"Get The Lead Out Part II : The Loss Of Leadership In Lansing "
Rev. Peter E. Bauer
Whatever happened to Michigan ? All those television ads boasting pure Michigan, pure air, pure water, pure recreation, pure beauty. Whatever happened to social policy for this state ? The University of Michigan has had a prominent reputation as being a place for forward policy development, including having the top rated Social Work school in the country. Social Work - US News & World Report grad schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/...schools/...schools/social.
What ever happened to political leadership; where is Carl Levin, Jennifer Granholm ?
The tragedy that we have witnessed with both the toxic water disaster in Flint and the fiscal, educational crisis in Detroit is beyond imagination. The population of Detroit has precipitously declined.
A Declining Population In A Widespread City. Detroit's population is close to the same size now as it was in 1910, before the city's automotive boom began. The city's population peaked at 1.86 million in 1950. The 2012 U.S. Census showed the city with about 700,000 residents
A Declining Population In A Widespread City - In Photos: 10 Things To ...
This decline is greater than the diaspora created by Hurricane Katrina (2005 ) in New Orleans, La. As of July 1, 2008, New Orleans had a population of 311,853, a decrease in population from the 445,000 residents of the city prior to Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans diaspora - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_diaspora. The total population of New Orleans, La prior to the storm would have been at least 756,853.
The current estimated population for New Orleans ( Orleans parish ) ( 2015 ) is 389,617Total population by parish for the New Orleans metro | The Data Centerwww.datacenterresearch.org/data-resources/population-by-parish/.
Certainly, the problems experienced by both Detroit and Flint have been fueled by changing economic and population demographics. There has been the decline of the auto industry and resulting loss of jobs. At the same time there has been a resurgence of entrepreneurial businesses in Detroit like the Shinola Watch company. Flint has also suffered the loss of jobs due to the closure of automobile plants. There has also been a massive migration of people out of the urban center to surrounding suburban comminutes thus further eroding the existing tax revenue.
What is alarming is the lack of attention being paid to these tragedies by the lawmakers in Lansing. Recently, Governor Rick Snyder did apologize to the people of Flint by saying " You didn't create this problem. Government failed you. " The Detroit News noted:
The crowd became angrier when Snyder said "we have a short-term water crisis." The switch to Flint River water began two years ago in April 2014, and the city switched back to the Detroit water system in October 2015, though officials tell residents not to the drink the water without a filter.
But Snyder continued that "we have a longer-term issue about building a stronger city of Flint." Crowd spanks 'sorry' Snyder for Flint water debacle The Detroit News - 2 days ago
Governor Snyder is minimizing the magnitude of this environmental calamity. The physical, neurological and psychological effects for the population of Flint, especially for the children, may not become fully known for decades. There will now have to be not only a great expenditure of money allocated for filters and removing corroded lead piping and installing new pipe, but there will also need to be a large mobilization of medical and mental health resources for Flint.
The Governor and the legislature in Lansing need to stop the grandstanding and finger-pointing, and deflection and really exhibit some meaningful leadership for the health and welfare of the citizens of Michigan.
The people of Flint and Detroit more than deserve it.
May it be so.