Macomb County – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Fri, 20 Jul 2018 20:42:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Study Says Homeownership For African Americans Has Declined In Michigan Wed, 11 Jul 2018 16:57:58 +0000
It used to be that Detroit and Michigan were places where black families made progress on home ownership compared to the rest of the country. That’s no longer the case.

A new report from the Urban Institute chronicles homeownership rates for African Americans in Michigan. It says they’ve declined dramatically over the last 18 years, from 60% of African Americans owning homes in 2000 to 41% in 2016.

Overall, home ownership among all races declined in Michigan from 79% in 2000 to 76% in 2016.

There were fewer than one thousand mortgages written in the city of Detroit last year, a city of more than 650,000 people. Home loans are only being written in a few Detroit neighborhoods, while the rest of the purchases are happening with cash, usually by out of state and out of country investors.


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What Metro Detroit Leaders Don’t Want To Tell You Is Our Region Has Been Losing Since 1970. Let’s Change That. Thu, 05 Jul 2018 19:47:38 +0000 The common story is that Detroit’s suburbs have done great while the city fell apart and just now is coming back. And a common storyline I’ve heard is that Detroit wants a “free ride” off of the successful suburbs.

Locally, people look at the city of Detroit’s decline as somehow separate from the suburbs. That after 1967 it all went to hell (although you should by know now that the city’s population peaked in 1950).

But what if I told you that the suburbs aren’t truly successful? That although the city of Detroit did decline, so did the entire region?


Although it may have felt like success to many in suburbia, which has seen more development since 1970, in fact, the entire Detroit region hasn’t been keeping pace with the rest of the nation for nearly half a century. Turns out it’s not just Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan who’s dealing with a population decline.

The reality is, according to the U.S. Census, the entire Detroit region has lost people between 1970 and 2016.

In 1970, the Detroit region’s population was 4,490,902. In 2016, it was estimated at 4,313,002. That’s a net drop of 3.9 percent.

The entire region has seen a decline while the rest of the country’s population grew 57.6 percent. In 1970, there were about 205.1 million people in the United States. In 2016, 323.4 million.

If metro Detroit was just keeping pace with the growth the rest of the country saw, our region would now have about 7 million people.

There are many reasons for this, but people haven’t been choosing our region to live or invest in for a long time. We need to look in the mirror and ask why. I don’t think we have far to look for one of the causes.

Up at the Mackinac Policy Conference, I heard squawking that Detroit’s becoming too powerful. That we’re back to animosity across 8 Mile. I was reminded (and inspired to write this) by a recent blog post on New Geography.

That animosity reminded me that many elected leaders and some businessmen know the numbers that I write above is true. That people have been voting with the feet for decades, so leaders (and many residents) feel we have to play a zero-sum game. That we need to steal pie from our neighbors instead of making more pie for everyone.

And back to the old, divisive tactics folks went. The attitude of “I’m gonna get mine” instead of looking to see how they can build something bigger. 

I believe a strong city of Detroit also means a strong Detroit region. We should be about lifting each other up, pulling ourselves out of the hole we’re all in. This hole that stretches across decades, across city, county and party lines.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve been on a losing path for longer than I’ve been alive — with many more years of insanity ahead unless we realize where we really are and make changes in our hearts and minds — and demand those changes of those we put in charge.

Why do I bring this up? Not to bring you down, but to bring us to action.

After all, loving Detroit means more than buying the T-shirt. The “brand” of Detroit seems to mean to folks that you believe in the power of hard work and making something.

Everyone has their own opinion, but in my mind, you don’t deserve to wear “Detroit” on your chest unless you’re willing to do work and take action for your community to make it better.

Working together seems to be the best way to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. And if we’re going to work together, we need to demand that action of our leaders — and if they don’t do it, change our leaders.

One way to do this? We have a key set of elections coming up in cities, counties, the state legislature and yes, all the way up to the governor’s office. The registration deadline for the August primary election is July 9 — and there will be many more after that. It feels like a lot of folks on both sides are taking our votes for granted lately. Let’s make them earn it.

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This New Law Could Make Bicyclists In Michigan Safer Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:38:09 +0000
If you’re a bicyclist in Michigan, you might be getting a new law that’s in your favor.

The Michigan legislature has passed a package of bills that would mean motorists would have to pass at least three feet to the right or left of a bike. If it is not practical to do so, the motorist will have to pass at a safe distance at a safe speed.

The bills are expected to be signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. Currently there is no law mandating a passing distance between bicyclists and cars.

This would bring Michigan closer to most other states in the nation, who use the three foot rule.


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$98 Million In Federal Funds Coming To Fix Mound Road In Macomb County Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:29:27 +0000

Nearly $98 million in federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

The main artery in Macomb County serves 40,000 vehicles a day and currently resembles the surface of the moon.

The U.S. Department of Transportation grant will be targeted to Mound from I-696 to M-59, or about nine miles.

All told, the project will cost $184.6 million. Macomb County and the cities of Sterling Heights and Warren are throwing in the rest of the money.

Beyond just rebuilding the road itself, Mound Road will get sidewalks, lights and signs, and tech to support connected and autonomous vehicles.

This story originally appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte.

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FlashFoodBox Launches in Detroit, Marijuana Ordinance Proposed in Detroit, Como’s Bought & More News Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:29:02 +0000

You Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast (subscribe free here!) recorded on June 7, 2018.

– Members of Detroit City Council will debate a new proposal to regulate medical marijuana businesses in the city.

– The Republican-controlled state House and Senate have adopted a citizen petition to pull the prevailing wage law off the books.

– City councils in two of Oakland County’s largest cities, Troy and Novi, say voters should be allowed to decide the fate of a regional transit tax in November.

– It’s one of the Detroit area’s hottest and most closely watched pieces of real estate. And now, the former Como’s Restaurant at Woodward and Nine Mile in Ferndale has a new owner.

– Nearly $98 million in Federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

– Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will be in Detroit this weekend. He’s headlining the re-opening ceremony on Saturday for Wayfinding, a combination public art installation and skate park next to Campus Martius.

– Motor City Pride festival is this weekend.

– There’s a new delivery service called FlashFoodBox that’s opening up in Detroit as its first U.S. city. The company is looking to change the game, and get fresh food delivered to people, right to their door.

Jer caught up with their founder Josh Domingues at WeWork Thursday morning.

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Democratic Gubernatorial Hopeful Abdul El-Sayed: ‘I See A State That Is Quickly Failing People’ Thu, 31 May 2018 03:06:50 +0000

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed dropped by Daily Detroit on Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference to talk about his decidedly underdog candidacy, his progressive policies, why he lost the endorsement of Mayor Mike Duggan and firmly establish his outsider credibility.

“A lot of politicians come here to rub shoulders with corporate lobbyists and try and get those corporations to back their campaigns. I just don’t take corporate money,” El-Sayed said.” My role here is very different. I see myself as an informant of sorts for folks who don’t get to come to islands like this for the things that I’ve been learning about the challenges in their lives.”

El-Sayed is famous — or in some circles, infamous — for being openly Muslim. He’s the son of Egyptian immigrants who grew up in the Detroit area, played lacrosse at the University of Michigan and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England. He’s a doctor who most recently ran the Detroit Health Department following its shuttering in the city’s bankruptcy.

He says his travels around the state have shown him that Michigan residents are concerned mostly with the quality of their children’s schools, infrastructure and health care.

El-Sayed says the state has badly underinvested in things like schools over time. He says that’s one of the primary reasons Amazon left Detroit off its list of finalists for its HQ2 project.

“The state tried to offer Amazon $4 billion in incentives. It didn’t work,” he says. “And the reason that they didn’t come is because we had not invested that same money in the same things that they were looking for in the first place: great opportunities for people to raise families because they have great public schools, and great public transportation, and great infrastructure. We don’t have those things.”

Have a listen in the player above. And if you like the show, head over here to subscribe with your favorite podcast app of choice.

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Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel Torpedoes RTA Plan Prior to Mackinac Policy Conference Wed, 30 May 2018 17:01:50 +0000

Regional transit is one of the big issues overshadowing this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, with a panel discussion slated for Thursday and the issue atop the wish list of many business and civic leaders in attendance. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans on Tuesday posted a video he made about the difficulties in using a bus to go from downtown Detroit to Novi. Evans is a key transit proponent and is scheduled to speak at the conference on Wednesday.

But getting a Regional Transit Authority tax proposal on the November ballot is going to be impossible without the support of Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson. And it looks like Hackel will have to deflect what’s expected to be withering heat and criticism on Mackinac alone.

Patterson isn’t coming to this year’s conference. And Hackel tells Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley the RTA issue is dead to him forever.

Hackel says he wants to instead focus on SMART, the suburban bus system and helping pass a millage renewal in August. He says SMART is meeting Macomb County’s needs and is the answer for the region’s rapid-transit shortcomings.

Supporters are pushing to put an RTA tax proposal on the November ballot. An earlier RTA proposal was detected in 2016, thanks largely to overwhelming opposition from voters in Macomb County.

Daily Detroit has extensively covered transit and will be following the issue throughout the week on Mackinac. Most recently, we scrutinized Hackel’s claims that transit had nothing to do with Amazon’s decision to bypass Detroit for its HQ2 project and discussed what the opposition of Patterson and Hackel mean for the region’s economy.

This story originally appeared on our Daily Detroit News Byte podcast.

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Will Metro Detroit Become A Permanent Second-Class Region? That’s the Question At The Heart Of This Year’s Mackinac Policy Conference Wed, 30 May 2018 14:41:14 +0000 The Detroit region is a proverbial frog boiling alive in a pot of water.  

There are several major topics being tackled up here at the Mackinac Policy Conference — talent, transit, the opioid crisis and education among them. But the through-line that we see between all of them is “Will Metro Detroit become a permanent second-class region?”

See, despite what some politicians would like to tell you, all is not rosy in the Paris of the Midwest. The city does have a comeback beginning. But anyone who’s visited other cities and regions knows that even our “nicest” area of Midtown is an average block in most other major cities.

Our roads are reminiscent of the surface of the moon. And it’s our fault because we refuse to spend what it takes to fix our infrastructure.

Michigan’s education system — as we discussed with Ron French of Bridge Magazine — is in deep trouble, much closure to the bottom of the barrel among states that the top of the heap.

Michigan has the 4th biggest drug problem in the United States, and Macomb County’s drug overdoses are skyrocketing.

And transit? Well, there’s many second- and third- world regions that have better mass transit than we do. It’s something that’s like air to most millennial workers, not to mention many of the urbane executives and engineering talent we like to lure from other automotive hubs like Germany and Japan. But here, we have a bunch of folks who are telling their kids to get off their lawn and driveway — and then wonder why they don’t move back “home.”

To us, transit is a question of equity. It’s a hand up for people to get to jobs and improve their own station in life, not a hand out. In Metro Detroit, we’re apparently fine with “I got mine.” And that’s not the kind of community people who want to build something great want to live in.

Here’s the scary thing: The electorate, especially in parts of Oakland and most of Macomb County, is apparently fine with that. And our elected leaders? We’re back to the tiresome suburban/city bickering. It sure was nice to have a break from that, however brief.

But it’s not a good look, guys.

While you’re fighting, our future is leaving this state, and businesses by and large aren’t finding the talent they need. We look to people like Dan Gilbert to do everything, when in fact, if we were a successful region, we’d have 20 or more of them. Dan Gilbert in Chicago is just another rich guy. Here, he runs the table because he’s among the few games in town.

But that’s our culture. We’ve long looked to big companies to fix our problems. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors had their claws in city governments across Metro Detroit who then didn’t plan for people and residents. For the most part, they did what the biggest companies in town asked.

We made whole suburbs based on racist principles. Henry Ford, though a brilliant engineer, was a racist and anti-Semite. With his money and power, he weaved his wretched social beliefs into the fabric of our area, and most of us don’t even realize it.

And Detroit’s mostly hated Coleman Young? He wasn’t a cause. He was a symptom and a catalyst, like Donald Trump today. Now, we have Oakland County exec L. Brooks Patterson back to his cantankerous old ways, flipping corn and blankets over the proverbial fence and flipping off the camera. And Macomb’s Mark Hackel? He never met a political wind he didn’t bow to. He’s right about his electorate today, but he’s going to be on the wrong side of history.

What we need now is leadership. Will a champion, or a set of champions, step forward, or are we going to have 20 more years of the same story? Now is the time, or we fear the window of a Motor City comeback will close. And maybe that’s what our current leaders really want: the status quo, with a festering doughnut-hole for an urban core and a collection of disparate, sprawling suburbs offering plentiful parking. Nothing galvanizes a base like an enemy. And the easiest enemy in Metro Detroit always seems to be your neighbor.

So the question this year really is this: Will Metro Detroit find the will to turn a corner to keep up with the rest of the nation, or are we going become a permanent second- or third-class region? The choice, as they say, is ours.

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Detroit’s Population Drops Again — But More Slowly Fri, 25 May 2018 01:56:44 +0000

Despite all the new loft apartments and other development activity in certain core neighborhoods, the city of Detroit continues to lose population.

An annual U.S. Census estimate released Thursday pegged Detroit’s population at 673,104 as of last summer. That’s a drop of about 2,300 people — a little lower than the previous year’s loss and a 10th of the rate of population loss of the 2000s.

At its peak, Detroit had nearly 1.9 million people in 1950.

The Detroit News reports that utility hookup records say the city has 3,000 more occupied homes than last year. But they’re filled with empty nesters, while families with children continue to move out. Mayor Mike Duggan has said his performance should be measured by whether Detroit can start to grow once again and has said the continued losses are due to the state of Detroit’s public schools.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments estimates the city will continue to lose population until 2025.

Exurbs were the big gainers in the Census estimate, with Macomb Township, Canton Township and Lyon Township all growing.

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PODCAST: RTA Transit Plans Die A Suburban Death, A Possible Michigan Minimum Wage Hike & More Wed, 23 May 2018 04:57:27 +0000

Here’s your News Byte Podcast for May 23, 2018.

The plan for a four-county regional Transit Authority in southeastern Michigan is practically dead with Oakland County Exec L. Brooks Patterson and his counterpart in Macomb, Mark Hackel, pulling the plug.

So what’s the real story with Amazon’s HQ2 bid and regional transit? We reached out to Amazon about it and got a response, and we try to figure it out. Someone’s not telling the truth… but who?

Gilbert’s development team, including Bedrock, gets major incentives for major downtown Detroit projects. We have the details.

Nonprofits are getting pushed out of their downtown offices due to rising rental rates.

And there’s a push to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour in Michigan by Michigan One Fair Wage submits signatures that should get the proposal on the ballot.

Like the show? Don’t miss another episode. Here’s a link to our back catalog and subscribe links in Apple Podcasts, Amazon Alexa and wherever podcasts are found:…/daily-detroit-news-byte/

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