Reality check: fight problems, not perceptions.

Author:Blouse, Richard E., Jr.

The last few months, Regional Detroit residents have seen a number of media "attacks" (if you will) on Detroit.


This is what I hear:

"How dare they say that about us?" "They don't even live here." "They're not seeing what's really going on."

I have to agree with that last one. We have so much happening in our region. Our burgeoning arts and culture opportunities, the future of our waterfront, the improvement happening in the Detroit Public Schools, the new investments being made as a result of our economic development efforts. I know Chamber execs in other cities that salivate when I tell them about the Ryder Cup, the All Star Game, the Super Bowl and the Final Four. It's a chamber of commerce dream and it's all worth shouting from the treetops (of which we have plenty in our parks, golf courses and recreational centers).

But let's get real. These reporters aren't specializing in creative writing. They are looking at the facts:

* Too many people are dying by violent crime.

* Our roads are decrepit.

* Our transit system is very deficient. You can't even get downtown from the airport.

Shall I go on?

We need to stop harping on what people say about us and fix the problems. Too many things don't work in this region and we need to fix the reality--not just the perception.

Dick Gabrys of Deloitte put it...

To continue reading