Detroit’s Bankruptcy Gives City Fresh Start


Shannon Stoudemire

Krista Wilson is a staff writer for The Southfield Jay.

Detroit, known as the Motor City and the home of the Motown sound, has officially filed for bankruptcy. The once flourishing city has found that it cannot pay its debts, which amount to an astonishing figure of $18 billion.

Because of the city’s large deficit, the pension of retirees will likely be reduced and the historical artwork in the Detroit Institute of Arts museum is up for grabs. The art, appraised at an estimated $2 billion, will just put a dent in the money owed. Selling the 98 acres of land that comprise Belle Isle is a proposal that is also up for discussion.

The recent election of Detroit’s new leader, Mike Duggan, the first white mayor in 40 years, shows Detroiters have a strong desire for change., and I couldn’t agree more.

The poor leadership of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is now in prison for his misdeeds, helped dig the city into the deep, deep hole that is in now, and the people who worked with him handed him the shovel. Courts determined that he greedily used city funds to cover the expenses of his frivolous lifestyle and to carry on his scandalous affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty. The corruption he brought went on for years, further deepening the hole.

Duggan, involved with an index of non-profit organizations in Detroit, seems to be all for the welfare of the city. As the director of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a member of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and an affiliate with a project known as the New Detroit, Duggan was concerned with the affairs of Detroit prior to his run for office. He is quite the humanitarian, but I do not want to glorify him too much. His associations do not define what he will do during his term as mayor.

The new mayor and the clean slate that bankruptcy grants is a new beginning for Detroit. I see it as a second chance, an opportunity to renew and revitalize a place that once thrived and lived up to its potential. The bankruptcy gives the city the liberty of removing the heavy burdens of debt, which have hung over Detroit for too long.