Michigan’s next Secretary of State and Wayne State University professor Jocelyn Benson was on Up with Steve Kornacki this morning, talking about what’s happening in Michigan right now, how Detroit got to where it is today, and our path forward. It was a refreshingly smart and thoughtful conversation that got into the history of white flight out of Detroit and how Michiganders are looking for true leadership on solving the crises facing our aging urban areas.
You need to combine that message with the argument of values of all of us being in this together. When you combine that with a more divisive message it gets us to the place where are today where there is abandonment of our urban cities and growth in poverty instead of the decrease in it. Instead this new message that the president talked about this week, that we’re all in this together, we’re our brother’s keeper, we have a responsibility to each other, I think is what’s going to be needed for us to actually move forward. [...]
If there’s going to be any real solution to the problems of Detroit, the state needs to be involved and the federal government needs to be involved. And yet there’s been a lot of hands-off approach: “We care about Detroit but we’re not going to actually put our money where our mouth is.” [...]
The job of our leaders is to make data-driven decisions about what’s going to be best for the people, and our cities and our country and our state. And what the history shows us is that the bailout of the auto industry helped because the federal government was involved. the bailout and support of New York City in the 1970s worked because the state was involved. there’s really no solution — there can’t be any real solution on the table for Detroit that does not involve the investment from the federal government and the state that, for the past few decades, have actually been steadily DISinvesting in our cities. not just Detroit but throughout the country.