During his acceptance speech, Bobb, who was appointed to take over district finances by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in January, outlined the emergencies the Detroit school system faces involving finances, academics, reading and standardized testing. Still, with the support of other community leaders, Bobb said he is “in it for the long haul” and is confident he can dig the schools out of each emergency “come hell or high water.” Bobb also showed his unwavering support for Mayor Bing’s tough decisions.
“I am 2000 percent in support of Mayor Bing and what he is doing,” he said with a friendly gesture to the mayor who sat just a few feet from the broad stage.
The enthusiasm for hope, positivity and love for community was the thread that ran throughout the evening. More evident than ever was the pride Detroiters have for their city, the kind of pride that is most genuine in trying times.
State Rep. Shanelle Jackson, who won the “Rising Star” Award for her dedication to her community, said she would not live in any other city.
“Detroit has a legacy of leadership,” she said. “I am proud to be considered a leader in Detroit.”
As Mayor Dave Bing accepted the Newsmaker of the Year Award, he reminded his fellow citizens of the value of their own resilience.
“Detroit is blessed with people who know how to take a hit, who know how to take the knockdown but get back up and keep fighting,” he said to applause from the nearly 500 guests in attendance.
City Council President-elect and former Detroit TV reporter and news anchor Charles Pugh was one of the many who pointed out the contrast between what regular news consumers are led to believe about Detroit and the strong, lively undercurrent that is stirring beneath the city’s bruised image.
“News doesn’t cover all of the wonderful things going on in Detroit,” Pugh said as he accepted his Newsmaker Award. “We’re getting all dressed up just to tell people they’re doing the right thing.”
In essence, Pugh’s statement captured the nature of the event: a setting to show appreciation for those who deserve a gesture of encouragement in times when bad news turns pages faster than good news. At least that’s what the award means to Mayor Bing, who has faced immeasurable criticism for doing what he calls “the hardest job I’ve ever had.”
“What this award means is that people appreciate what you are attempting to do,” Bing told the Michigan Chronicle. “We want to be a part of the renaissance of this city.”
Years from now, when the renaissance of which Bing speaks has turned the curve and the city reclaims the grandeur of booming industry, today’s innovators will be remembered for their steadfast pride and unwavering hope.
But more important is the present time, the legacies that are currently in motion, constantly moving forward to the bright future. Detroiters have a lot to look forward to: new leadership in the city and a chance for each citizen to work the vanguard of a changing America.
“It’s a new day,” said City Councilwoman-elect Saunteel Jenkins. And Newsmaker Award recipient Pugh thinks so, too.
“If y’all think getting elected was worth news you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” he said.
Go to the Photo Gallery to view the event photos of Legacy In Motion.
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