Mayor Duggan ditches teleprompter for first State of the City address

When Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan positioned himself in front of the microphone Wednesday evening, he glanced down at a yellow legal pad and delivered what many considered one of the most inspiring, hopeful State of the City addresses in a long time.

Duggan script
Mayor Duggan’s notes

Duggan had no teleprompter – just sparsely scribbled notes for his first annual address.

But few people would have known it. Duggan was fluid, passionate and resolute during his 47-minute speech.
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“The change has started, and the change in Detroit is real,” Mayor Duggan said, outlining plans for blight removal, trash collection, new jobs and improved fire and EMS services.

“I was very impressed,” Detroiter Barbara Mitchell said. “He sounded sincere, like he really cared.”

Duggan was considering using a teleprompter but opted against it Wednesday morning because he wanted to continue improving the speech, his office said.

A vast majority of politicians use a teleprompter to deliver lengthy speeches, but Duggan often is comfortable speaking without visual aids.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.