Letters: Let's not let Detroit down

Re "Detroit's problems raise race issues," Nov. 10

Though many Detroiters may feel disenfranchised by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's appointment of an emergency manager, they should know their voices are being heard outside the state.

In fact, if the widely cited proverb about it taking a village to raise a child is any indication, Detroit will need the support of the entire country to grow and prosper.

The fact that Detroiters are increasingly becoming outspoken is a good sign. It's confirmation of increased civic engagement, a necessary precursor to Detroit's revitalization.

This rebirth will also require efforts to generate new jobs, encourage new household formation and spur future tax revenues.

To achieve this, Detroiters must become messengers of hope and prosperity. They should tell the American people how we can help while they have our attention.

Mark M. Spradley

Chevy Chase, Md.

This article only slightly mentions the four decades of poor leadership that contributed to the problems this once-great city now faces. It doesn't mention the names of the mayors that governed Detroit into this mess.

Coleman Young, one of the worst mayors in this country's history, led the way between 1974 and 1994. He raised taxes on businesses, prompting them to move elsewhere.

More recently, Kwame Kilpatrick (besides being incompetent) was convicted of corruption. These types were reelected no matter how poorly the city was run.

The saying that "elections have consequences" is never more true than with Detroit. Race has nothing to do with that city's ills.

Marcus Kourtjian


The saddest sights that can be seen — as you drive into what was once a great place to live — are the burned-out homes, the overgrown yards and Michigan Central Station, a relic of broken windows and faded glory that was an architectural phenomenon with its grand murals, marble throughout and arched entries (similar to its sister Grand Central Station in New York).

Yes, blame the race riots and the corrupt politicians. But also blame the Toyota lovers, the Mercedes lovers and the BMW lovers. They also contributed to the downfall of my hometown.

Donna Harris Bassin

Westlake Village


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