Change Agents, City Transformation, News

‘I love Detroit’ says Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

This is a transcribed excerpt from an interview video of Kevyn Orr, emergency financial manager of Detroit. To watch the entire video, click here.

“I Love Detroit.

“When I first came up (from Florida) here to go to school we didn’t have enough funds for me to do school trips so I came to University of Michigan sight unseen … except when I was a kid my mom got her masters here. My uncle picked me up from the airport and took me around Detroit. I stayed with him that night and then he brought me to school.

“I was here (Ann Arbor) in school from 1976-1983. We would regularly go into Detroit whether it was Greektown, Hamtramck, whether it was the Riverfront, Cobo Hall, Joe Louis Arena, whatever, for events, Detroit has a special fondness in my life … Sparky Anderson was fighting for a pennant back then with the Tigers.

“I have been affiliated with Detroit physically and mind and spirit for the majority of my life from 1976.

Kevyn Orr Emergency Manager of Detroit“Personally having done the Chrysler (bankruptcy) case we heard a lot of the same sort of things we’re hearing now. It’s never going to work.

In fact, some of the senior executives of the company were of the strong opinion that no one would buy a car from a bankrupt automaker. The reality is that company, as well as GM and Ford, are going like gangbusters. They have great products. They’re expanding market share year-over-year.

“So I see Detroit, in a sense, as being an opportunity to bring that kind of growth and that kind of renaissance to the city if we can do this right.

“This is the Motor City. This is the city that gave us Motown. This is the city that during World War II was the Arsenal of Democracy. This city changed the way we live. It gave us automobiles, which allow us to commute. It gave us a new way to listen to music. It’s a historical city of record in the history of this country.

“We have to do this. This is a great American city and we have to get this city on the right track.”

Watch the rest of the Kevyn Orr interview video here.

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