A passionate Mayor James R. Fouts, MOSES executive director, G. Ponsella Hardaway, and I met Monday for more than an hour in a heated exchange about saving Detroit.
The clarity and courage to speak up is the type I have not been part of for a while.
Security, crime, fear, blight and effective leaders who listen and act, stirred as the three of us went at it. Mayor Fouts pushed back his schedule to keep talking in this dialogue.
Clearly, this mayor does not lead by committee, or, recommendations always. Fiery Fouts will stand up and speak up as others sit.
Spontaneity has all three of us voicing our love for Motown.
We wondered if Mayor Dave Bing listens as the prospect of an emergency manager hangs over his daily work.
We worried that unless citizens, civic and church leaders speak up in solidarity soon, it may be too late.
We concluded that Detroit could be great again if action precedes personal glory and agendas.
Like Chicago and New York, Detroit once starred as the city to head to often.
People need a reason to go to downtown Detroit like we did on the bus to Hudson's, or to movies that initially showed in Detroit before they came to the suburbs months later, Mayor Fouts recalled.
Money needs to be spent at home not in useless wars in Iraq and elsewhere, we contend.
Fouts Forum a show on his Warren cable television, an opinion piece written by the three of us,
letters to Sandy Levin, and, other representatives were also suggested for this sleepy nation and town.
Banks have to be accountable. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and medical doctor, got praise, while Macy's was mentioned to move into a Detroit location to bring people to Motown.
Fear seems to lock sides into postures that keep a the divide alive.
The late Father William Cunnigham and Eleanor Josasitis of Focus:HOPE were the last leaders who gathered city and suburban high school students in Holly, MI., for example, to address the distrust between city and suburban dwellers in 1968, when Detroit was racially rocked.
Clean, safer, cooperative cities will work, Fouts claimed loud and clear.
Fouts' hero is President Harry Truman who integrated the military, was the first president to address the NAACP, and more, according to the Mayor who seemed occupied with the "age issue" revolving around a technicality, he admits.
Own it, claim it as your own, and, move on, it was suggested Monday.
This hardworking, decent and daunting leader deserves to address issues his heart and mind make him work at despite the media's persistence before his overwhelming mayoral victory in November.
Detroit need Mayor Fouts.
And, Mayor Fouts would probably recognize that Detroit needs him, and the entire metropolitan region needs each other to join forces to save the City we love, learned from, grew up in, and need to stand up for NOW as it bleeds endlessly.
But, can't forever.
God bless Detroit and the suburbanites to forge rapport with Motown now.
Raise up, O God, leaders after the heart of Jesus, who will tend to Detroit in ICU these days.
We are our neighbor's keeper.
The book of Genesis said it long before any of us did.
Who will lead?