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Columnist Rochelle Riley at the Detroit Free Press writes a personal letter to President Barack Obama exhorting him to use Detroit, which has been pillaged by economic downturns for decades, as a pilot program for his job-recovery plans.

Dear President Obama: 

As you visit the Motor City on Monday for the first time in 13 months, you might ask: Why am I counting the months?

It's simple: Detroit is your last stand. It is the place to pilot your Urban Solution, a way to get Americans back to work and rebuild our major cities.

It isn't special treatment. 

Other cities face what Detroit is going through. Other mayors may shake their heads now and say, "Man, look at Detroit" — but not for long.

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Before they know it, someone will point a finger at them and say: "Poor Baltimore" or "Poor Philadelphia" or "Poor Nashville."

Oh, wait. They already are.

What we want to hear Mr. President, as you stand with the unions five days after announcing plans to start infrastructure projects that can create a significant number of jobs, here's an idea: Rebuild one city as a template for rebuilding others.

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Let Detroit be your pilot program, the Great Experiment. 

And while your plan — if it's really soup and not just the idea for a recipe for soup — is a great start, here's another idea: Rebuild America the way that America is rebuilding Iraq.

Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.