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Detroit's Getting Better, Say Detroiters

According to a wide-ranging poll conducted by the Detroit Free Press, residents have regained some optimism about their city and its management. Sixty-nine percent said Detroit is headed in the right direction.
December 21, 2015, 7am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Good news from a city known for the opposite: residents are now cautiously optimistic. Matthew Dolan reports on polls commissioned by the Detroit Free Press. "Detroit residents gave high marks to Mayor Mike Duggan and an even higher approval rating to Police Chief James Craig a year after a federal judge approved the city's exit plan [from bankruptcy]."

"The overall positive results mark a major shift in opinions from an October 2013 poll just a few months after the city filed for bankruptcy. Back then, one out of every two Detroit residents said the city was on the wrong track and less than one in three said the Motor City was heading in the right direction."

Some figures from the poll: "69% say Detroit is headed in right direction. 56% say conditions in Detroit have improved from a year ago. 44% say city services in Detroit are better than a year ago, while only 5% say municipal offerings are worse. 51% say they are optimistic about Detroit’s financial future."

But newfound optimism, Dolan writes, doesn't mask residents' continuing struggle with poverty and decrepit services. "Despite improvements, there is tremendous work to be done to continue improving city services and redeveloping neighborhoods. About 43% of those polled said they'd still leave the city if they could afford to move."

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Published on Sunday, December 13, 2015 in Detroit Free Press
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