Category: Community Published on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 10:43 Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Detroit mayoral candidate and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon is upping the ante of his campaign message with a bold neighborhood plan rolled out this week at an east side Detroit church. Napoleon vowed his plan will help families stay.
Napoleon, who recently secured the endorsement of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, said his plan creates three major developments in each sector of the city, offering families a place to shop, eat and be entertained while ensuring that people get the jobs to build and work. The plan is in line with Napoleon’s neighborhood mantra of “Livable, Walkable and Sustainable.”
“We will never grow Detroit until we provide people a reason to stay in our neighborhoods, and for new people to move in. And that won’t happen until we make our neighborhoods livable, walkable, sustainable,” Napoleon said on his campaign website.
“What is unique about Detroit is that every neighborhood has its own identity. They all have residents who love their area and they know what’s best for their area. Because no neighborhood should be identified by its vacant homes or its blight. Identified by party stores, barbershops or gas stations where debris is blowing in the wind and the grass growing out of control. Graffiti remains for years.”
He said businesses that operate in our neighborhoods have to take ownership of their immediate surroundings. And if they need help with loitering, the city should be their partner in alleviating that problem. We can give all of our neighborhoods what they deserve, the support that they need. We can come together, and work together until all of our neighborhoods are walkable, livable, sustainable.
Napoleon’s $3.15 billion neighborhood economic development plan unveiled at Peace and Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church calls for a mix of government and private investment to transform blighted commercial and residential areas across the city, on top of his “one square” mile crime fighting initiative which promises to reduce crime by 50 percent.
“We have a neighborhood growth strategy that focuses on creating jobs and economic opportunities,” Napoleon said. “The strategy in each new council district will be anchored by an economic engine that will grow every section of the city.”
The mayoral candidate has been calling for attention to be shifted from downtown to the neighborhoods, and he said the $3 billion public-private initiative unveiled this week will breath new life into Detroit’s struggling neighborhoods.
His campaign said the 25-page crime fighting plan outlines in detailed fashion how each square mile of the city will be assigned to one police officer responsible for reducing crime.
Napoleon will face off with former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan who has garnered support from most of the private sector leaders in downtown Detroit.
The following are eight major initiatives of Detroit’s Neighborhood Growth Strategy, crafted by Napoleon. These strategies are meant to strengthen Detroit’s economy by increasing job opportunities within the city and increasing the overall tax base.
• Initiate the Five-Point Crime Plan, which Napoleon announced in September, to affirm Detroit as a safe city by reducing crime by at least 50 percent.
•Implement the One Square Mile Initiative by placing approximately 130 police officers within the viable 139 square miles to stabilize the city, and reestablish a better quality of life for the city’s residents by focusing on each neighborhood’s issues at the micro level.
• Develop and implement policy initiatives for a Blight Reduction Program, including holding banks responsible for their blighted property, and a moratorium on property purchases in the city that do not include a development plan with clear deadlines.
• Develop seven high-focus anchor projects in each of the seven Council Districts that will target public and private resources, which will significantly increase property values, and create thousands of new jobs for Detroiters.
• Build six Public Safety Service Centers with a private development partner in the Council Districts that will target commercial and retail investment and improve the functionality of the city of Detroit’s primary core service – public safety. (Council District 6 has an existing combined police, fire and EMS facility that was built by the city of Detroit and remains a very functional structure).
• Construct nine stand-alone fire/EMS stations throughout the city with a private development partner.
• Restructure the Detroit Housing Commission into the Detroit Neighborhood Partnership to create one governing and coordinating agency for neighborhood stabilization, revitalization and redevelopment functions, including planning, funding and implementing all neighborhood programs.
• Target institutional, corporate and foundations to generate a $50 million funding source for the Detroit Neighborhood Partnership and development activities.
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