Mike Duggan was elected as Detroit’s new Mayor on November 5, 2013, and took office on January 1, 2014. As Mayor, he governs the city of his birth and where he spent three decades of his career collaborating with others to solve some of the city’s most vexing issues, such as crime, access to health care and transportation.
While Mayor Duggan was elected largely on his track record of leading successful large-scale financial and operational turnarounds, Detroiters responded strongly to his deep love for the city, which can be seen in his work over the years. His campaign platform was “Every Neighborhood Has a Future.”
As Mayor, Mr. Duggan’s top priority is to reverse the city’s six-decade long trend of population loss. To do this, his plan is to improve city services, strengthen the city’s many neighborhoods, restore fiscal integrity and create economic and job opportunity for the city’s residents.
One of his first moves was to create a Department of Neighborhoods to lead a single coordinated strategy for addressing blight and neighborhood issues. After its first two years, his administration has successfully removed more than 8,000 blighted buildings. Hundreds more vacant homes are being renovated and reoccupied as part of a new city home auction program.
In FY2015 the city ended the year with its first balanced budget in more than a decade and saw significant upgrades in its bond rating. The City is on track for a second consecutive balanced budget in FY2016.
Growing up & working in Detroit
As a young boy, Duggan lived on Stansbury near Fenkell and Schaefer on the city’s west side and attended Catholic Central High School when it was still in the city on W. Outer Drive. While most of his friends were leaving Michigan to attend college in places like New York and Chicago, Duggan was committed to staying in the Detroit area and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for his undergraduate studies and law school.
Duggan’s first job out of college was at a law firm in downtown Detroit, to which he rode the bus to work every day until he could afford his first car. He later was hired to work in the Wayne County law department and before long was tapped to serve as Deputy Wayne County Executive under Ed McNamara from 1987 through 2000.
It was in his role as Deputy CEO that Duggan’s management skills and commitment to his hometown began to display themselves.
During his tenure Duggan oversaw 14 straight balanced budgets and a fully funded pension system, led the effort to bring the Detroit Lions back downtown, Co-chaired the construction of Comerica Park and Ford Field, and negotiated the deal with the Clinton Administration that led to the construction Metro Airport’s spectacular midfield terminal.
During this time he also stepped in to run the SMART bus system, which was facing the threat of shutting down. In three years, he turned around the organization’s finances and partnered with unions to improve reliability, expand service in Detroit and increase ridership.
As Wayne County Prosecutor from 2001-2003, Duggan led efforts to reduce gun crime and to address the problem of vacant homes across Detroit by seizing 1,000 abandoned homes and selling them to new owners who fixed them up and got them reoccupied.
Before running for Mayor, Duggan again partnered with workers and unions to lead the Detroit Medical Center out of near bankruptcy and back to profitability in his first year (2004). Today, the DMC is undergoing $850 million in new construction as part of a deal Duggan negotiated as CEO.
As Mayor, Duggan continues to be accessible to residents, attending at least one home gathering each week to help him keep in touch with Detroit residents, their needs and their evaluation of the city’s progress.
Duggan and his wife, Lori, are the proud parents of four adult children, Mary, Eddie, Carolyn and Patrick.