I find it both interesting and infuriating that the only letters you printed in response to Jack Lessenberry’s column about the perils of life in Detroit were written by people who don’t live here. Though I realize that the main issue here is the mayor’s ability (or lack thereof) to keep our city moving in a positive direction, I get so tired of people who don’t live here telling us what we need. I don’t necessarily agree with the mayor’s progress to date. In fact, I didn’t even vote for him. But I do live here, and my streetlights work, my trash gets picked up, my snow gets plowed, and both of my children are getting excellent educations at Detroit Public Schools of choice. We have great stores, theaters, restaurants, museums and libraries. We have some wonderful neighborhoods that reflect history, diversity and unity, and new houses are being built here at a rate that hasn’t been seen in decades.
Yes, we still have a lot of problems, but it took a long time to tear this city down, and it will take a long time to build it back up. And that is slowly but surely being accomplished by Detroit’s residents, regardless of the current administration. I am just sick and tired of hearing what people who don’t live here have to say about us. “We need a mayor to make us proud to be Detroiters.” This from a woman who lives in Northville?
I am proud to be a Detroiter, no matter who the mayor is. —Parkii Gillis, Detroit
Stand by your man
You really hit the nail on the head. I am a 67-year-old ex-Detroiter. In my emotions, I always connect with the city. I want the mayor to succeed and defend him often. His conduct is making it difficult for me, but he is the only one we have so let’s stand by him and hope he gets the job done — or at least started. —Mike Zemke, firstname.lastname@example.org, Troy
Yesterday and today
I really enjoyed Noah B. Stevens’ article. He hit some very real points. All the talk these days about everyone having a fair chance is totally not true, though whites will tell you that your feelings are a thing of the past. I had breakfast with an older white couple in Traverse City last weekend. I remember them asking, “Where you from?”
I told them proudly, “Detroit.”
The lady paused for a moment, and then she said, “Oh, I’m so afraid to travel to Detroit.”
I’m a bit older and I remember times back when whites didn’t want to live in the same areas as blacks. When the only thought in their mind was that blacks steal. I remember being told that I’m not as bright as some of my white peers. I remember it like it was yesterday — or was it? —Albert Chatman, email@example.com, Detroit
I just finished reading your article on the Heidelberg Art Project, and I am appalled that you would write such an article without the input of Tyree’s “neighbors.” As president of the McDougall Hunt Citizens’ District Council, I feel the need to inform you that Mr. Guyton’s artwork is not very much appreciated in the community. You also need to know that the McDougall Hunt Citizens’ District Council has been working with the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department on a plan to rehabilitate (not tear down, rehabilitate) the area. It should be approved by Detroit City Council in July. There are also plans on the table to build in-fill housing, and the only holdup is the City Council approval of the redevelopment plan.
If you really want to see what’s happening in McDougall Hunt, you need to talk to homeowners, residents, businesses and churches within the area bounded by Mt. Elliot, Vernor, St. Aubin and Gratiot, not just one or two people on one street. —Elizabeth Albani, firstname.lastname@example.org, DetroitSend comments to email@example.com