One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Can Dave Bing Save Detroit?

This morning, posted the print edition's opening package on Detroit. Be sure to check out Detroit native Dan Okrent's cover story. Here's my profile of Detroit's mayor, Dave Bing. Let us know what you think.

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  • 1

    I really enjoyed and valued the Sept 24th expose on Detroit in It is an honest but helpful portrayal. It affirms much of what two college interns from Grinnell College and I discovered this summer. We explored social innovative programs of all types happening in Detroit on the Detroit Social Innovation Internship Project. It is a pilot project of the Center for Nonprofit Managment at Lawrence Technological University and Grinnell College (Iowa) which brings college interns to Detroit for the summer. Our conclusion was same as your article suggests......that there are new possiblities for Detroit......and they are happening now.
    For more about what we learned from the Detroit Social Innovation Internship Project visit

  • 2

    I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised by Time's commitment to writing about Detroit. At first, I was skeptical (still am actually, just less so), but the barrage of blogs, feature pieces, and snippets this week have me mostly convinced. With that, I'd like to first compliment you on a good article about Bing. I support his moves so far, and hope he can weather the mounting criticism once the election comes around.

    I would also like to commend the cover feature for introducing what promises to be a rich narrative on the city, and would like to point out a couple of extremely important themes that need to be flushed out in further articles.

    1) Detroit did not begin to empty as a result of the 67 riots. The city had already lost 200,000+ people in the 15 years before 1967. The riots were both a symptom and harbinger of population loss.

    2) I like the mention of the Federal Highway Act as a form of subsidy to the car companies. It was also a catalyst of the population loss mentioned above. Let's hear more about this, both in the context of Detroit and US cities in general.

    3) Coleman A Young is a central figure in the story of Detroit. As such, his personal story (a fascinating and complicated one) is much more varied than the standard "He Ruined Detroit" perception would allow. CAY still has many staunch supporters in the city, and his story needs to be told.

    These are just a few of the things I noted from the larger narrative. (Which, I know you didn't write, but there is no obvious place to comment on the cover story) I would love to see Time's take on these issues and more, and am looking forward to the next year.

    Good luck, and welcome to Detroit!

  • 3

    Okrent's overview largely trots out the old and easy cliches of Detroit.

    Hopefully in the future there will be more in depth history and analysis of issues.

    One example - Okrent writes:

    "On the northwest side, not far from where I grew up, a homebuilder had in the 1940s erected a six-foot-high concrete wall, nearly half a mile long, to separate his development from an adjacent black neighborhood."

    He fails to note that this wall was built so that the developer could receive Federal Housing Authority (FHA) financing for the project. At the time FHA policies did not allow loans to racially mixed areas ~

    Okrent also takes Congressman John Dingall to task while ignoring that Dingall has introduced a health care reform proposal every year he's held his Congressional seat. Had Congress listened sooner the US as a whole, and not just the auto companies for whom health care has been a major issue, would be light years ahead of where we are today. Instead we remain at a major disadvantage in global competitiveness and that isn't going to change merely by switching from building autos to renewable energy systems. As it is China is already dumping (selling at a financial loss, which is illegal under trade agreements) solar panels in the US market solely with the intent of gaining market share and driving competitors out of business.

    Until the Feds get a grip on intelligent foreign trade policy there is little future for manufacturing of any kind in the US.

  • 4

    [...] since we all love the city of Detroit , I want all my fellow Lions football fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

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