I have had the privilege of attending three of the Downtown Detroit Partnership Stakeholder Meetings since moving to Detroit. A few weeks ago, I volunteered at the DDP Summer Stakeholder meeting at the Gem Theater. This particular meeting had an emphasis on Detroit’s next generation of leadership and there was a group of downtown company student interns in attendance. Mayor Duggan also spoke at length about downtown Detroit as well as the neighborhoods. In particular, I was thrilled to hear Mayor Duggan refer to Beacon Park as a “phenomenal example of how to activate public space.”

These meetings have been wonderful opportunities to hear various leaders from the city speak, learn more about current and upcoming development projects, and connect with other people. As it says on DDP’s website: “The DDP hosts regular events and meetings to bring together Downtown’s businesses, organizations, and institutions and to tell the story of Downtown Detroit.”

Although these meetings are open to the public, it costs money to register. This is not so much a concern for me, since I work at DTE Energy – a membership organization – and my employer is willing to reimburse my costs. The registration is, however, a barrier to other Detroiters and I would argue that we are all stakeholders of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. The tickets vary in price. In February, the 2018 Downtown Detroit Partnership Annual Meeting, hosted at Little Caesar’s Arena, cost $100/Member and $150/Individual Ticket.

I think these are very meaningful events that allow for information sharing, fostering connections, and building community. I hope that these meetings could be made more accessible for the public, as we all have a stake in Detroit’s future.