Detroit pollution, poor schools called out by Democratic presidential candidates

July 31, 2019, 10:26 PM


Democratic presidential candidates referenced Detroit's pollution and poor schools  during a second night of debates in the city Wednesday.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose candidacy is centered on fighting climate change, mentioned the Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Southwest as he called out environmental racism.

"It doesn't matter what your zip code is. It doesn’t matter what your color is, you ought to have clean air in America," he said.

The zip code where the refinery sits, 48217, is the most polluted in the state.

Speaking on education, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said "Detroit public schools are as segregated as they were 50 years ago. Equal is not equal."

As in the first night of debates, the candidates mentioned the auto industry multiple times.

Businessman Andrew Yang talked about the automation of U.S. jobs, including those in Michigan factories.

In a curious statement on the economy, California Sen. Kamala Harris warned that "Autoworkers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, will be out of jobs by the end of the year." It appeared to be an inflated estimate of the fallout from President Donald Trump's trade war.

Former vice president Joe Biden touted his endorsement from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, saying he'd likely earned it by helping Detroit recover while in the Obama administration.

In his closing remarks, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker highlighted his Detroit ties, noting his mother was born here to a UAW worker.

"First, I just want to give a lot of thanks to the city of Detroit.  They're hosting us today, and one of the reasons I respect this city is because it has the kind of defiant love that I find in many American cities, including the city of Newark.  And Detroit is turning around and Newark is turning around because we let no one divide us, no one demean or degrade us or underestimate our worth.  We pulled together and fought for common purpose and common cause.

That's the history of this city.  My mom is sitting there who was born in the city of Detroit, born to a guy  that was a UAW worker, my grandfather, who pulled his family out of poverty in the Depression.  My grandmother joined him.  She was really entrepreneurial, opened a pool hall and a laundromat right here in this city."

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Photo Of The Day 

Potd_potd_by_bill_mcgraw__former_good_shepherd_catholic_church__1265_parkview_351 The former Annunciation Catholic Church at 1265 Parkview St. is now a Library Street Collective art gallery in Detroit’s East Village.

By: Bill McGraw (@mcgraw_bill)