In a whirlwind week, Mike Duggan has announced his intention to run for a second term as mayor of the city of Detroit, announced the arrival of Microsoft to the city and sat in on multiple community meetings with neighborhood representatives.
In other words, it was hardly the average seven days for the mayor any city, let alone Detroit. But Mayor Duggan came at his big Saturday announcement with his regular energy, including friends, former political opponents and everyone else who wanted to come out to support him.
And many people, Detroiters and suburbanites, took him up on his offer to be a part of his second-term campaign announcement. More than 1,200 people showed up to hear what Duggan had to say at the Samaritan Center on Detroit’s east side. It is the same location where he announced his first run as chief of this growing city in 2013.
The mayor highlighted a variety of his accomplishments since taking office in January 2014, including:
• Detroit’s neighborhoods are lit for the first time in generations, with more than 65,000 new LED streetlights installed since February 2014.
• Emergency response times have plummeted. It used to take up to 22 minutes to have an ambulance show up when you called in Detroit. Today, police, fire, and EMS response times are at or below the national averages for the first time in years.
• Jobs are coming back to Detroit. In 2016 alone, 11,000 more Detroiters were working than the year before. Unemployment in Detroit is at its lowest point since 2001.
• Buses are running on time for the first time in decades, with new express and 24-hour bus services making it easier for Detroiters to get to jobs across the city. In January 2014, Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) buses had a 62% on-time bus departure rate; today, 98% of all DDOT buses depart on time.
• Blight is coming down across the city, through the most aggressive blight removal program in the nation. More than 10,000 vacant homes have been demolished and more than 5,800 side lots have been sold.
• Hundreds of formerly closed city parks have reopened, in partnership with church, business, and neighborhood leaders citywide through the Adopt-a-Park program. On top of parks reopening, the Duggan administration has invested $12 million into redesigning 40 parks, all with input from local neighborhood residents.
“Four years ago, I wouldn’t have ever expected to be standing here today in support of Mike Duggan,” said Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. “Mayor Duggan is making a difference in neighborhoods across the city, from improving emergency response times and bus service to creating opportunities for longtime Detroit business owners and entrepreneurs. Take it from me: there’s no one better for this job at this time than Mike Duggan.”
At the event, Mayor Duggan was joined by community leaders who spoke in support of his campaign, including: Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony: President of the Detroit Branch NAACP.\, Pastor Oscar King: Pastor, Northwest Unity Missionary Baptist Church, Jane Garcia: Chair, Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), Shirley Burch: Coordinator, and Founder of Community United For Progress (CUP), Eva Garza Dewaelsche: President and CEO, SER Metro-Detroit Jobs for Progress, Inc. and many more.
“Mayor Duggan knows the best way to improve our neighborhoods is to create jobs for Detroiters,” said Mike Aaron, Laborers’ Local 1191 Business Manager. “11,000 more Detroiters are working than just a year ago, and the Mayor is always focused on how to expand opportunities for all our citizens. I’m proud to support him for a second term as Mayor, because Mike’s delivered on his promises.”