SYRACUSE, N.Y., September 25th — Last night DBB's own wealthy industrialist was at an event with Dave Bing, former Piston and current mayor of Detroit. I introduced myself and we conversed for a few minutes, mainly about his urban renewal agenda. Mayor Bing explained that his intention is to right-size Detroit, not simply shrink it, and that finding the most economically productive use for unpopulated areas was just as crucial as the service reduction measures demanded by the city's austerity budget. He is intrigued by the idea of converting vacant areas to "urban farms," but he emphasized that no one (as of yet) has presented him with a convincing plan for scaling up community/neighborhood gardens and turning them into job creators. Above all, his first priority is to get Detroiters back to work.
Dave Bing is a top-50 NBA player and successful businessman, but I think that his most important achievements are yet to come. It was a pleasure and an honor to meet him. I'm not sure that he felt the same way — I wasn't the only one at the event to bother him — but he was kind enough to take a photo with me. My only regret is that I didn't bring any red panda paraphernalia for him to sign.