Detroit’s Highland Park is were Henry Ford created the first moving assembly line at his automobile factory in 1913. Then Chrysler opened their headquarters there in 1925. By the 1930s the city was a wealthy municipality with a population of 53,000. Unfortunately, by the 1990s, both Ford and Chrysler had deserted the area taking with them over 25,000 jobs. In 2010 the population had plummeted to under 12,000 and the city government was in trouble. In August 2011 the city was $58 million in debt and the electric company repossessed over 1000 street lights leaving its citizens in the dark. Fortunately Soulardarity was created to help face this crisis. Their goal is to light Highland Park 100% with solar powered street lamps which will be cooperatively owned by the community. Executive director Jackson Koeppel says “I think if we want to seriously challenge the status quo we need an idea of what comes next and what we want it to look like.”
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