In advance of the Nov. 7 general election, WDET has been asking voters how Detroit is doing and what elected officials can do to make it better. Residents have had all kinds of responses.
One we’ve heard frequently is that progress in the neighborhoods lags behind Downtown and Midtown.
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“Well, I know that the jewel of every major city is the downtown area. While that looks really, really nice, sometimes you can feel like you’re being forgotten about in the neighborhoods.”
“Detroit is doing great downtown. Other places, another story. The “tale of two cities” is a fact. It’s not something people just made up to try to make their campaign seem more in tune with the grassroots. It’s a serious situation. 100,000 plus water shut-offs, 40 percent poverty rate… it’s a serious situation.”
La Vern Homan-Willis:
“When you look around the city, you see some of the initiatives that are going on in East English Village, Palmer Woods, Palmer Park, of course there’s a ton of money that goes into New Center, the cultural center, and rightfully so. But there are a lot of forgotten neighborhoods like Yorkshire Woods.”
“The concept of the new Detroit as being this, now white, acceptable Detroit, to me, only starts the conversation or the mudslide of gentrification, which to me is concerning.”
Hawkins would like to see elected officials spend more time outside downtown.
“I think they should actually go to neighborhoods, come in the inner cities, all of the areas that, you know that are marked off as bad because of crime, I think they should actually go to those areas and say well, ‘How could I help you? Or what do you want to see done? Even if you want to help. How can you help us help you?’”
Yarhmatter grew up near the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and 6 Mile Road. He says he won’t consider the city fully recovered until more improvements reach that area.
“I think it might happen in my lifetime — you’re seeing it slowly happen — but where I grew up, when that’s back and thriving and good things are happening out there in the neighborhoods, then Detroit’s back.”