Duggan's sixth address to focus on paths to opportunity
Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan is expected to deliver his sixth State of the City address Tuesday night with a theme of offering Detroiters paths to opportunity.
"It's all about eliminating barriers that everyday Detroiters are facing, and creating opportunities so that Detroit is a place where you continue to want to stay and see a future for yourself here," said Alexis Wiley, Duggan's chief of staff. "He's not just talking about creating opportunity. He's showing a pathway to actually doing it."
Wiley said the second-term mayor also was expected to preview parts of his budget address he will present to Detroit's City Council on Thursday, including increased funding for services for residents, she said.
The speech will discuss more investment in workforce development, public safety, summer jobs and college programming as well as efforts to clear records for ex-offenders who have been "held back," said Wiley, who declined to reveal specifics.
The mayor is set to give the invitation-only address to a crowd at the East English Village Preparatory Academy on the city's east side one day after unveiling a new effort to boost skilled trades training in Detroit.
Duggan and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights announced plans on Monday to break ground next year on a $30 million facility near Oakman Boulevard that will provide free skilled-trades training for up to 1,500 students per year while they earn wages and benefits.
Last week, the mayor teamed with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to announce that Detroit is slated to get its first new automotive assembly plant in nearly three decades.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV plans to revive an idled engine plant on the east side, part of a $4.5 million investment in five Michigan plants. The move would create about 6,500 jobs in the region.
City officials have 60 days to acquire 200 acres of land and secure City Council approval for the project. The city also must finalize tax incentives and craft a benefits plan with input from residents of the impacted community.
The mayor has also touted goals of ensuring that Detroit residents are the first to be considered for new jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods.
Last month, JPMorgan Chase announced a $15 million investment in redevelopment work in commercial corridors in 10 of the city's neighborhoods.
The investment in the city's Strategic Neighborhood Fund is part of the bank's $150 million commitment to the city over five years.
The boost for the Strategic Neighborhood Fund comes after officials announced in December that seven regional companies were donating $5 million apiece for redevelopment in seven neighborhoods.
Wiley said the mayor doesn't expect to spend time much time on the basic service improvements targeted under his first term.
"This speech is not focused on the past," Wiley said. "He's really focusing on the future and laying out a vision for our future and how we get there."