DETROIT — Community leaders are putting their heads together to help coordinate local growth.
Following Tuesday’s Detroit City Council meeting, several local business owners, nonprofit leaders and other community members met and laid the groundwork for a group that will coordinate community events and facilitate economic growth.
City secretary Tami Nix said there has been a lack of cohesion in planning that often leads to conflicting community events. Community member Shirley Moore agreed, citing a time when a community bingo night was scheduled at the same time as an award banquet at Detroit ISD.
“The goal is that all of our businesses and groups are on the same page, and it becomes an ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine,’” Nix said. “‘If you’ve got something going on, let me support you.’ We’re trying to build off that idea.”
The group is still in the early planning stages, and Nix said it remains to be seen what sort of form it takes. She said it could become an economic development corporation for the city, or it could simply be a collection of community members who meet regularly.
Mayor Kenneth Snodgrass said the group also could potentially become similar to Project Deport, a nonprofit that puts on many of that city’s community events, such as its Fourth of July celebration, community bingo nights, car shows and more.
Snodgrass said Detroit isn’t able to purchase fireworks for a Fourth of July celebration, but a group akin to Project Deport would be able to.
“We don’t know yet what this will be,” Nix said. “Do we need to recreate the wheel, or do we already have the foundation in place to start up a group like this?”
Nix said it could be similar to the Little Motor City Drive Group, a community organization that has, among other things, worked to beautify the city by putting up Christmas lights, placed potted plants throughout the town, done some face work on downtown storefronts and more.
“We might already have something else in place that can be built upon,” Nix said. “If there’s not a group out there to do this sort of thing, we need to get one in place, whether it’s formal or informal.”
The city secretary said she was pleased with the positive response the idea received, adding she was heartened by the turnout to the community meeting.
The collection of community members, which included representatives from the Detroit Volunteer Fire Department, Detroit Cemetery Association, Detroit ISD Parent-Teacher Organization, the Little Motor City Drive Group and various local businesses, agreed to meet again Sept. 10 following the council’s meeting.
“That would get us on a quarterly schedule if we want to stay on a quarterly schedule,” Nix said. “That would probably give us enough time to get the Halloween and Fall Festival stuff figured out, but not too much time for stuff to fall apart.”