One of the great things that has been happening in Detroit in recent years is the emergence of community transformers who are taking grass roots community development to a scale we don’t often see. The combination of the abandonment of large areas of the city, crumbling physical and organizational infrastructure, and citizens dedicated to do the hard work required to rebuild their home town has resulted in the city becoming a giant laboratory of social renewal.
The announcement of Detroit’s bankruptcy this week raises questions about what will happen to the work being done by loosely organized community groups. The work of community groups is wide ranging and far reaching. Issues of public safety, food security, and crumbling infrastructure are being addressed by passionate people whit very little bureaucracy.
It would be a tragedy to see the bankruptcy process dismantle this great work in order to satisfy the financial demands of Detroit’s creditors.