by Aaron Foley

originally posted:


“According to the Pew Research Center, the Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and a couple of bored college students really into data at Wayne State, the population of Corktown has declined from 1,134 to 1,130 in the last month, prompting concerns from local leaders about what needs to be done to stem the tide.

“All neighborhoods matter,” says Alexis Wiley, the Detroit mayor’s chief of staff. “We certainly want to make sure that all residents are included in the city’s plans going forward, which is why we’ve implemented a special task force to address the specific needs for our neighbors in Corktown.

When asked how the city is funding that task force, Wiley directed that question to city spokesman John Roach, who then directed that question to public relations firm Truscott Rossman, who then directed that question back to Roach, who then told this reporter to “watch our Twitter feed for updates.”

“It’s a nightmare sometimes,” Corey Jones said, looking out at the neighborhood from his second-floor loft in the Grinnell building. “I read the Free Press and the News all the time, and you never read about crime in other neighborhoods. It’s like all of a sudden, all the criminals just started coming here.”

“Indeed, some of the neighborhood’s newest restaurants have attracted curious onlookers from as far away as Grosse Pointe Farms. “There’s an energy here that can’t be described,” says Mary Collins, a Pointes woman who grew up on the city’s east side. “The only thing missing is something related to Motown. That would be great, I think.”

As tensions rise between young white Corktown residents and old white Corktown residents; young white Corktown residents and young white suburbanites; young white Corktown residents and young white North Corktown residents; and young white Corktown residents and Mexicans, community conversations have become the norm. Notices for such forums are usually posted online because “everyone in Detroit uses the internet,” one resident writes on Facebook.

The aforementioned Detroit Free Press has opened a bureau in Corktown next to Batch Brewing Co. It is led by Stephen Henderson, the city’s sole black writer who somehow found time for this endeavor in between hosting six public radio shows, five public television shows, co-hosting a show on one of the local affiliates, teaching a night class at Central Michigan University, and writing an advice column for Metro Detroit Bride. “I know I have a platform with white Detroiters because I’m pretty much everywhere. And we’ve especially got plenty of white folks here at the Free Press,” Henderson said in an emailed statement. “I plan on using that platform to bring more attention to this marginalized community.”

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