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Thursday, 14 July, 2011 1:45 AM

HUD Secretary Donovan announces 'Strong Cities, Strong Communities' in Detroit

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, addresses the Detroit Economic Club on July 11, 2011.

 

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

|

DETROIT -- Over an hour after President Obama's press conference, one of his Cabinet members came to Detroit on his behalf -- and ours -- Monday afternoon as the speaker of the Detroit Economic Club (DEC) meeting inside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel. Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), stated that America needs to create jobs and win the future to prevent another Great Recession, though unemployment rate continues to go up this past month.

"Cities need a federal government that invests in their future," Donovan said. "China doesn't distinguish between Detroit and Troy. They see a single region, a single economy and a single competitor. The anchors of these places are America's cities. Federalism meant bureaucrats in Washington, not about the people. The Obama administration seeks to get people and the world ready for the 21st century."

He spoke about Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh as several of the cities, where their communities have been built and have their economies reinvented and diversified, because the Obama administration has learned from the past -- including the Great Depression. No new federal dollars were given to the Motor City. However, about a dozen federal officials will move into the city as part of a community solutions team to manage federal dollars directed to Detroit.

"Detroit is at the forefront once again," the HUD secretary added. "Because of the investment of Compuware and Quicken Loans and support from Wayne State University and Gov. Snyder to forge business incubators like TechTown and Ann Arbor SPARK, Detroit has become the nation's fastest growing tech job market. It has helped America become a global leader in advanced vehicle battery manufacturing. Just think, two years ago, the United States only had two factories making them. By next year, 30 factories will be on line."

Donovan said he is confident that the Motor City can make a comeback. He highlighted the Detroit Works Project and Woodward Light Rail project. In addition, the Cabinet member mentioned that Mayor Bing is about one-third of the way finished with his plan to demolish 10,000 abandoned homes in Detroit.

The pillars of the Obama administration, are the people, places, rules of the roads and local leaders and institutions. "People must be prepare to a lifetime of economic change. Characters of the buildings and streets and the anchors between them. Strong cities are built on strong and resilient neighborhoods, good places to live, run a business and raise a family. In the 20th century, people followed companies. In the 21st century, companies follow people that want to move to vibrant neighborhoods."

The "Strong Cities, Strong Communities" initiative will launch as soon as possible based on the foundations that every city needs a federal partner that understands that one size doesn't fit all. Being a good partner isn't just about seeing the problems. It's about recognizing where the opportunities are as well. No city can't succeed without strong, local leadership and institutional capacity.

"This morning we announced a partnership," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "It will bring a number of critical assets to the city of Detroit. This could not have been possible without the work of a number of President Obama's top advisors including Secretary Donovan. As HUD secretary, he has helped spearhead approximately $100 million invested in Detroit, more specifically in our neighborhoods."

Chester, Pa., Cleveland, Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; and New Orleans are the five other cities that will also be included in the program.

For more information about the Detroit Economic Club or to purchase tickets for upcoming meetings, visit www.econclub.org.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The meeting was held inside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in downtown Detroit.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano chats with Donovan before the start of the meeting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Donovan and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

D.E.C. members and guests

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

 

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