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Mayor Duggan’s State of the City: Major emphasis on city services

Sherry Gay-DagnogoBy Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, M.Ed.

As one of Mayor Duggan’s harshest critics during the mayoral election, I attended the State of the City Address Feb. 26 with an open mind to hear his plans to move our city forward. A super shout out to Jimmy Settles, UAW VP for his continued philanthropic investments in the city of Detroit. It is leaders like him who make me strive to do better, to give more and to expect greater!

Mayor Duggan spoke a great deal on improving city services with a team approach. He emphasized working cooperatively with Lansing, Washington, D.C. and the Detroit City Council to ensure an increase in our bus fleet for transportation, a 50 percent goal of LED lighting installation throughout the city by year’s end, and 100 percent by 2015. He spoke of streamlining and improving communication between city, state and county departments and nuisance abatement programs to ensure rapid demolition of blighted properties with more than $16 million dollars found from insurance claims.

He focused on increasing jobs, advancing neonatal care for full term childbirth to improve cognitive development, building bipartisan commitment to increase early childhood education to ensure a strong foundation for K-12 matriculation. He also addressed the enormous cost of auto insurance and building on the provisions afforded by the city charter to establish Detroit’s own insurance to decrease cost.

Mayor Duggan also spoke to protecting pensions, focusing on our neighborhoods with city managers in every community and more. While time would not afford all of the fine details, the framework “with good intentions and good faith” sound promising. There’s so much more I’m certain I’m missing; however, his expressed commitment to the 9,000 city workers was paramount. We’re seven weeks deep since the inauguration and time will highlight intent, impact and improvement.

As a resident of this city, I can’t help but wish him and his team success to ensure we advance one Detroit — free of emergency management — putting the Motor City back on the road to recovery and economic rebirth!

Sherry Gay Dagnogo is an education consultant and candidate for Michigan State Representative in District 8. She can be reached at dagnogos@yahoo.com  or on Twitter at @DetroitEducator.

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