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All Puffed Up About Detroit

Not sure what to make of Detroit City Council's public hearing on the new ABC television show “Detroit 1-8-7.” Is it a sign that the city has grown a spine and is tired of taking everyone's guff? Or it is just another chance to preen and complain?

The council Tuesday held a special session to talk about the upcoming police drama. As The Detroit Free Press reports, the show did not send a representative. That makes me think the producers are not too concerned about A) City Council B) Detroit's worries about its image or C) Much at all.

But here was something refreshing: Karen Dumas, chief communications officer for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, told the Free Press that the “1-8-7” team met with the administration early on and expressed their interest in working cooperatively with the city. The story goes on to say: “She added that Detroit and Michigan might not reach their full potential if city leaders continue to overreact.”

Interesting…this from a mayor that tends to carry on about what the national media thinks of Detroit. (Good Lord, don't they read this blog? I'm all puffed up with love most days.)

As an aside, I like that Councilman Kwame Kenyatta wanted a resolution asking show to change its title. As previously noted, “1-8-7” is an old police code for murder. I respect that the city's representatives don't like to be thought of in such a depreciating way. But you have to admit: We have a lot of untimely deaths around here, and a nicely worded TV show title isn't going to change people's opinions.

But I digress.

The producers “could have -- and still can -- move this project to any other city and film it without our input or approval,” Dumas told the newspaper. “While it is admirable that there are those who are concerned about the interpretation of our city from fictional television show, the efforts would be better served towards improving the city we see and live every day.”

Good golly. You want us to DO something? Care about something? Try to change things? I like it. I'll try it. But you've also got about 4 million other people to convince.

Here's a little something I read the other day on The Detroit News' web site. It comes from a cool Detroit neighborhood blogger named (of all things) Michael Happy:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is how we fix Detroit. Six, 8, 10 acres at a time. Find places (parks, churches, rec centers, etc.) that really matter to people across Metro Detroit and then start grassroots efforts to rebuild or refurbish those spots. A rally cry brings people together for a common good -- saving places that made us who we are.

Yeah. What he said. And then some.

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