Since 2020, BridgeDetroit has been on a journey to hear from Detroiters on their top priorities so that we can tailor our journalism to provide information, solutions and accountability. We continue to hold conversations with residents about their Detroit experiences to inform the build-out of our living Community Priorities Model. BridgeDetroit is happy to release our second progress report, which you can read here. Detroit was faced with a series of challenges in 2021, from catastrophic flooding in June and August, to figuring out how to earmark an unprecedented amount of federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act.
- Understanding why Detroit floods and why it keeps happening
- How Detroit has spent American Rescue Plan Act funding so far
A key finding in this progress report shows that Detroiters want increased public transparency concerning the allocation of public dollars in neighborhoods, especially since the City will receive more than $800 million in COVID relief. The City is also ramping up implementation projects with development partners in neighborhoods that are part of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund planning areas, and some resident groups are steadily pushing for tangible community benefits.
Environmental sustainability is also a leading priority in the progress report, as Detroit residents are contending with once-in-a-century weather conditions seemingly every other week. Most noticeably, the flooding this summer warranted a national disaster declaration from President Joe Biden, freeing up Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery resources, but some say that aid is hard to access. The barrier presents an undue economic burden on some residents to finance the replacement of high ticket items like washers and dryers, furnaces and hot-water heaters as Michigan heads into the winter months. Infrastructure investments and the protection of family wealth in their homes were front of mind for residents.
BridgeDetroit will remain committed to providing space for residents to reflect on the changes and challenges in our city that are highlighted in this report.
MORE: BridgeDetroit’s 2020 community priorities report.