Seminar Reflection – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Seminar Reflection

Working in the Mayor’s office, I commonly hear only one side of the story when it comes to the policy decisions supported by the Mayor. To compliment the information I receive from employees around the Mayor’s office, I often find myself reading articles regarding Mayor Duggan’s latest decisions or initiatives so that I can see what 1) the general public tends to think and 2) what those in opposition have to say. I thought I had been doing a good job of this until last weeks seminar during which two water justice advocates spoke to us about the dangers of the water shutoffs. Prior to the seminar I had not closely inspected the happenings with regards to the water shutoffs as the issue was prevailing prior to the beginning of my internship and there hadn’t been much talk of the issue in the department for which I am working. After having the issue more or less dropped into my lap, I began to realize that I had been failing in my efforts to actively understand the other side. Intuitively, I understood why those opposed to the water shutoffs held such views, but I had not done the proper research into the issue therefore rendering me fairly ignorant with regards to the issue. Despite my slight discomfort during the seminar, I am glad that I was able to witness those in strong opposition to the Mayor (or at least this one policy) as I now have a greater understanding of what is required in order to fully understand an issue.

1 thought on “Seminar Reflection”

  1. I find it very admirable that you work to ensure that you are seeing both sides of an issue, despite what your employees may be telling you or not telling you. I imagine that last week’s seminar would have been very uncomfortable for you. The speakers made their disdain for Mayor Duggan quite evident. I agree with you that it’s always important to look past the discomfort to realize what you can learn from the situation. I can relate to your feelings of discomfort slightly in that my father is a police officer, and a lot of these seminars generally describe cops in an incredibly negative light. I know this discomfort is not to the extreme of yours since you work for the mayor, but I can relate a bit at least.

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