Nightly News | July 19, 2013
>>> now we turn to detroit , date after the city filed for bankruptcy, the biggest american city ever to do so. the bankruptcy is already facing a legal challenge and as the world begins to take note of detroit 's drastic action, the questions begin. here and elsewhere about what kind of future detroit is facing. nbc's gabe gutierrez reports from there tonight.
>> after decades of decline dmrks one of america's most iconic cities, michigan's governor says now is the time for tough decisions.
>> we have to stop kicking the can down the road.
>> the bold bankruptcy filing coming months after the appointment of a controversial manager. to deal with detroit 's staggering $18 billion of debt.
>> does anybody think it's okay to have 40-year-old trees growing through roofs of dilapidated houses. does anybody think they should call the police and not be able to come out on time because they're already out on calls? no.
>> detroit 's desperation, one a symbol of american and industrial might made international headlines.
>> the city of detroit is filing for bankruptcy.
>> 40% of streetlights don't work. pensions for public retirees are underfunded by $640 million. and now there are questions about whether assets, like works at the detroit institute of art might be sold to pay off more than 100,000 creditors.
>> already is living in fear of what's going to happen.
>> that will be up to a federal bankruptcy judge in an unprecedented case, that will be watched by cities across the country dealing with their own pension problems. detroit is just the 62nd chapter 9 filing since 1954 . experts warn many more could be on the way.
>> this is one of the major economic crises that we'll be facing over the next decade.
>> in detroit , some view this as a fresh start. they point out that the unemployment rate has dropped skub stan substantially from its peak of 28% four years ago to 16% today.
>> detroit will pull this off.
>> for retired ambulance driver, glen hendricks, optimism comes with caution, at 62 years old, his pension is in limbo.
>> i don't know what my future will be now. but just, got to get ready for the new detroit .
>> he hopes the largest bankruptcy becomes the biggest comeback of all. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, detroit .