December 24, 2014
We dropped by the Detroit Future City’s implementation office to chat with Ken Cockrel Jr., the executive director, about the think tank’s proposed 50-year framework of ideas and some of the criticism the group has faced. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Metro Times: What’s Detroit Future City’s relationship with the mayor and his administration?
Ken Cockrel Jr.: Yeah. So, we are not a governmental agency or a city agency. We do, however, and we have been asked on some occasions to actually give input or strategic advice on some of the ideas and concepts that the city has. We also meet on a regular basis with the mayor’s office towards that end. [Tom Lewand, Group Executive for Jobs and Economic Growth, of the mayor’s office] has a weekly meeting that he does every week that I typically go to and now also our director of the project, Dan Kinkead, goes to those meetings as well. So, I think the administration is still figuring out and assessing the best way to move the framework forward because they’re in kind of a unique position since this is really something that was created by a previous mayor (Dave Bing). So it’s not something that their fingerprints were on, they just kind of inherited it. At the same time, as they’ve gone through it and looked at it, they kind of recognize that there might be a value in implementing a number of these recommendations. A lot of meetings that we have are really kind of with that in mind. Taking a page-by-page look at it and assessing what recommendations make sense that they might want to kind of implement.
Face Time: Ken Cockrel Jr. responds to Detroit Future City’s criticisms
Ryan Felton, December 24, 2014, Metro Times