Mayor Duggan touts Detroit’s successes, challenges

Maureen Feighan and Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News

Philadelphia — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Wednesday touted the city’s growing successes as it emerges from bankruptcy during the Democratic National Convention, but said his administration, like Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is driven to create a “comeback that benefits all.”

“Our city’s recovery is fueled by a renewed spirit of unity. That’s the idea that drives us and the idea that drives Hillary Clinton,” Duggan said. “She sees the opportunity to create an economy where everyone benefits.”

The mayor spoke for about five minutes and was one of several mayors of urban cities who spoke, including Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The theme was “Working Together.”

The mayor talked about growing up in Detroit and how the city has lost residents every year that he’s been alive – 58.

But when he ran for mayor, he said he ran on a platform of creating a color-blind community that respects all and benefits all.

With the help of the City Council, Duggan said Detroit has “started to emerge” from bankruptcy and cut unemployment. He made a jab at Republican nominee Donald Trump’s failed businesses.

“Detroit is 18 months out of bankruptcy — something Donald Trump knows something about,” Duggan said. “But unlike Donald Trump, Detroit is only going to be bankrupt once.”

Duggan said he and Clinton know that the best way to bring back America’s cities is by creating good-paying jobs.

“But Detroit’s true test is the same one facing the next president: Are we creating an economy that works for everyone or just the people at the top?” he asked.

City Council President Brenda Jones said it was “awesome” to see Duggan share a positive view of the city with the rest of the country. “It’s a good feeling to know that Detroit is recognized for what it has been through and where it’s going,” Jones said.

The Michigan Republican Party said Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans approved the “grand bargain” state aid softened pension cuts and ensured the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts wouldn’t be auctioned.