|Even he knew the truth. The ruins of Detroit in 2013 silently confirm this fact|
Nearly $300 million in aid for Detroit — from federal and state coffers, private businesses and charitable foundations — will be announced Friday as Obama administration officials visit the city to discuss what can be done to help eradicate blight, improve transportation, encourage new business and make residents safer.
The funding will include $150 million in blight eradication and community redevelopment, including $65 million in Community Development Block Grant funding — which had already been awarded over two years but could not be accessed by the city. An additional $25 million could help hire as many as 150 firefighters in the city.
Some $24 million in federal resources that had been tied up will go to repairing buses and installing security cameras, part of an overall $140-million investment in transit systems. And several charitable groups — the Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation and Knight Foundation — will put millions into spurring entrepreneurship and creating jobs.
Inspections are being conducted on one of the city’s most troubled bus routes to curb violence targeting drivers and passengers, officials said Tuesday.
Detroit’s Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown said the city will immediately begin using its resources to conduct spot checks on routes that have experienced the most disturbances.
The bus drivers union organized the demonstration to seek help in stopping physical and verbal abuse between passengers and drivers, as well as the unreliability and neglect of the buses.
Eight drivers have been hospitalized from attacks by passengers in the past nine months, said Fred Westbrook, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26, which represents about 550 active Detroit Department of Transportation drivers.
“The city of Detroit has got to fix the system. This is not what we signed up for,” said Westbrook, as he marched with about 50 others carrying signs Tuesday in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, calling for “cleaner buses” and “on-time service.”
|The only way to secure a safer future for Detroit is to repatriate the black population|