I was fortunate enough to attend the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) “Rebound in Motown” Conference in Detroit, during the summer of 2011 (Columnists.com) . I witnessed the devastation there - empty office buildings, poverty, and iron bars on shop windows just around the corner from our Hotel. I ventured out on my own one day to hunt down a pharmacy and was shocked at what I saw. I gave some poor guy a dollar at the drug store, so he could check out. The clerk was doing his job behind a bullet-proof plexiglass window with a mechanical drawer. I saw a five-story office building for sale for only $200,000.00. I asked around and was told that the situation is much worse.
As a group, we saw the Heidelberg Project and attended TechTown. There, we noted that some progress is being made - but not enough. The city is in bankruptcy. Those beautiful frescoes at the DIA are in jeopardy of being sold and dismantled. It breaks my heart.
Just the other day, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering and embezzlement. Shame on him! He got what he deserves. However, that doesn't undo the damage that was done, nor does it help the poor people of Detroit. Click here for details .
We live in a great country. We have many billionaires and multi-millionaires, who could successfully pool their work experiences and resources to offer short- and long-range solutions. I'm referring to folks like Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump. Trump claims that he can cut our $17 trillion National deficit. As far as I'm concerned, he should be challenged to put his money where his mouth is and save Detroit first, as a proving ground. We've seen enough wasteful spending on Presidential campaigns. Negative ad campaigns are non-productive and wasteful. How about starting with proactive solutions to save Detroit and just give us quarterly status reports in lieu of a billion dollar smear campaign (spare us) against the competition?
I am urging all of my readers, friends, family and co-workers, who are on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook; to post something at least once-a-week using hashtags (#) such as #berkshirehathaway #billgates #warrenbuffet #gatesfoundation #2030now #donaldtrump, etc. with a link to a column from the Detroit News or other Detroit news outlet, to get them all focused on finding a solution.
I am also challenging Donald J. Trump: If you think you can cut our $17 trillion deficit – prove it by starting with Detroit. If you are successful, I will vote for you. You don’t need to raise millions of dollars for a silly campaign. Do something constructive! You don’t need to shake hands and kiss babies. Give Detroit’s babies and ours some hope for the future.
Hitting the links with House Speaker John Boehner for more political fund-raising isn't a solution.
If you conjugate the verb "bullshit," it accurately describes every political campaign I've ever witnessed. It is time to actually DO SOMETHING!
This is my Tweet for today:
Projects worth supporting http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2013/08/owners_of_detroits_downtown_ca.html @gatesfoundation @WarrenBuffett #berkshirehathaway #billgates @gatespoverty #2030NOW
The link suggests supporting TechTown and other projects that have a positive impact on the community. It is the least we can do with our voices to contribute to a worthy cause. Yes?