DETROIT — A bipartisan group of state representatives this week took a two-day tour of locations in Detroit and Dearborn. The trip was organized to give the legislators a better understanding of the economic developments taking place in the cities and the cultural impacts of the distinctive local communities.
State Rep. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) organized and hosted the tour, with help from state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), who hosted a stop in Dearborn.
“We are hosting Speaker Tom Leonard and my colleagues in an effort to break down the political and ideological walls that prevent effective dialogue,” Santana said. “This tour is about people over politics. We found it imperative to showcase to the leadership of our state the contributions of immigrants, the hardships of poverty, and the hopes of economic development. I am grateful to Speaker Leonard and my colleagues for taking the time to see Detroit and Dearborn firsthand and am ready to begin working on bipartisan solutions to the issues and challenges highlighted on the tour through legislation.”
On Monday, representatives visited both residential and commercial sites in Detroit that have been economically redeveloped over the past few years to see the results of those developments in local neighborhoods. They also toured sites that have yet to be turned around and saw the need for economic investment in the struggling communities.
On Tuesday, representatives met with Detroit residents and Mayor Mike Duggan to discuss the challenges the residents face and what the state government can do to help. They also toured several residential communities to better understand life in the city and the diverse cultural connections within various neighborhoods. The representatives then drove to Dearborn to experience the cultural and economic impact of a large immigrant community in Michigan.
“This was a great opportunity for these representatives to see the distinct challenges and opportunities that lay before Detroit and Dearborn,” said Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt). “On the first day, we saw progress. We saw potential. And we saw roadblocks. Our challenge now is to turn that knowledge into action that can help the city of Detroit move forward with the rest of Michigan and take full advantage of our state’s incredible comeback.
“The second day, legislators were able to experience all the ways the people of Dearborn contribute to our state and create a unique cultural space. This group of representatives also saw how different policies can affect different communities within Detroit and Dearborn in different ways. This was a great way to gain a better understanding of the differences from neighborhood to neighborhood in the region and the way our decisions can affect many different people in many different ways.
“This was an important step for the work we do, and I can’t thank Rep. Santana enough for putting this event together. We all appreciate Rep. Santana and Rep. Hammoud for giving us a unique look at this important region.”