Here's an interesting proposition. How about setting up a red-light district in Detroit? Attie Pollard, who is collecting signatures to run for Detroit City Council in the 2013 elections, has proposed this very idea. He thinks designating a zone for strip clubs could help attract tourism and give a jolt to the city's economy.
“For instance, starting off with a strip club district,” he told WWJ radio. “Once the time goes on, we can see if brothels or other means of sexual entertainment are needed.”
State law would need to be changed in order to allow brothels in the city.
Pollard proposes that the city's strip clubs be moved from neighborhood areas to a central location "somewhere in the downtown area," according to the news station. He added that background checks would be needed to keep sex traffickers out of the equation.
If that sounds like an errant plotline from HBO's "The Wire," it's not the first time this wild idea has been tossed around in Detroit.
As recently as 2010, City Council President Charles Pugh said he backed a similar plan, which been proposed by the previous council, but he admitted he didn't have the votes to make it happen.
At the time, however, council did take some action on strip clubs. That year, they passed rules forbidding VIP rooms and touching between strippers, requiring licenses for many workers, and placing limits on stage height.
If promoting strip clubs sounds too far-fetched, there's always the possibility of attracting investment by converting Detroit's Belle Isle island park into an independent commonwealth. The idea was proposed recently by a wealthy Detroit-area developer who said the cash-strapped city could sell the isle for a billion dollars, but it's been slow to catch on with local powerbrokers.