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Detroit: We can make it on our own and create the city we want … the future is up to us

Grand Circus Park downtown Detroit vision

OK Detroit, there is no reason to look to an outside cavalry for aid as we face the challenges of bankruptcy. We can get through it successfully ourselves. Once we do. we will have better city services and a functioning city that is clean, safe and inviting.

It won’t be easy. Getting there demands leaders and leadership.

1500 block of Woodward M1 Rail renderingEach one of us … Detroiters who live in the city and Detroiters who live in the suburbs … must step up and be leaders. We need a coalition of resident, government, business, labor and religious leaders coming together to show change can really happen, and then make it so. We have to or we will fight the same battles that got our city into this mess again and again.

If we do not come together, we will forfeit our chance to bring more jobs, more businesses and more people into Detroit. We will lose our chance to be innovative, to have clean, safe streets and strong schools that educate our future leaders.

We must remember Detroit extends beyond 142.9 square miles. It will take regional cooperation, neighborhood collaboration as well as tremendous listening and leadership skills to end up on the right side of bankruptcy. We need partnerships that are predictable to accomplish that and ones that don’t change the rules halfway through the game.

be the goodWe must speak with one voice and tell the world Detroit is in the midst of a massive transformation, is meeting its challenges and reinventing itself for the 21st century.

It’s time to work for the common good and take to heart the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Here are a couple of them.

  • Share everything
  • Play fair
  • Put things back where you found them
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together
  • Clean up your own mess
  • Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK

LOOK at what Detroit can accomplish. LOOK at what each of us can do to make a difference.

As chair of the Downtown Detroit Partnership I can tell you businesses are vested and invested in Detroit. We will continue to do everything we can and work with anyone necessary to make Detroit clean, safe and inviting.

Let’s take our cue from Jim Leyland’s coaching in the All Star game. He had those All Stars working as a team. It was not an easy task, but the win secured home field advantage for the Tigers in the playoffs and gives me confidence that this is the Tigers’ year. According to Vegas odds makers, the Tigers remain the favorite to win the World Series at 13-to-2.

If each of us … every Detroiter … coaches well, Detroit will have the home field advantage and the odds makers … in our case new and current businesses and talented people … will place their bets on Detroit.

The future of Detroit is truly in all of our hands.

– Cindy Pasky is chair of the Detroit Regional News Hub’s board of directors, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions and chair of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. This blog originally appeared in CBS Local’s Technology Report with Matt Roush.

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