Now it seems that I should have posted it here instead.
I grew up in the 'burbs of Detroit. It seems odd, how driving across 8 Mile results in such a drastic change of scenery.
Anyway: the City of Detroit had something like 2 million residents in the 1950s.
Most of those 139 square miles were full of neighborhoods and houses. (The pattern looked suburban. lots of single-family residences laid on in blocks which subdivided the big square-mile sections...)
The City population started declining in the late 60s. By 1990, it was roughly 1 million. Now, it is barely 750,000.
The population of the Metro Area stopped growing sometime in the 90s, I think.
Back to the past...there was a time in the 1920s when the suburban townships regularly voted to become part of the City. One of the relics of this process: the suburb of Hamtramck didn't do this, so it is now entirely surrounded by Detroit.
The suburbs that joined the City could get better water/sewer service, and more Police presence, etc. Which seemed good, in the 20s.
Nowadays, a State politician will occasionally ask if these sections can be removed from Detroit, and turned into separate townships or cities.
But it won't improve the political prospects of any Detroit politicians to push for that, and the State doesn't have an easy-to-implement process for a large city to split into smaller cities...
Anyway, Detroit's finances and lack-of-population are a mess. And the easiest fix seems to be to demand money from State and Feds.
Since Detroit used to be one of wealthier industrial cities of the nation, they think that they can still swing lots of influence Nationally.
But if that were so, the City wouldn't be begging for money, would it?