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Center for Urban Studies director comments in Governing Magazine about Mike Duggan election

November 5, 2013

Lyke Thompson, director of Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies, says Duggan is known for his direct, to-the-point style, and he isn't someone who's very interested in symbolic politics. In the end, it appears Detroit residents cared less about whether Duggan was an outsider and instead responded to his reputation as someone who gets things done. Voters, Thompson says, "want their street lights and police." Thompson also says it's smart that Duggan has signaled a focus on public safety. Home prices and employment levels have started to rebound in recent years, and finding a way to cut crime is critical to keeping that momentum going. If the city gets the bankruptcy protection it's seeking, Duggan could find himself in the unpopular and politically dangerous position of presiding over a city where thousands of employees could see their pensions slashed. Thomspon says Duggan will likely distance himself from those decisions if they occur.