With abandoned homes, bad press, and a poor job market it is no wonder Detroit can never get a break.
This past Tuesday, news broke out that Detroit’s population dropped 25 percent in the past 10 years. The U.S. Census Bureau stated that the population in Detroit went from 951,270 in 2000 to 713,777 last year – its lowest since 1910.
Detroit was not always like this; it was once the fourth-largest city in the country and at the height of its history, residents topped out at 1.85 million.
It is saddening to see that such a great city that once thrived and was a hot spot for so many working class Americans is now a parking lot filled with abandoned buildings and broken dreams.
It seems once we try to do something good for Detroit we get stuck in the mentality that Michigan is just too far down to ever get back up again. The Pure Michigan Campaign advertised across other states gave people a reason to re-look at Michigan. The campaign didn’t show broken down buildings or road construction; it highlighted the beautiful landscapes this state has to offer.
For most people, when we look at Detroit, we look the other way and give it no chance. It has always been easier for people to point fingers, but never be the change in their city. In the past 10 years, we were the only state to have a cumulative loss in our population. This has to be a red flag for someone.
So many people blame our government for the downturn of Michigan. Yes, a lot of our problems were not our fault, but change is always in our hands. If we keep on highlighting how bad off we are, does that really do us any good? It is up to us to recognize our hardships and overcome the past.
If the government will not help the city, then it’s up to the people. Detroit needs a revolution and it is up to surrounding cities and people to regain what once was. This change is not going to happen overnight, but there has to be a start.
In a few weeks, student government will be hosting its annual community service project, The BIG Event. This year, over 200 houses and well over 1,500 volunteers from Ferris will be participating in an event that gives back to the Big Rapids community. This little movement could easily be taken up to a bigger scale and really strike pride in bigger cities such as Detroit.
Volunteers for The BIG Event take time out of their Saturday and it shows immense selflessness that all cities should try to recreate. A simple project can go a long way. So as we start to move around in our careers and settle into different communities, we must ask ourselves: Are we going to become involved or are we going to leave our city behind like we have with Detroit? n