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Detroit Policy Conference Returns In-Person as Region Faces Significant Challenges

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah says this year’s conference will cover numerous important community issues.

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The Detroit Regional Chamber will hold its first in-person Detroit Policy Conference in more than a year on Tuesday, July 13. The event is taking place outdoors at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, and features speakers Mayor Mike Duggan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and more. 

One of the primary tenets of the Detroit Regional Chamber is that progress is best made — in fact, maybe only better made — when people with disparate views … come together for a conversation … a civil conversation.” —Sandy Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber


Listen: What to expect from this year’s Detroit Policy Conference.


Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy BaruahJake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah

Guest 

Sandy Baruah is CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. He says convening in-person for the Detroit Policy Conference is important for the region’s business and social well-being. “One of the primary tenets of the Detroit Regional Chamber is that progress is best made — in fact, maybe only better made — when people with disparate views … come together for a conversation … a civil conversation.”

Baruah says many different issues will be addressed at the conference, including the effort to get Detroiters vaccinated in order to avoid skyrocketing hospitalizations. “That would be terrible for our city, terrible for our community, and terrible for our social fabric,” he says. 

Baruah says the conference will also cover topics like investing in regional infrastructure. “All high-performing regions have strong regional transit … There is broad widespread agreement that we need this. There is not broad widespread agreement about how to pay for it.”

He says the conference will feature a keynote on Proposal P, which the Detroit Regional Chamber is generally opposed to. “We have grave concerns about Proposal P… The last thing that I want to see, that our organization wants to see, is the city lose its really sound financial footing that it has been on.”

Supporters of Proposal P say revising the charter is a matter of fundamental human rights.

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Nora Rhein, Detroit Today Intern

Nora Rhein works with the production team on “Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson” on 101.9 WDET. She’s very proud to be a public radio nerd.


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