Saturday, January 29, 2011

OPEN LETTER TO LOCAL AND STATE LEADERS

Regarding the recent U.S. – China leadership summit in Washington, D.C., there are lessons that local leadership can learn from this concerning developing a redevelopment plan for the future. Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s recent comments about attracting immigrants with college degrees to Michigan can play a part in this as well.

An initiative that needs to happen is to seek out and incentivize entrepreneurs and companies from global regions (Africa, China, India, Middle East, South America) to set up shop in Wayne County/Detroit, renovate abandoned buildings and hire locals to work at these new businesses. Our region should be taking the initiative to benefit from globalization and not be left behind by it.

Next, when it comes to getting a rail system going here, Chinese consultation on this could prove invaluable since China already has a vast network of mass-transit trains. Building off that thread, when it comes to the proposed Detroit Riverfront International Crossing (DRIC), I support that project being green-lit.

The DRIC project can go further than currently planned. Designers of the bridge and crossing area should incorporate a light-rail train to go over the bridge, either through the center or along the periphery. Incorporating a light-rail train into the bridge will allow for pedestrians to go from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario and back, whether for work, for business, for school, or recreation and tourism. Having a rail component built into the bridge will lessen the burden on the car and truck traffic that will already be intense once the bridge is completed and available for public use. U.S. Homeland Security and the Canadian equivalent would have full authority for incorporating comprehensive security measures. Having a rail line as a part of the bridge can only increase Michigan’s economic prosperity. Funding can be sought from corporate and individual donations; aggressive outreach should be done for collaborative foreign investment partners, as this bridge would indeed be a beacon of multinational trade.

Southeast Michigan/Detroit needs to be thought of more as an international destination. Immigrants with college degrees could be recruited and incentivized to collaborate in job-training programs in growth industries (partners can include Wayne County Community College District) for local residents, to increase the skill-sets of urban residents to make them more employable and in a better position to start their own small businesses.

No comments: