Friday, August 28, 2009

Being a Detroiter

My hometown, Detroit, has produced great industries and iconic artists for many years. But it has declined over the years and the latest financial crisis has nearly devastated the city. Detroit's unemployment rate tops 25%. This post features Kid Rock as an angel in his effort to bring employment to Detroit. Now, if we can only get the elected officials to do their job and the people of Detroit to believe in themselves again, a turnaround can indeed begin.

The decline of the auto industry has played a major role in the economic state of Detroit, but it cannot alone bear the responsibility. The people of Detroit and its elected officials, more than a few have been indicted and convicted of crimes, must also be held accountable for the city's decline. The small things, which aren't so small, like cleaning up the trash on your block and participating in community policing programs, are things that can be done in an economic downturn.

When did being without become being irresponsible and inactive?

Detroit, and many other cities throughout the country, can be great again, but it will take a partnership between the people, elected officials and business to turn things around. It will require ethical decisions and personal responsibility. It will take a major push to combat apathy and helplessness. A vision is needed that does not require being lead by elected officials, but leading. The people must lead in this partnership. After all, the services of the government and the success of business sales and services depend on the people.

Here is what Kid Rock is doing:

May God bless Kid Rock for his leadership, and the people of Detroit and other cities throughout the country who need hope and a vision to begin again. On some level we can all identify with the the challenges of starting over. But if we, individually and collectively, do what we can while keeping the faith, this is a good start.


septembermom said...

Judith, Kid Rock is showing a great sense of citizenship, compassion and maturity in his proactive efforts to revitalize Detroit. Thank you for sharing this video. My respect for Kid Rock has increased hundredfold. His dedication to a cause outside his own celebrity can teach our young (and old) in many ways. I wish all of Detroit the best of luck in rebuilding this true American city.

Marion said...

I've always loved Kid Rock and this just makes me love & appreciate him more. I think Detroit will survive if everyone pulls together and works together. Just look at how New Orleans has progressed sincer Katrina. Great post about your hometown, Judith!

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, Kelly, you have given me such encouragement this day. Thank you. Being incredibly sensitive, I am often saddened driving through the city. But I am also often angered by the lack of initiative with regards to what the people themselves can do.

Riding through the city, I am often inspired also. There was so much wealth here at one time and some of the homes and buildings could never be duplicated. Their grandeur is simply breathtaking.

I lived in Indian Village and the homes are extraordinarily beautiful; the craftsmanship is unmatched. There are many such communities here. Detroit is very large and there are both good and bad, as with most cities. We are happy for your best wishes.

As Marion, I have always loved Kid Rock. This only adds to my admiration.

Judith Ellis said...

Thanks, Marion, for your vote of confidence. Even with big industry, entrepreneurialism has always been big in this city. This, I believe, should be a focus.

Please don't get me started on New Orleans. The thought of what happened/is happening there gets my blood boiling. But there are glimmers of hope. Thank God.

miss alaineus said...


as someone who works with the youth of the city, it is crucial to our survival that more of our own' fortunate sons and daughters' return and begin to give a little back.

may i post a link to this in my blog?

thanks again for standing up and being pro-detroit!


Judith Ellis said...

Miss Alaineus - First, thank you for the honorable work you do as a teacher. This I so appreciate.

Yes, there are many "fortunate" people who have made it big. It's amazing just how many are in Hollywood in front of the camera and behind the scenes, not to mention the long list of singers and musicians. It's mind-boggling really.

We most certainly need more of native sons and daughters to return as Kid Rock to inspire. But we also need to motivate and inspire those here to contribute to their own futures by doing whatever they can.

Thanks again for what you do. I was a consultant for the City of Detroit for more than a few years, serving as a board member of the Detroit 300, organizing events for the youth throughout the city.

Many celebrities participated in the Detroit 300 year-long event. But events like this alone will not bring the needed change. This I know you well understand. I also developed and implemented youth programs for the recreation centers throughout the city.

In 2006 I was a member of the team that brought the premier of the movie, Rocky Balboa with Sylvester Stallone in attendance, to Michigan. I personally saw to it that a very substantial amount of the earnings went to youth organizations of my choosing.

It does not matter on what level we are, we can ALL contribute to changing our environment. Lately, I have been thinking of organizing a group to infuse hope and joy insistent upon accountability and responsibility.

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, and, Miss Alaineus, you may always post a link to your blog.

Dave Wheeler said...


Terrific post! Individuals who use the tools they have to help improve the lives of other and the communities they live in epitomize the concept of service before self. You don't have to be a celebrity to make a difference. We each have knowledge, skills, experience, and perhaps the most precious thing of give that can make life better or to help others help themselves. To "leave people in a beter place than you found them" is a concept I recall having a discussion with someone about and I can only remember that it was either with a police officier or perhaps a nurse. I do know however I try to do a little of that each day, eprsonally and professionally...or both! I believe that was a result of a few "discussions" we shared on servant leadership...

Judith Ellis said...

Dave - Thanks for your comment. I agree. What is wonderful is that in serving others we serve ourselves. I am also well aware that I cannot give if I have not first given to myself what is needed in order to help others. A healthy mind, spirit, and body are things that I constantly strive for so that I can give to others something good. The tools that you spoke of are great; they are also necessary for self-improvement. Some things we must do ourselves. I know you know this, dear friend.