Cross Says Detroit Needs New Way Of Thinking


David Cross has lived most of his life overcoming odds. And he has never allowed poverty or adverse conditions to divert him or to excuse him from striving for excellence.

The eighth child of 11 siblings raised in Detroit’s renowned North End, he learned about community service from his parents, Rev. Haman Cross Sr. and Malettor Cross, who established the Afro-American Mission to serve the downtrodden and the neglected. And through his 20 years as a lawyer and real estate developer, he has maintained this concern for the city that nurtured him.

“The most important issues for me for the city of Detroit are finances, economic development and crime,” said Cross.

He is also convinced that Detroit needs strong political leaders as well as public servants who, first and foremost, cater to the needs and wants of the citizens of the city.

Cross believes that a close examination of the current Detroit city charter with appropriate amendments to the document is crucial for Detroit to eliminate mismanagement and corruption and to meet the changing realities of the 21st century. And he believes his experience as a lawyer and a real estate developer gives him the vision and leadership skills to evaluate and effectively address Detroit’s problems.

“A mere crisis management plan that seeks only to avoid bankruptcy will not get us there,” said Cross. “We must demand more from leadership and we must see beyond the horizon of what we have become comfortable with. Detroit needs leaders that are willing to break free from the imaginary chains of how we think. Leadership that seeks to see what may be invisible to others, share the vision and lead the way there.”

Steven Malik Shelton is a writer and human rights advocate. He can be reached at

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