of federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars, the need for money to help with home repair, and the services of utility companies.
“Detroiters are overburdened by their utility costs. They’re frustrated by broadband or lack of broadband access or options.” — Catherine Kelly, managing editor and director of BridgeDetroit.
Listen: What issues local journalists have been hearing about the issues facing Detroit residents.
Orlando Bailey is the co-host of the Authentically Detroit podcast and engagement director for BridgeDetroit. Bailey says the public forums are meant to allow Detroiters to drive the outlet’s reporting.
“We are trying really hard not to be a newsroom that sort of gatekeeps in our ivory tower and decides what’s news. We are letting Detroiters drive that,” Bailey says.
Catherine Kelly is the managing editor and director of BridgeDetroit. Kelly says the outlet has been talking with local residents about community engagement and focusing on issues that are showing up in residents’ lives.
“Detroiters are overburdened by their utility costs,” Kelly says. “They’re frustrated by broadband or lack of broadband access or options. Public transportation continues to be a real challenge in the City of Detroit as well as auto insurance.”