UIN Staff 4 15 24

By all standards, when it comes to CEO’s of American companies, Eric Poe is unconventional. He is young, he is a person of color and he is not asking citizens to finance his dreams. 

However, what he did this week was the most unconventional. He actually met with the citizens of the city of Detroit, a most unlikely places to have a face to face discussion to explain why their car insurance was the highest in the nation.

That takes courage. Just ask Mayor Mike Duggan he does it but he is required by law to meet with the citizens. Detroit earned that reputation years ago when a national TV network filmed a popular show live here. The host said Detroit was the most vocal crowd they had ever encountered.

They have every right to be vocal. In addition to the highest auto insurance, Detroit have the highest property taxes, the highest unemployment andon and on and on.

 

Practically all the corporation headquartered in the city are asking for and getting generous tax incentives to build in Detroit. They all, from their gleaming towers look down on one of the poorest cities in the nation. It reminds me of the spectacle of the auto execs flying to Washington in their private jets to beg for the tax dollars of their customers.

The African Americans in Detroit support these companies with their tax dollars, too, and Black people all over the country buy their products. These customers may not like what they see if they knew how the resident corporations related to the people beloved Motown.

One of the more egregious example is General Motors. They were recently sued by a citizen who received racist treatment by a security company out of Florida that was contracted by GM.  click here. I guarantee that there are many Black-owned security companies in the city that could do the work. I guess President Berra, with her $30 million annual salary, has not been told that more jobs equals less crime. So, despite Detroit residents sharing their tax dollars and buying their cars and trucks, they get little love in return. I digress. 

Eric Poe shared his inside knowledge of the industry and took some tough questions from the audience (  click here  ). It is hard to imagine the Fords, Illichs, or the Gilberts doing the same thing.

There were a few things that helped Mr. Poe connect with his audience: 1) he does have a personality, and 2) he must be a sports enthusiast because he used a lot of sports analogies in his presentation. Detroiters love sports, and 3) Last and most importantly, he touched on generation wealth for Detroiters and their families. Who does that? Eric Poe may be on to something.

We hope he sets an example for other Detroit CEOs to follow.