Friday, March 09, 2007

Does Sen. Hansen Clarke Support Regionalization?

Metro Times: How important do you see the issue of regionalization being to Detroit’s revitalization, and what would you do to promote it.

Clarke: We have downtown development, which is a way to revitalize the city and attract visitors downtown. We’re been doing that pretty well for the past 40 years, from Cobo Hall to the Super Bowl, with the Renaissance Center, the stadiums and the casinos all in there. But then it’s rebuilding our neighborhoods. Making streets safe, building the streets so they’re clean, housing parks neighborhood centers,
Building regional alliances is very critical. One of the first things I would do as mayor, while we are doing our assessment of all of our departments, is I would work with the state and the tri-county leadership to development a regional development plan that recognizes the city of Detroit as being integral to the economic growth of the region. That would have several components to it. It would have a regional transit system that would link up with our bus system. I’ve got to get that running on time and efficiently.

Also include educational partnerships (with businesses and nonprofit agencies) throughout the region. For example, I met with the director of Automation Alley, and he told me he’d love to bring Automation Alley into elementary schools to help mentor kids who have an interest in technology. So there are a lot of resources out there.

I would work with Mayor Francis of Windsor to make sure that we get an additional international border crossing so that Detroit and Windsor make sure that we don’t lose out to other cities like Buffalo and all that commerce that would come in because of that international border crossing. Also, Cobo Hall is an extraordinarily powerful economic asset for the state, definitely great one for the region. That would be a great institution that could be funded by a regional arrangement.

Even someone from the hood like Sen. Clarke believes in the One Network's philosophy of regionalization. This is why we support him. The Black Grassroots better take note.

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