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We hope for a swift and fair resolution,’ Kresge CEO says in response to Detroit’s eligibility to file for bankruptcy

General Foundation News

Foundation’s Rip Rapson issues a statement following federal court ruling

For the city of Detroit, the decision issued today by U.S. Judge Steven Rhodes that the city is eligible to pursue Chapter 9 bankruptcy is a watershed event.

The judge weighed weeks of testimony, voluminous filings and the human consequences involved to reach the conclusions he shared this morning. As an institution, we respect the decision the judge has reached, and we put our trust in the reorganization process.

In his public statement today, Judge Rhodes used the words “fair and equitable” when describing his goals for the reorganization process. This approach is heartening. We hope for a swift and fair resolution.

On behalf of our trustees and staff, I pledge to continue to work with many partners on behalf of the long-term welfare of the city and region. As Elaine Rosen, chairwoman of Kresge’s Board of Trustees, wrote in our most recent annual report: “There is power in collective philanthropic action directed toward a shared goal.”

The Kresge Foundation is a private, national philanthropy founded in Detroit in 1924. It is our hometown, and we are here for the long term. Although we are a national foundation, we have a dedicated Detroit Program that works comprehensively to promote the city’s long-term economic health and reestablish it as the center of a vibrant region.

Our board of trustees makes this possible. Board members approve approximately $25 million annually in grants to organizations devoted to these ends and oversee a wide-ranging suite of activities beyond our grantmaking that contribute to Detroit’s renewal.

We work in close partnership with a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations who are contributing in ways large and small to a positive path forward — community representatives, residents, the business and public sectors, local and national foundations, nonprofits, academic institutions, and countless others.

The goal of a revitalized Detroit may seem distant in these uniquely challenging times. But bear in mind two things.

First, as real as the bankruptcy process is, as critical as the underlying issues are, there are points of progress throughout Detroit — in both downtown and in the neighborhoods — which are evident to all who know the city.

Secondly, simply put, The Kresge Foundation believes in the ability of Detroit’s people to devise a more positive future, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of our collective efforts in this regard.