Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Unveils Urban Agenda on West Side of the State

Oct 25, 2002, 01:00 ET from City of Detroit

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Mayor Kwame M.
 Kilpatrick will unveil Detroit's new urban agenda in western Michigan where
 statewide politics have traditionally marginalized the two regions.
     Mayor Kilpatrick will speak to the Grand Rapids Economic Club during a
 luncheon on Monday, October 28, 2002, along with Grand Rapids Mayor John
 Logie.  The luncheon begins at noon and goes to 2 p.m.
     Kilpatrick will address the need for an urban agenda for all of Michigan
 and the need for true regional cooperation.  He will distribute copies of
 "Detroit's Urban Agenda," which outlines urban issues specific to the city of
 Detroit, but outlines challenges for urban communities throughout the state.
     "When we talk about urban cities in Michigan, we only think about cities
 like Detroit and Flint in the southeast, which lends to the further division
 of our state," Mayor Kilpatrick said.  "But urban cities in Michigan include
 Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Muskegon, and -- yes -- Grand Rapids."
     Drawing upon his experience when he toured the state as the Democratic
 Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives, Mayor Kilpatrick said that
 even in communities that are traditionally conservative, he learned that most
 communities care about the same things, regardless of their geographic
 location or political boundaries.  That dialogue inspired what Mayor
 Kilpatrick now calls "Detroit's Urban Agenda."
     "There are 10 recognized urban cities within the state of Michigan, which
 represents more than 80 percent of the state's gross product.  However in the
 history of the Michigan Legislature, there has never been an urban agenda that
 proposes an investment in the engines that keep the state's economy running,"
 Mayor Kilpatrick said.
     "Traditionally, the focus has been on our differences in an attempt to
 keep us divided for personal political gains," he said.  "However, Detroit and
 Grand Rapids, for example, both experience the same challenges such as: a mass
 exodus from the urban core to surrounding suburban cities; urban sprawl;
 blight and a suffering housing stock; rapid growth of other ethnic
 populations; job opportunities/training needed for the large number of
 impoverished citizens; and road/sewer infrastructure improvements that come at
 an astronomical cost, while state shared revenues are consistently threatened.
 The list goes on.
     "These identical challenges should inspire collaboration among all of
 Michigan's urban cities instead of dividing us," Mayor Kilpatrick said.
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SOURCE City of Detroit