May 30, 2014 at 1:00 am


Editorial: Adversity unites us

Michiganians understand Detroit's importance to state

Trust, but verify, seems to be the attitude non-Detroiters have about the stateís ongoing relationship with its largest city.

While Michigan voters are largely confident in the ability of Detroitís leaders to keep the city on track by a margin of 55 percent to 33 percent, they arenít willing to bet on that certainty. A wide margin, 72 percent to 22 percent, want the state to continue some level of oversight post bankruptcy, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV poll.

That seems to support the approach taken by the state Legislature. The House passed a bill last week approving a $195 million bailout of Detroit, but tied it to a series of benchmarks and ongoing state control of the cityís fiances.

Of note is that the confidence outsiders have about the cityís leaders appears to be focused solely on the current crop: 55 percent believe failed leadership led to the bankruptcy.

This poll continues to show encouraging evidence that attitudes about Detroit are changing for the better. It is significant that even though suburban and out-state voters blame the city for causing its own problems, they are still willing to help resolve them.

Ninety-one percent of all voters statewide say they want Detroit to succeed. They oppose the sale of the Detroit Institute of Artís collections. And they believe race relations are either getting better, or at least not getting any worse.

This is progress that bodes well for Michigan, a state whose history has been marked with deep divides between Detroit and its suburban neighbors.

There remains some grumbling and pushback about the stateís bailout of Detroit. The resentment may even intensify as other communities deal with their own fiscal crises.

But a decade ago such a massive state rescue of Detroit would have had no chance of passing the Legislature, let alone winning the popular support of the people.

As often happens in families, adversity is bringing us together in Michigan.