Blight Busters show journalists the positive side of Detroit - KMSP-TV

Blight Busters show journalists the positive side of Detroit

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John George with Motor City Blight Busters  (Credit: John George with Motor City Blight Busters (Credit:

Fresh off the bus from cities across the country, 70 journalists arrived in Detroit to see firsthand how our city is coming back.

Cleanup efforts like one at Grand River and Lasher where a house is being restored to create a farm house and youth training center are the kinds of project they were seeing on a Motor City Blight Busters tour of Detroit.  The headline?  Detroiters work together and Detroiters care about creating a better life here.

"It's in everyone's best interest to have a strong, decent, clean, central city, and in this region it's Detroit, so everyone benefits when we work together," said John George, president and co-founder of Blight Busters.

George doubled as a tour guide showing the journalists what's happening behind the headlines about crime and corruption.  He said the city often gets a bad rap and he wants reporters to know about positive Detroit stories that they may not have heard of.

"We have a lot of neighborhoods that have vacant and abandoned property that need to be removed, and these materials need to be recycled and these properties need to be repurposed," George said.

In it's eight year history, Blight Busters says it has mobilized 120,000 volunteers to paint or secure more than 11,000 homes and buildings in the city.

The tour included stops in the Grandmont-Rosedale area, Old Redford, Brightmoor and other neighborhoods.

Blight Busters' goal is to stabilize, revitalize and beautify Detroit and create ownership opportunities for residents.

"It's a multifaceted approach that I think brings hope to the community, and of course, the whole thing enhances the quality of life," said Kofi Royal.

Blight Busters is also in the running for a Chase Community Giving Grant.  For more information on how you can vote for them, visit

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