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Local News / Politics

Sunday, 26 April, 2009 10:47 AM

Cockrel, Bing face off in third debate at WXYZ-TV studios

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. and mayoral candidate Dave Bing participate in their second debate at the Detroit Economic Club on April 15, 2009.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- Thursday was the final Mayoral debate between Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. and Dave Bing before the votes are in on May 5. Broadcasted by WXYZ Detroit, both candidates stated and rebutted their plans for the city if elected into the office of Mayor -- which mostly involved renovating Cobo Center.

"Cobo is a deal that has to happen for both the people and the city of Detroit," Bing stated. "It is important to sit down with the people and understand what the issues are. I believe that regionalism will work. We need to expand Cobo. The only thing I knew abiut Detroit is that it is the Motor City. There's no way we should honor the automotive industry. There's no way to honor Motown." To honor both the automotive industry and Motown, according to Bing, is to set up museums. "I'm in favor of regional cooperation, so I think there's an opportunity" he continued.

However, current Mayor Cockrel isn't "a big fan of regionalism". "The courts and people have spoken. It is about where do we go from here," he responded. "I wanted to protect the jobs of Cobo; it is important to have an auto show convention in Detroit."

One of the questions the moderators asked them were to name three things that will bring people to Detroit and keep them there. Bing responded that education, affordable housing, and entry-level jobs are at the top of his list -- especially jobs due to the jeopardy and possible bankruptcy of the Big 3 (Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford), making it harder for young people to find employment after college graduation with jobs being harder and harder to find, as the economy is probably at its worst since the Great Depression. As for Cockrel, he wants his children to be safe; improved community policing, reopening recreation centers, attract green jobs for young people and keep them there instead of going out-of-state to find work elsewhere.

And speaking of young people, the issue of crime came up, as one moderator stated that robberies has been committed by them, so what parental measures must be taken is the question. Though unsure that parents should be held criminally responsible for their children's actions, Bing said that respect for the community must come both ways; Cockrel, on the other hand, said that partnering with non-profit organizations while still working with the police department. However, both men can agree one of the best ways to keep kids from a life of crime is by making an honest living such as a summer job, yet at the end of the day, it is still up to the parents.

"If I'm in office," Bing starts to conclude, "I'll give the city of Detroit a full-fledge understanding of who they are and where they live." But who are "they"? Cockrel asked in rebuttal, who believed that Bing is planning an elite takeover, not an open transparency government. "What is his plan? What is his vision? I'm just not hearing it. Haven't heard an original thought from him."

 

 

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