Sam @CUSP Conference 2015

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


"Tis within ourselves that we are thus or thus" is my favorite quote from Shakespeare's "Othello." And I think that phrase could not be more relevant when it comes to Detroit.

Detroit has the power to be Detroit's hero.

We are going to have to be there for one another like never before.

There is a change happening in this city.

Can you see it ? There are new business popping up in Detroit all the time. There are apartment buildings filled to capacity with people anxious to move to the city's downtown area and be a part of this city on the rise.

Can you feel it? The energy and the optimism from Detroit's entrepreneurial sector and citizens who refuse to believe that this city can't be great again.

Can you smell it -- literally? There are new restaurants popping up all over the city, all the time. Chickpea in the D was my latest discovery. It is absolutely delicious.

Let's get out and support these new businesses.

I am so proud and excited to be a part of the entrepreneurial sector in Detroit. I've never felt more connected in my entire life.

Entrepreneurship has helped me rediscover Detroit. I've met so many wonderful people over the past few months, I've discovered parts of the city I had never seen before and I have been here most of my life.

Change can be scary.

We hear about bankruptcy in this city every time we turn on the news.

There is an impending mayoral election.

The fear of the unknown kicks into our nervous system when things like this happen. What will the city feel like with a new mayor? Bankruptcy? Now, that couldn't sound or be any further away from stability.

I'll say it again: Change can be scary.

Do you know what else change can be? It can be opportunity.

We're already there -- that change that you can see, feel and smell, it's happening even with the bankruptcy news and regardless of whose running the political show in Detroit. But, this is the thing, that change needs support. Those businesses need us. We need each other. We need to demand more of our government officials. We need to be engaged with every aspect of this city. And I hate when people tell me what I need to do so maybe you're feeling that way about what I am saying right now, but I say it because it is true. Hey, sometimes the truth hurts and it might be a little annoying. Alas, it is still the truth.

Shakespeare in Detroit can't happen without you -- we need an audience and supporters. And every other business from tech to health care to food can not do it alone.

We aren't going to get the support we need to turn this city around from anywhere else. We have to do it for ourselves. And, guess what? We're capable.

I've met so many Detroiters who have moved out of the city and I get it. This girl from Seven Mile and Greenfield gets it. It can be scary in the city sometimes. But, if we don't rally for our city, if we move out every time things get bad, who is going to be left to make this city great?

Before you can take care of anyone else, you got to take care of home first.

Everything we need to make Detroit great again is in Detroit. There are so many talented, resourceful, innovative people in this city.

"Tis within ourselves that we are thus or thus." Indeed.

It's time to get active.

It's time to connect or reconnect with the state of Michigan's largest city.

I love you Detroit.

Opportunity awaits. Let's grab it - together!

Good night.


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