Duggan Debuts Detroit Dashboard

The Detroit Dashboard

Detroit Dashboard: screengrab from city website

Detroit residents interested in keeping tabs on Mayor Mike Duggan’s efforts to repair the city’s myriad problems have a new resource at their fingertips: the Detroit Dashboard.

Since his election in January, Mayor Duggan has vowed transparency, and a “culture of accountability“ would be hallmarks of his administration. The Dashboard, which is accessible via the city’s website, may be one of the most visible examples yet of the mayor’s pledge. With updates slated to take place weekly, reportedly on Thursdays, citizens with access to computers now have a tangible way to track the city’s progress, according to John Roach, a Duggan spokesman. When Mayor Duggan sets a benchmark, the Dashboard is intended to hold him to that benchmark, he said. Every department is required to report their accomplishments weekly in an effort to illustrate to the public “What We’re Doing.’’

Photo by Joshua Lott/ Detroit143

Photo by Joshua Lott/ Detroit143

From the Dashboard, citizens can monitor some of the city’s more daunting challenges. For instance, dashboard visitors can look at a sidebar to see exactly how many vacant lots have been mowed, how many tons of illegal dumping were removed and how many lawsuits have been filed against property owners. There’s also more time sensitive news, such as progress reports on the M-1 Rail construction or upcoming property auctions. Noticeably absent are some of the perennial quality of life measures that Detroit has spent decades failing to resolve such as crime, unemployment and air quality. The Dashboard, at least in this phase, steers clear of these critical issues.

While the concept of a publicly accessible dashboard is new to Detroit, major cities from New York to London have similar models in place. London’s dashboard shows areas, including crime and employment, in which the city has improved and declined on a quarterly basis, while New York has performance reporting available to the public, with a specific dashboard for capital projects (expensive infrastructure and technology projects). Roach says that the Detroit Dashboard is not based on any other city’s particular model. He said the idea for the Dashboard came about during the city’s weekly cabinet meetings.

Detroiters (and anyone else who may be interested in the city’s governmental action) can visit the Dashboard here.

About Travis Marmon

Born and raised in Clarkston, Travis is a recent graduate of The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper, The Wooster Voice. A lover of sports and music, Travis has also served as a Sports Intern at The Oakland Press and an A&E Writer at The Good Men Project. In his spare time, he writes album reviews at SputnikMusic.com. Travis started working for Detroit143 in May 2014, on the morning after his graduation.

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