Detroit is a living being. As all living beings must do, Detroit must eat, breathe, work and sleep peacefully, to maintain her health. She cannot continue to wither. If she does, like all living beings, Detroit may die.
For decades now, Detroit has focused on making herself a place where people would want to live by adding vitality to life through city centers, exciting sports arenas and inviting living spaces. Yet, cities can live without vitality. They can even limp along sickly without dying. But if a city is afflicted with a cancer, vitality will not cure it. And curing the cancer is imperative or the city will wither and die.
Detroit is withering and has all the symptoms of a deadly cancer. What must Detroit have to live? To stay healthy Detroit must eat. Her products and services are what she exchanges for food. If Detroit does not produce, she does not eat. If she cannot compete, she cannot produce.
Detroit produces with her muscles, her businesses. They needn’t be associated with the big three. They just need to be competitive. Detroit is already blessed with resources to help them be competitive. She simply has to open her doors wide and remove the risks she has created. Businesses can flourish in Detroit, if she wants them to succeed.
Success comes from nourishment, and protection. Nourishment includes city services that match the needs of business, and regulations that keep businesses and communities in harmony. Protection keeps businesses, their employees, and their assets free from the cancer of crime.
Each business muscle contains the individual muscle fibers of jobs. If Detroit has no jobs, she has no muscle. Without muscle fiber, the body does not produce, she does not eat, and eventually she dies.
Muscles are sustained by the blood supply of Detroit’s people. They carry energy to all the businesses of the city. If the blood supply drains from the body, the body dies. Yet Detroit’s blood supply is rapidly draining.
To stabilize Detroit’s blood loss, to keep her population from falling further, Detroit needs an influx of jobs. Yet, even if jobs existed in ample supply, people will continue to leave if crime remains rampant. Detroit must rid her body of the cancer of crime that is savagely attacking her people, her blood.
For cancer to kill the body, it must be fed and it must hide from the body’s defenses until it can finally kill the body with a final savage onslaught. Detroit’s cancer of crime is so systemic and long-lived that it can only be eradicated through radical defense, including starving it.
Detroit’s cancer is fed through racial discrimination and poverty that create the tumors of crime. Stop the effects of discrimination and poverty and you starve the cancer. Until now, Detroit ignored the cancer for a long time, then treated its symptoms. Yet, Detroit has not attacked the causes of new cancer growth directly.
Unfortunately, Detroit’s body is already riddled with cancer. Future growth must be stopped through new treatments. Yet the continuing crime that has been created already through years of neglect must now be aggressively eradicated simultaneous to treating the source of future crime.
Detroit has been allowed to suffer for so long that she has so little time left to regain her strength. Crime savagely attacks her while her people sit idle waiting for jobs to return so that she can produce enough to feed her body the nourishment she needs to live. The key to Detroit’s recovery is radical treatment that quickly produces healing and growth, while defeating the cancers within.
Detroit’s government is her nervous system. Her government, business, and civic leaders are her brain cells. Together they can stem the ravages that have attacked Detroit’s body through thought and action. Yet Detroit’s brain must be committed to the radical medicine that is necessary for the body to heal.
If anyone suggests that Detroit take medicine that will further harms her body, whether it be Detroit’s stomach and intestines that are her schools and job training that feed the city by preparing her people for their roles in the city, her hormones that are her community organizations that work for balance to repair racial prejudices, her immune’s defense systems that are her fire, police services that must keep Detroit free from cancer, her neighborhoods that are her hands and feet working together to move forward, her vitality that is her art, her sports and recreation that heal her in rest, or her homes that must be protected from blight as her resting place at night, then perhaps this is not the right medicine.
Be careful not to accept the wrong prescription. Detroit needs a holistic plan that will radically transform and heal her while her body still has a chance to renew its life. Kill the cancer but keep the body intact.