Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Improving Detroit's Image One Person At A Time

When I first moved to Michigan in 1991, Detroit's image was poor, but now in 2009, it is even more frightful. Detroit is the poster child for all that is wrong in America: joblessness; greedy, corrupt public officials; urban blight; failing companies; decrepit infrastructure; the list could go on and on.

I've never lived in Detroit itself, but I have been a resident of Rochester Hills, a northern suburb of Detroit, for almost two decades. (I can't believe it's been that long because I hate our cold, endless winters.) Of course, Detroit is the hub for much of what happens around here, so its survival is important to all metro Detroiters.

My husband, Dave, sent me a link to a Sam Roberts video, Detroit '67, that the Red Wings have been using, and it inspired me to think about what is good about Detroit (in no particular order):

1. A prevailing attitude of hard work and resilience
2. Good people who care about each other and help each other
3. The Detroit Tigers (I'm just not a hockey fan)
4. The Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin
5. Four Distinct Seasons: Sunny Summers and Gorgeous Crisp Falls
6. Rochester College: A community of people who care about teaching, learning and growing!
7. The Detroit Institute of Art: An amazing collection of art.
8. Water, trees, gorgeous places to hike to see God's inspiring creation
9. Deer trampling through my backyard
10. Hope for a better future for Detroit!

As a PR professional, I know that we can't gloss over the imperfections of Detroit. Our area is facing a long illness because of too many poor decisions and too much turning of the head to our problems.

But we can reclaim a better image for our area one person at a time. Think about what you like about Detroit and pass it on.