Video: Detroiters Speak Out in Support of Emergency Financial Manager

By Mike Brownfield | March 25, 2013

Detroiters are speaking out in support of an emergency financial manager and the need to take action to bring about real changes in their city.

In a series of videos, former Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel, Police Commission chairman Rev. Jerome Warfield, and Detroiter Robert Alan Davis explain why they believe the emergency financial manager is an important, necessary step for their city.


Rev. Jerome Warfield, Chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners 

"When you look at the fact that we're spending way more money than we're taking in, we're beyond crossroads and we need some really out-of-the-box type thinking and some out of the box things to be done to get us on track again.

"Most people in the City of Detroit understand that first of all, when they call the police for the most part, they're not coming. When they look at trash pickup, it's not regular. When they look at abandoned houses in their community, they're either not boarded up, they're open, they're dangerous, and they're not coming down.

"So we all agree and understand that Detroit is at a place now that it has never been in its past, and in order to fix that, we have to have a credible plan that makes sense and gets the job done. What we have not seen in the past is a plan, a plan that will work, a plan that will fix long-term obligations as well as a plan that will fix some of the issues that are currently going on in the neighborhoods.”

Sheila Cockrel, Former Detroit City Council Member

"It's important for local government to have fiscal discipline, and at a certain point when services have deteriorated to the extent that they have here and people are living with the kind of fear and the kind of challenge that Detroiters are living in, it's time to just fix it.

"I think it's a necessary decision. I think there’s tough medicine. It's not fun. It doesn't feel good to be in this position and to have this public acknowledgement that things aren't working properly, but at a certain point, if it's not working, then you have to do something different and you've just gotta fix it. Lights have to work, police, fire and EMS have to come, recreation centers need to be open and staffed and able to provide real services... And you can't fix the services until you fix the finances.

"It's incumbent that the emergency financial manager move quickly and decisively. I have every confidence that Mr. Orr will be able to do that.

"This is tough, but it's necessary and there's a clear-cut commitment for this to take an 18-month window. So I think the more cooperation, the more support we give each other in the city and we give to the emergency financial manager to get the job done, the sooner the manager can be gone, and the city elected leadership can take back the reins of daily operations.

"This has been a can, in my opinion, that's been kicked down many a road by many a governor, state legislature, mayor and council for 50 year... Governor Snyder for a whole host of circumstances and reasons apparently is on the watch where there's no more can and there's no more kicking."

Detroiter Robert Alan Davis:

"We've got to do some things differently. We have to have someone who is willing to take on those hard things and make them happen. That's what the citizens want. It's about quality of life.

"There's a silent majority in the city of Detroit that wants this city to work. They don't have time to take off and go downtown to city council and demonstrate, but they are rooting for this city, and they really believe in this city.

"We're raising families here. I've raised three kids in this city. I went to high school in this city. I've worked all my life as a professional in this city. I love this city. I want this city to work.

"I applaud the efforts of the governor for appointing someone who I think has the requisite skills to get the job done... We're looking forward to seeing some very tough decisions being made, but more importantly those tough decisions being executed in a way that will position this city to blossom and do what it does best, and that's to serve each one of us."