This Week on One Detroit:

Mayor Mike Duggan delivers 11th State of the City, discusses city’s revitalization ahead of NFL Draft

In his 11th annual State of the City address, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan took the stage at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, on the city’s west side, to talk about a Detroit that looks different than it did a decade ago. As the city prepares to host approximately 300,000 people for the 2024 NFL Draft April 25-27, Duggan said they will no longer find bankruptcy and blight but rather changes in housing, crime and economic development around the city. 

Duggan gave his first State of the City address in 2014. At that time, Detroit was in bankruptcy and under emergency management. During his 11th annual address, he covered topics from community violence programs and efforts to reduce gun violence to abandoned vehicle and blight cleanup; tax cuts for residents; investments in safety and transportation; and the future of Detroit’s neighborhoods, including solar neighborhoods. 

Duggan also discussed his Land Value Tax proposal, which he first introduced at the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference, a plan that would cut property taxes on homeowners and raise them on parking lots and scrapyards in the city. His closed his address with the announcement that the Dexter Elmhurst Recreation Center in Detroit will be renamed after Helen Moore, a Detroit woman who fought to save the center.  

One Detroit contributors Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit News, and Zoe Clark, Political Director for Michigan Public share their thoughts on Duggan’s 11th annual address.

Detroit Public TV changes name to Detroit PBS, plans to return headquarters to the city

Detroit Public Television has changed its name to Detroit PBS, a shift that represents a commitment to the city of Detroit and the values and standards of PBS. The community-owned, nonprofit media organization has served Michigan since 1955.

Detroit PBS also marked its commitment to the city with the announcement that it will move its headquarters back to the city, restoring a building in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood at 234 Piquette Avenue. The state-of-the-art facility will serve as a hub for creativity, innovation, and community engagement, and a central location that reflects the spirit of the city. Construction is expected to start this year, and the building is scheduled to open in Fall 2026. 

“We plan to expand community programs like media mentorship and training to community partners to help them hone their messaging and distribute it effectively,” Detroit PBS President and CEO Rich Homberg said. “With dramatic shifts in the media industry, it has become more important than ever for community organizations to find ways to make their voices heard.”

One Detroit Producer Will Glover joined Homberg and Detroit PBS CFO/COO Ollette Boyd at the building in Detroit to discuss the excitement surrounding the new name and location. Homberg and Boyd share their vision for the new building, emphasizing its role as a beacon of public service and education.

Birdie’s Bookmobile spreads the joy of reading to Detroit children

Birdie’s Bookmobile hopes to inspire the next generation of readers. Launched in 2022, the literacy organization provides hundreds of books to schools, after-school programs and nonprofits across Detroit. Many of the books are written by Black, Indigenous and People of Color authors or feature Black and brown characters. 

“I want children here in the city to really enjoy reading as much as I did,” said Alyce Hartman, the founder of Birdie’s Bookmobile. As school librarians and school libraries have begun to disappear, Hartman fills a resource gap. Her efforts increase children’s access to physical books and promote the pleasures of reading, which could shape a student’s future success beyond classroom walls.  

Since Birdie’s Bookmobile was born, Hartman said she’s distributed more than 16,000 books. Hartman, a 55-year-old STEM and drama teacher at Detroit Prep, hopes to spark magical thinking in young readers, believing books are portals to creativity, cultures across time and place and potential careers.

One Detroit and BridgeDetroit contributor Eleanore Catolico shadowed Hartman as she delivered books and organized a mini-book fair at Voyageur Academy, a K-12 charter school in Southwest Detroit. Plus, Catolico tags along during Hartman’s book shopping trip at 27th Letter Books.

Outdoor Adventure Center brings Michigan’s nature and recreation to Detroit

Virtual kayaking, snowmobiling, ATVing and more can all be found at The Outdoor Adventure Center along the Detroit Riverfront. It’s run by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The center aims to entertain while educating its visitors by bringing Michigan’s outdoor activities to its indoor facility.

Located within the historic Globe Building, the center resides across the street from Milliken State Park and Harbor on the Detroit River and was a building used to build steam engines. Beyond the numerous recreational activities and exhibits at the center, it also offers educational opportunities to learn about forestry, wildlife, archery and more. 

“We want to make sure that everybody knows what we have to offer in this beautiful state,” Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure Center, Missy Sharp said. “We hope that they (then) take the chance and go and visit our beautiful state parks throughout the state.” 

The Outdoor Adventure Center is open to the public on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at various times; on Thursdays the center is open to groups by appointment only. One Detroit contributor Sarah Zientarski talks with Sharp about what Detroiters and other visitors can experience at the center.

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