“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress;
working together is success.” — Henry Ford
If I were Mayor….
By Aubrey M. Perry
There is so much to change in our community. It’s easy to point out what’s wrong but it takes vision to see what the possibilities are. I have that vision. If I were elected Mayor of Detroit, I would start with these three things:
- Education (only 27% of African American males graduate from high school in Detroit)
- Unemployment (it is at record highs especially among African American youth)
- Crime (the rate is out of control)
The three are really related. Every child needs a great education and every adult needs job training and/or a college education. If not, there will continue to be chronic unemployment which often leads to a lot of crime in our community.
Desperate people do desperate things.
As Mayor, I would like to stop the desperation by put an emphasis on education which allows people to master their own lives. One way would be to really reward and honor teachers, educators and students. I would create events that would showcase the “best and brightest.” Make them celebrities in a sense.
I believe the must focus on educational programs, stimulating conferences, job training and even helping those who want new skills to get into new careers.
As Mayor, I would set the tone and lead by example. I would make sure I would be seen (and photographer) in classes, mentoring and reading to students plus taking online classes and enrichments programs. I would start a community “What Are You Reading” blog where I would recommend books every month and encourage reading contests on social media.
I would continue to push education and training by making it easy and accessible to everyone – young and old. Free, quality classes are the answers and partner with organizations like Teach America or AmeriCorps. Make these things “cool” again.
The more people see that education is not only the key to success but “cool,” the stronger and educated our community will become.
Our economy is changing and people need to be prepared and focused on the future. Education reshapes lives and opens eyes.
As Mayor of Detroit, I would revamp our libraries and really make them the hub of information and change. With the focus on training, education and reading – the whole region would benefit because people would be empowered and inspired to change their own lives and help others do the same.
It’s a process and change doesn’t happen overnight, but I have faith in our community and its incredible ability to reinvent itself for the better.