Friday, February 07, 2014

Michigan: President Obama Lunches With Detroit's Mayor Mike Duggan

"I'm really proud of him," President says...
Mayor Duggan
East Lansing, Michigan - On the sidelines of signing the Farm Bill on Friday, President Barack Obama had lunch with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to get an update on the recovery efforts after the state's biggest city filed for bankruptcy.  Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Don Graves, Senior Adviser at the National Economic Council, the President's point man for Detroit issues, also attended the lunch, the White House said.

The lunch was closed to press and not listed on the President's official daily schedule.  Duggan took office in January, and he is Detroit's first white mayor in forty years.

"The President and Mayor Duggan discussed the situation in Detroit and the efforts we are making to work to break down barriers and direct existing resources to support local priorities that bring jobs, innovation and opportunity into the City," the White House said in a readout of the lunch.

"They also discussed creating ladders of opportunity for residents of Detroit; pathways to help residents get quality healthcare, good paying jobs and to try new approaches to growing businesses and creating economic opportunity. The President reiterated his administration’s long-term commitment to partnering with the Mayor and local leaders to support the economic revitalization of Detroit, so that this iconic American city remains strong and vibrant."

During his remarks ahead of signing the Farm Bill at a ceremony at Michigan State University, the President gave the Mayor a shout-out.

"I have great confidence that he’s going to provide the leadership that we need," President Obama said.  "I'm really proud of him."

Duggan, the President said, "wants everybody to know...that Detroit is open for business." 

Duggan has been getting a lot of White House love lately: Vice President Joe Biden had dinner with Duggan last month in Detroit, on the sidelines of a visit to the North American International Auto Show.  

President Obama toured the Michigan Biotechnology Institute after his lunch, and then signed the Farm Bill.

The President arrived at Capital City Airport in Lansing, Michigan, at 12:12 PM, where the temperature was a brisk 14 degrees.  He was joined on the flight from Washington, DC by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, the lead negotiator on the Agriculture Act of 2014.  MSU is her alma mater, and East Lansing is her home. 

Also joining the President on the flight from Washington, DC, were Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich), and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge (OH) and Dan Kildee (Mich).

After signing the Farm Bill, President Obama returned to Washington, DC on Friday afternoon. 

####

*Photo from the office of Mayor Duggan