(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 11, 2017)
Rochester Hills, MI – Luiz and Mayara Malu made a big announcement in a video for the Rochester Hills State of the City Address. The couple recently oved to Rochester Hills from San Paulo, Brazil for Luiz’s job. Though they had many options, they chose Rochester Hills because “it is the best.”
“I like walking here. I feel really safe here,” Mayara said.
“There’s a lot of parks to pick up your bike and ride,” Luiz said.
And as for their big announcement, the young immigrants will be having a baby.
Mayor Bryan Barnett touted the community’s diversity in residents and business, recognizing that international companies like Bader, Jenoptik and Molex have decided to make Rochester Hills their North American homes.
In celebration of the city’s melting-pot make-up, the evening included performances by African Drum Dancers Nanou Djiapo, Motor City Irish Dancers, Jazba Indian Dance Group, and St. Paul’s Catholic Community Albanian Dance Group.
Mayor Barnett also touted the city’s safety and economic development statistics.
Home values and new construction have been increasing. There was a 61% increase in new home construction and 34% increase in permits for renovation in the past year.
There have been 12 new high tech companies and a plethora of small businesses, including Leo’s Coney Island, Live Clean Nutrition, Data Speed, Rochester Area Consulting Services and Precision Chiropractic.
Another exciting addition is Rochester College’s first athletic arena. Named after beloved coach and Director of Athletics, Garth Pleasant Arena had its ribbon-cutting in February. Before this the Warriors basketball team had never had a home game because there was nowhere for them to play.
One way to show off the progress of economic development is with the City’s new Interactive Project Map, found on the Rochester Hill’s website. Mayor Barnett joked that this page will “help residents know what’s going on around the and hopefully allow me to enjoy lunch with fewer interruptions from people with questions.”
Two Community Excellence Awards were given, which also tied in with the global theme. Lori Blaker, President/CEO of TTi Global was recognized for her efforts in expanding her predominantly-women-employed automotive repair and training corporation to Kabul Afghanistan. The office is located in the heart of a community where women face tremendous stigma and where car bombs and other violence are a constant threat. Blaker’s efforts are more about helping to uplift women than to make a profit, but also to empower the women by giving them the tools they need to grow their own power and resources.
Bill Clark of the Hope Water Project earned the second Community Excellence Award for his efforts to build wells in Africa so residents can have access to water.
In addition to the serious celebration of diversity, Mayor Barnett threw in some good-natured jabs at surrounding communities and celebrities. A video shows him digitally inserted into a conversation with Madonna, who famously slammed her hometown on the Howard Stern show in 2015, calling it a city with “basic, provincial thinking people.”
The Mayor also shared some fake Donald Trump tweets, mocking the President’s Twitter style. One said “Orion Township: Where living is a Vacation?? Liberal Media!! FAKE NEWS!” And another, which Barnett jokingly refuted said “Oakland University is located in Auburn Hills. That city is a total disaster! #need another wall” Barnett added that most of Oakland University is actually situated in Rochester Hills, not Auburn Hills.
As Mayor Barnett opened his speech, he told the crowd “I have an absolute blast being the Mayor of Rochester Hills.”
He ended the speech with a blast as well, setting off a spectacle of fireworks that filled the stage of Rochester Adams High.
For more on the City of Rochester Hills visit their website at http://www.rochesterhills.org/.