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Internship field report, Grace Evans @ Detroit's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, Planning, and Strategy

July 30, 2015

Second year MPP candidate Grace Evans is spending her summer in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, Planning, and Strategy in the City of Detroit. This new office was created by Mayor Mike Duggan in late 2014 as an effort to raise city revenue, and he recruited economist Dr. Carol O’Cleireacain out of New York City to serve as its head. During her first summer in the city, Deputy Mayor O’Cleireacain, who is also a two-time alumna of the University of Michigan, brought on a team of interns to help examine external funding sources, tax structures, and city operations – all important components in moving towards the larger goal.

As the Deputy Mayor’s public policy intern, Grace is exploring the evaluation of city-managed economic development programs, such as tax abatements for businesses and residents designed to encourage growth and homeownership. Of particular interest to the Deputy Mayor are the impact that Neighborhood Enterprise Zones – a tax exemption program for homeowners and housing developers – has had on resident retention and attraction. Grace’s work on this project will roll over to an Applied Policy Seminar project during the fall 2015 semester.

“The City of Detroit is an exciting place to be,” said Grace. “There is a lot of energy and people eager to get things done.” In addition to enjoying her work experience, Grace has capitalized on the lovely Michigan summer weather and explored many of the region’s parks and festivals. 

Grace Evans graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Mathematics and Professional Studies with a focus in Nonprofit Leadership. She is an AmeriCorps alumna and graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh. Committed to the advancement of a vibrant and self-sufficient nonprofit sector, Grace is interested in bridging the gap between her academic background and her interest in public policy.

This internship was supported by the James Wherry Willis Memorial Internship Fund.