An interesting, illustrative little story we found on a local Fox affiliate’s website…
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said Thursday that he plans to seek another term in 2013. However, until then, he is working to address the city’s declining population.
His plan is to use incentives next year to get Detroiters across the city to move into seven to nine core areas.
The woman behind the idea explained what they are looking for as they choose the core areas.
“A number of neighborhood indicators, such as housing stock, median income, education level, but we also are going to look at what we call quality of life indicators, such as (parks), recreation (and whether this is) an educational institution there,” said Karla Henderson, the group executive for Planning and Facilities.
The city is still collecting data and will hold a series of 40 meetings between January and March to discuss the downsizing plan.
About 40-percent of Detroit’s 139 square miles are now vacant land. That is roughly equivalent to the size of San Francisco or Boston.
In 1950, Detroit was the richest city in America per capita. It was the 4th largest city in America with 1.8 million people. The quality of life in Detroit was virtually unmatched – excellent schools, beautiful architecture, abundant cultural opportunities, good jobs to be had, safe streets, you name it. Detroit was considered a shining example of America’s industrial might and on the cutting edge of public policy.
Now look at the place…
Crowder calls Detroit the poster boy for leftist policy. He’s not wrong. We found this at the Mackinac Center’s website…
Imagine a city where all the major economic planks of the statist or “progressive” platform have been enacted:
- A “living wage” ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors.
- A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
- A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
- A powerful government employee union that does the same for its members.
- A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.
Would this be a shining city on a hill, exciting the admiration of all? We don’t have to guess, because there is such a city right here in our state: Detroit
Detroit has been dubbed “the most liberal city in America” and each of these “progressive” policies is alive and well there. How have they worked out?
We know how they’ve worked out. Detroit’s population has shrunk to 800,000. Its educational performance numbers are so bad as to defy explanation. The average home price in Detroit is $5,700. The murder rate is five times the national average. By any measure, Detroit is a failed city. It is a ruined city.
It is a dead city.
Things are so bad that for 30 years on the night before Halloween, which is known locally as “Devil’s Night,” has seen large swaths of the city ablaze by arsonists. Abandoned buildings are perfect targets for pyromaniacs and vandals, who can destroy buildings with little or no consequence.
This year, Bing embarked on a program to get the jump on the vandals…
Abandoned and vacant houses are being torn down more often this year in Detroit, but not fast enough to ease concerns that they will make ample and inviting targets for fires heading into the annual Angels’ Night period.
City officials on Friday made a pitch to Detroit residents, asking them to keep an eye on their neighborhoods by patrolling streets and even just sitting on porches over the Oct. 29-31 Halloween period.
The city is well into demolishing about 3,000 of an estimated 33,000 abandoned houses before the end of the year. Funding is available to tear down another 3,000 in 2010.
“We can’t do it all in a short period of time,” Mayor Dave Bing said during the kickoff of the anti-arson campaign. “If we had another thousand firemen and 2,000 police officers, they couldn’t do it all.
“We are undermanned, understaffed, don’t have all the equipment we need, don’t have all the technology we need. But we are not going to use that as an excuse.”
Oct. 31 has been a day of trepidation in Detroit for more than two decades. Originally known as Devils’ Night, it had been a time of teenage mischief when cars were egged and toilet paper was draped around trees, bushes and porches. It evolved into a night of terror as firebugs and insurance scammers began torching vacant houses and garages.
Many of the burned houses that remained standing became targets in subsequent years. At its peak in 1984, 810 fires were reported in Detroit from Oct. 29 to 31.
Angels’ Night reflects the city’s and residents’ efforts to fight back. More than 30,000 volunteers took part in a lookout effort last year.
The theme of this year’s volunteer campaign is “Watch Your Block.” The city is hoping to again flood streets with volunteers — on foot and in cars.
Strict enforcement of the curfew ordinance is aimed at keeping teenagers and children indoors.
On Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, those 17 and younger are not allowed on city streets without a parent or guardian between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day. On Oct. 31, those 15 years old and younger have to be indoors between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day. The Oct. 31 curfew for 16- and 17-year-olds is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Parents of violators could face fines of $50 to $500.
The city also has restricted gas stations from allowing fuel to be pumped into anything but approved containers from Oct. 28 to 31.
“Everybody has a role in protecting what’s ours,” said Stephanie Young, a coordinator of the campaign.
This is what a great American city is coming to – bulldozing houses in advance of arsonists burning them down, trying to herd citizens into select areas of town so that basic city services may be provided, dealing with reports of wild animals appearing throughout the city proper.
This used to be America’s richest city just more than a half-century ago. No invading army destroyed it, no earthquake hit it, no hurricanes or volcanic eruptions.
Just an unbroken string of leftist Democrat control.