-- 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."