Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan
City of Flint
—  City  —
Top: Skyline as seen from the Flint River. Middle: GM Powertrain, Longway Planetarium. Bottom: Former site of Buick City, South Saginaw St., Citizens Bank Weatherball.

Location of Flint within Genesee County, Michigan
Coordinates: 43°0′36″N 83°41′24″W / 43.01°N 83.69°W / 43.01; -83.69Coordinates: 43°0′36″N 83°41′24″W / 43.01°N 83.69°W / 43.01; -83.69
Country United States
State Michigan
County Genesee
Settled 1818
Incorporation 1855
 – Type Strong Mayor-Council
 – Mayor Dayne Walling
 – City Administrator Gregory Eason
 – City 34.1 sq mi (88.2 km2)
 – Land 33.6 sq mi (87.1 km2)
 – Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 751 ft (229 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 102,434
 – Density 3,048.6/sq mi (1,177.1/km2)
 – Urban 365,096
 – Metro 425,790
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 48501-48507, 48532
Area code(s) 810
FIPS code 26-29000[1]
GNIS feature ID 0626170[2]
Website http://www.cityofflint.com
Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 2,950
1870 5,386 82.6%
1880 8,409 56.1%
1890 9,803 16.6%
1900 13,103 33.7%
1910 38,550 194.2%
1920 91,599 137.6%
1930 156,492 70.8%
1940 151,543 −3.2%
1950 163,413 7.8%
1960 196,940 20.5%
1970 193,317 −1.8%
1980 159,611 −17.4%
1990 140,761 −11.8%
2000 124,943 −11.2%
2010 102,434 −18.0%

Flint is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the 2010 population to be placed at 102,434, making Flint the seventh largest city in Michigan.[3] It is the county seat of Genesee County[4] which lies in the Flint/Tri-Cities region of Michigan. Genesee County is also the entirety of Flint's metropolitan area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 425,790 in 2010.[5]

Flint is most known for being the birthplace of General Motors (GM), and the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936–37 that played a vital role in the formation of the United Auto Workers. Flint is also home to the headquarters of Citizens Republic Bancorp. Flint Charter Township is adjacent to the city on the west but is politically independent. Bishop International Airport is also part of the city, even though it is surrounded by Flint Township.



Some scholars consider the Saginaw Valley, particularly the vicinity of Flint, to be the oldest continually inhabited area of Michigan. Regardless of the validity of this claim, the region was home to several Ojibwa tribes at the start of the 19th century, with a particularly significant community established near present-day Montrose. The Flint River had several convenient fords which became points of contention among rival tribes, as attested by the presence of arrowheads and burial mounds near Flushing.

Jacob Smith, a fur trader on cordial terms with both the local Ojibwas and the territorial government founded a trading post in Flint itself in 1819. On several occasions, Smith negotiated land exchanged with the Ojibwas on behalf of the U.S. government, and he was highly regarded on both sides. Smith apportioned many of his holdings to his children. As the ideal stopover on the overland route between Detroit and Saginaw, Flint grew into a small but prosperous village. The city was incorporated in 1855. The 1860 U.S. census indicated that Genesee County had a population of 22,498 of Michigan's 750,000.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Flint became a lumber center, and at the turn of the 20th century the revenue and infrastructure from lumbering funded the establishment of the local carriage making industry. As horse-drawn carriages gave way to the automobiles, Flint became a major player in the nascent auto industry. Buick Motor Company, after a rudimentary start in Detroit, soon moved to Flint. AC Spark Plug (now part of Delphi) originated in Flint, as did several defunct automobile marques such as the Dort, Little, Flint, and Mason brands. Chevrolet's first (and for many years, main) manufacturing facility was also in Flint, although its headquarters were in Detroit. For a brief period, all Chevrolets and Buicks were built in Flint.

In 1904, local entrepreneur William C. Durant was brought in to manage Buick, which became the largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1908. In 1908, Durant founded General Motors, filing incorporation papers in New Jersey, with headquarters in Flint. GM moved its headquarters to Detroit in the mid 1920s.[6] Durant lost control of GM twice during his lifetime. On the first occasion, he befriended Louis Chevrolet and founded Chevrolet, which was a runaway success. He used the capital from this success to buy back share control. He later lost decisive control again, permanently. Durant experienced financial ruin in the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequently ran a bowling alley in Flint until the time of his death in 1947.

For the last century, Flint's history has been dominated by both the auto industry and car culture. During the sit down strike of 1936-1937, the fledgling United Automobile Workers triumphed over General Motors, inaugurating the era of labor unions. The successful mediation of the strike by Governor Frank Murphy, culminating in a one page agreement recognizing the Union, began an era of successful organizing by the UAW.[7]

The city was a major contributor of tanks and other war machines during World War II due to its extensive manufacturing facilities.

A freighter named after the city, the City of Flint was the first US ship to be captured during the Second World War in October, 1939. The vessel was later sunk in 1943.

The eighth deadliest tornado on record in the United States struck Beecher, just north of Flint, on June 8, 1953, killing 115 people, injuring 844. Known as the "Beecher Tornado," after the North Side community which the tornado devastated. On the next day the same weather system spawned the worst tornado in New England in Worcester, Massachusetts, killing another 94 people.

For decades, Flint remained politically significant as a major population center as well as for its importance to the automotive industry. The city's population peaked in 1960 at almost 200,000, at which time it was the second largest city in the state. These decades are seen as the height of Flint's prosperity and influence, and culminated with the establishment of many local institutions, most notably including the Flint Cultural Center, which remains one of the city's chief commercial and artistic draws to this day.

Since the late 1960s, Flint has suffered from disinvestment, deindustrialization, depopulation and urban decay. Initially, this took the form of the "white flight" that afflicted many American towns and cities, but the decline was exacerbated by the 1973 oil crisis and subsequent collapse of the U.S. auto industry. In the 1980s, the rate of deindustrialization accelerated with local GM employment falling from a 1978 high of 80,000 to under 8,000 by 2010. Only 10% of the manufacturing work force is still left in Flint. Many factors have been blamed, including outsourcing and exporting jobs abroad and to non-union facilities, unionization, exorbitant overhead, globalization, and most recently, a dramatic decline in General Motors sales. These rationales are often strictly applied along lines of political orientation, and labor remains the most divisive and polarizing local issue.[citation needed]

This decline was highlighted in the film Roger & Me by Michael Moore (the title refers to Roger B. Smith, the CEO of General Motors during the 1980s). Also highlighted in Moore's documentary was the failure of city officials to reverse the trends with entertainment options (e.g. AutoWorld) during the 1980s. Moore, a native of Davison (a Flint suburb), revisited Flint in his later movies, including Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11.

The demolition site of Buick City, for many years General Motors' flagship factory on the North side.

Another aspect of Flint's history is reflected in its legacy of racial discrimination and tension. From the turn of the 20th century, African Americans in particular were drawn to Flint, as were most migrants, by the lure of work in the factories. However, for much of this time General Motors did not hire African Americans to assembly positions, and they were excluded from affluent neighborhoods like the East Village through housing compacts. Despite such discrimination, the Flint City Council selected Floyd McCree as mayor, making him one of the first African American mayors of a large city. The city diversified as a whole, and by the 1990s African Americans formed a plurality of the population, and a majority by the 2000 census. Mexican Americans remain a small but demographically significant population within Flint. Recent politics have typically polarized along racial lines, with candidates appealing to a small swing contingent of African American voters.

First financial emergency

The last decade has opened on the final stages of large-scale General Motors deindustrialization. By 2002 Flint had accrued a $35 million debt.[citation needed]

In 2002, the City's voters recalled mayor Woodrow Stanley. A few months later the State of Michigan appointed an emergency financial manager,[8] Ed Kurtz. The emergency financial manager displaces Temporary Mayor Darnell Earley back into the city administrator position.

Of the nearly 80,000 people that worked for General Motors in Flint during its peak years in the late 1970s, only about 8,000 are left after the most recent 2006 buyouts. Details on specific plant openings and closings are found in the article Flint, Michigan Auto Industry.


Renovated First National Bank building in downtown Flint.

In the last decade, local efforts to counter deindustrialization have centered around diversifying the economy, either by attracting small parts manufacturers with vacant industrial space and tax incentives, or steering the city toward a more commercially driven economy.[citation needed]

Industrially, the vacated Buick City site is currently the United States' largest brownfield. Its accessibility to the Flint River and major rail networks has made it potentially attractive to shipping interests. A local shipping company has considered turning Buick City into a large shipping center.[citation needed]This center could provide 600 jobs and spur many small businesses. In the new GM-UAW deal, an agreement was reached to build a new engine plant on a portion of the Buick City site. This plant is expected to provide 800 new jobs.

Commercially, local organizations have attempted to pool their resources in the central business district and to expand and bolster higher education at four local institutions. Landmarks such as the First National Bank building have been extensively renovated, often to create lofts or office space, and filming for the Will Ferrell movie Semi-Pro resulted in renovations to the Capitol Theatre. In 2004 the first planned residential community in Flint in over 30 years, University Park, was built north of Fifth Avenue off Saginaw Street, Flint's main thoroughfare. Local foundations have also funded the renovation and redecoration of Saginaw Street, and have begun work turning University Avenue (formerly known as Third Avenue) into a mile-long "University Corridor" connecting University of Michigan–Flint with Kettering University. Atwood Stadium, located on University Avenue, has already received extensive renovations and the Cultivating Our Community project is landscaping 16 different locations from in Flint as a part of a $415,600 beautification project. Wade Trim and Rowe Incorporated have done major renovations to transform empty downtown Flint blocks into business, entertainment, and housing centers.[9] WNEM, a local television station, has signed a ten year lease on space in the Wade Trim building facing Saginaw Street. [10] Also, plans have been recently passed to turn the long-vacant Durant Hotel into a mixture of commercial space and apartments attractive to young professionals or college students, with 93 units. Work has already begun and the project is expected to be complete by fall 2009.[11] In March 2008, the Crim Race Foundation put up an offer to buy the vacant Character Inn and turn it into a fitness center and do a multimillion dollar renovation.[12]

Similar to a plan in Detroit, Flint is in the process of tearing down thousands of abandoned homes in order to curb crime and reduce city services to a level where the population can sustain it. As of June 2009, approximately 1100 homes have been demolished in Flint, with one official estimating another 3000 more will have to be torn down.[13]

2nd financial emergency

On September 30, 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed a state eight-member review team (Roger Fraser, deputy state treasurer; Doug Ringler, director of the Office of Internal Audit Services in the Department of Technology, Management and Budget; Laura Argyle, vice president of finance and chief financial officer for the Midland Center for the Arts; Gene Dennis, former president and CEO of Universal Systems; Darnell Earley, Saginaw city manager; Robert L. Emerson, former state budget director; Brom Stibitz, senior policy adviser in the Michigan Department of Treasury; Fred Headen, director of the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Local Government Services Bureau) to review Flint's financial state with a request to report back in 30 days half the legal time for a review.[14] On November 8, 2011, Mayor Dayne Walling defeated challenger Darryl Buchanan 8,819 votes (56%) to 6,868 votes (44%).[15] That same day, the Michigan State review panel declared the City of Flint to be in the state of a "local government financial emergency" recommending the state appoint an emergency manager.[16]


The city of Flint is served by Bishop International Airport and various bus lines. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service on the Blue Water line from Chicago to Port Huron at the border to Canada. For travel within and around the city, the Flint Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) provides local bus services. Greyhound Lines also runs inter-city bus services north to Bay City and south to Detroit. Indian Trails runs inter-city bus services west to Chicago.


Flint is served by Bishop International Airport.[17]

Major highways

Interstate 69 has its eastern (northern) terminus at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, and runs west through Flint to Lansing and then turns south and continues through Marshall and on to Fort Wayne and to its end in Indianapolis.
Interstate 75 running concurrently with US 23, cuts through the southwest corner of the city and passes the west side of the city through Flint Charter Township. I-75/US 23 continue north to Saginaw and Bay City. After separating near Standish, I-75 continues though the center of the state to Grayling, Mackinaw City, and Sault Ste. Marie. I-75/US 23 separate just south of Flint, with I-75 continuing through the Metro Detroit area to downtown Detroit, on to Toledo. I-75 continues south through several major cities, including: Cincinnati, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Tampa, Florida to its ending in the suburbs of Miami, Florida.
Interstate 475 begins south of Flint at Interstate 75 and runs north through downtown Flint then loops back to I-75 northwest of the city.
US 23.svg
US-23 runs concurrently with I-75 and passes west of the city. After separating from I-75 near Standish, US 23 continues north on a scenic route along the Lake Huron shoreline. It ends at I-75 in Mackinaw City. This section of US 23 is designated the "Sunrise Side Coastal Highway". South of Flint, US 23 continues to Ann Arbor, on to Toledo, and continues south into Florida.
M-21 runs nearly due west to Grand Rapids M-21 through Flint is also known as Corunna Road and Court Street.
M-54, also known as Dort Highway, runs mostly parallel to I-475 to the east from I-75 to I-69.


The Flint River in the late 1970s during a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project, taken from approximately halfway between the Grand Traverse Street bridge and Beach-Garland Street bridge, looking east.

Flint lies in the Flint/Tri-Cities region of Michigan. Flint and Genesee County can be categorized as a subregion of Flint/Tri-Cities.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.1 square miles (88 km2), of which, 33.6 square miles (87 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (1.26%) is water. Flint lies just to the northeast of the Flint hills. The terrain is low and rolling along the south and east sides, and flatter to the northwest.


Flint has several neighborhoods grouped around the center of the city on the four cardinal "sides." The downtown business district is centered on Saginaw Street south of the Flint River. Just west, on opposite sides of the river, are Carriage Town (north) and the Grand Traverse Street District (south). Both neighborhoods boast strong neighborhood associations. The University Avenue corridor of Carriage Town is home to the largest concentration of "Greek" housing in the area, with fraternity houses from both Kettering University, and the University of Michigan Flint. Chapter houses include Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Delta Chi, Theta Chi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Xi, and Delta Tau Delta Fraternities. These neighborhoods were the center of manufacturing for and profits from the nation's carriage industry until the 1920s, and to this day are the site of many well-preserved Victorian homes and the setting of Atwood Stadium. Just north of downtown is River Village, a successful example of mixed-income public housing. To the east of I-475 is Central Park, a small neighborhood defined by culs-de-sac.

Hall's Flats on the West Side is one of Flint's many neighborhoods.

The North Side and 5th Ward are predominantly African American, with such historic districts as Buick City and Civic Park on the north, and Sugar Hill, Floral Park, and Kent and Elm Parks on the south. Many of these neighborhoods were the original centers of early Michigan blues. The South Side in particular was also a center for multi-racial migration from Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Deep South since World War II. These neighborhoods are most often lower income, but have maintained some level of economic stratification. The East Side is the site of the Applewood Mott Estate, and Mott Community College, the Cultural Center, and East Village, one of Flint's more prosperous areas. Just north is Eastside Proper, also known as the "State Streets," a low-income rental area that has rapidly diversified and is the center of Flint's Hispanic community. Eastside has had trouble with prostitution, particularly in districts centered on Dort Highway and Olive Avenue. The West Side includes the main site of the 1937 sitdown strike, the Mott Park neighborhood, Kettering University, and the historic Woodcroft Estates, owned in the past by legendary automotive executives and current home to prominent and historic Flint families such as the Motts, the Manleys, and the Smiths.

Facilities associated with General Motors in the past and present are scattered throughout the city, including GM Truck and Bus, Flint Metal Center and Powertrain South (clustered together on the city's southwestern corner); Powertrain North, Flint Tool and Die and Delphi East. The largest plant, Buick City and adjacent facilities, have been demolished.

The Genesee Towers (left), and Mott Foundation Building (right). The Flint Journal headquarters are to the far left.

Half of Flint's fourteen tallest buildings were built during the 1920s. The city's tallest building, the 19-story Genesee Towers, was completed in 1968.[18] The building has become unused in recent years and has fallen into severe disrepair; a cautionary sign warning of falling debris was put on the sidewalk in front of it. City officials have considered having the building demolished.


Flint lies within the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfb), with four distinct seasons. Summer is very warm and humid, with a July daily mean temperature of 70.6 °F (21.4 °C), and highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on about 7 days per year.[19] Though days of 100 °F (38 °C) are rare, the record high is 108 °F (42 °C), set in July 1936. Winters are cold and snowy, with a January average of 21.3 °F (−5.9 °C) and lows falling to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below on 10 to 11 nights a season.[19] The lowest temperature on record is at most −25 °F (−32 °C), set in January 1976. Though snow averages 48 inches (122 cm) per season, snow cover is not necessarily reliable and may disappear for short periods of time. Precipitation is greatest toward the end of summer.

Climate data for Flint, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
Average high °F (°C) 29.2
Average low °F (°C) 13.3
Record low °F (°C) −25
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.57
Snowfall inches (cm) 12.4
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 13.8 10.9 12.2 12.9 10.7 10.5 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.1 12.6 13.8 137.8
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 12.7 9.6 6.5 2.4 .1 0 0 0 0 .3 3.8 9.8 45.2
Source no. 1: NOAA (normals, 1971−2000) [19]
Source no. 2: ThreadEx (extremes 1921−2010) [20]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 124,943 people, 48,744 households, and 30,270 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,714.9 per square mile (1,434.5/km²). There were 55,464 housing units at an average density of 1,649.1 per square mile (636.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53.27% Black or African American, 41.39% White, 0.64% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 7.2% were of German and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.0% spoke English and 2.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 48,744 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.0% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,015, and the median income for a family was $31,424. Males had a median income of $34,009 versus $24,237 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,733. About 22.9% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.4% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.



Primary and secondary schools

Public K-12 education is provided under the umbrella of the Flint Community Schools. Students attend 25 elementary schools, a gender based 7-8 academy (Holmes), and three high schools (Flint Northern High School, Flint Northwestern High School, and Flint Southwestern Academy).

The state-run Michigan School for the Deaf is located in Flint.

The Valley School is a small private K-12 school.

Flint Libraries

  • Genesee District Library main branch location: West Pasadena Avenue; 701,371 books; 8,501 audio materials; 6,379 video materials; 1,113 serial subscriptions
  • Flint Public Library main branch location: 1026 East Kearsley Street; 454,645 books; 22,355 audio materials; 9,453 video materials; 2,496 serial subscriptions


  • Hurley Medical Center
  • McLaren Regional Medical Center
  • Genesys Regional Medical Center (a.k.a. Genesys Health Park)
  • Flint once had 2 other full service hospitals: St. Joseph's Hospital and Flint Osteopathic Hospital. They are now medical clinics which are part of the Genesys Health System, and currently referred to as Genesys East Flint Campus and Genesys West Flint Campus respectively.



The county's only daily newspaper was the Flint Journal, which dates back to 1876. Effective June 2009 the paper ceased to be a daily publication, opting to publish on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The move made Genesee County the largest county in the United States without a daily newspaper. The Flint Journal began publishing a Tuesday edition in March 2010.[21] The East Village Magazine is a non-profit news magazine providing information about neighborhood issues since 1976. The monthly magazine centers on the East Village neighborhood, outside downtown Flint, but is distributed throughout the city. The Uncommon Sense was a recent publication featuring critical journalism, satirical cartoons, and articles on music and nightlife, but it ceased publishing in 2007. In January 2009, Broadside[22] became the current independent newspaper, exclusively available in print. In early 2009 Flint Comix & Entertainment began circulating around college campuses, and local businesses. This monthly publication features local and nationally recognized comic artists, as well as editorials, and other news.

Two quarterly magazines have appeared in recent years: Innovative Health Magazine[23] and Downtown Flint Revival Magazine.[24] Debuting in 2008, Innovative Health highlights the medical advancements, health services and lifestyles happening in and around Genesee County, while Downtown Flint Revival reports on new developments, building renovations and the many businesses in the Downtown area.

University publications include University of Michigan–Flint's student newspaper The Michigan Times, Kettering University's The Technician and the MCC Chronicle, formerly the MCC Post, which is a monthly magazine from Mott Community College.


WJRT-TV (ABC), one of ten ABC owned-and-operated stations, is currently the only area station to operate from Flint. WSMH (Fox) and WCMZ-TV (PBS) are licensed to Flint, but their programming originates from outside of Flint proper, with WSMH originating from Flint suburb Mt. Morris Township and WCMZ rebroadcasting WCMU-TV of Mount Pleasant. WEYI (NBC), licensed to Saginaw, and WBSF (The CW), licensed to Bay City, has their studios in nearby Vienna Township, just north of Flint. Other stations outside the Flint area that serve the area include Saginaw-based WNEM-TV (CBS) (which has a news bureau in Downtown Flint), Delta College's WDCQ-TV (PBS), and WAQP (TCT).


The Flint radio market has a rich history. WAMM-AM 1420 (started in 1955, now gospel station WFLT) on the city's eastside was one of the first stations in the country to program to the black community and was also where legendary DJ Casey Kasem had his first radio job.[25]

WTAC-AM 600 (now religious station WSNL) was a highly-rated and influential Top 40 station in the 1960s and 1970s, showcasing Michigan artists and being the first in the U.S. to play acts like The Who and AC/DC. WTAC changed its format to country music in 1980 and then became a pioneering contemporary Christian music station a few years later; the calls are now on 89.7 FM, a member of the "Smile FM" network. WTRX-AM 1330 also played Top 40 music for a time in the 1960s and '70s.

The city's very first radio station, AM 910 WFDF, first went on the air in 1922. It has since relocated south into the Detroit market, changing its city of license to Farmington Hills and increasing its power to 50,000 watts.

In 1985, WWCK-FM 105.5 became the highest-rated rock station in America.[citation needed] The station (whose calls were derived from those of Windsor, Ontario's legendary CKLW) continued as a market leader after changing its format to CHR, which it has remained since, in 1989.

Today, the following stations serve Flint with an array of programming choices:


  • 600 WSNL - Flint (Religious, Victory 600, Christian Broadcasting System)
  • 1160 WCXI - Fenton (Classic Country, Birach Broadcasting)
  • 1330 WTRX - Flint (Sports, Sports Xtra 1330, Citadel Broadcasting)
  • 1420 WFLT - Flint (Urban Gospel, Flint Evangelical Broadcasting Association)
  • 1470 WFNT - Flint (Adult Standards/Oldies, Unforgettable 1470, Regent Broadcasting)
  • 1570 WWCK - Flint (Talk, SuperTalk 1570, Cumulus Media)


  • 88.9 WAKL - Flint (Contemporary Christian, Educational Media Foundation; K-Love network affiliate)
  • 89.7 WTAC - Burton-Flint (Contemporary Christian, Superior Communications; "Smile FM" network affiliate)
  • 91.1 WFUM - Flint (Public Radio, Michigan Radio, University of Michigan; simulcast of WUOM Ann Arbor)
  • 92.7 WDZZ - Flint (Urban Adult Contemporary, Z92.7, Cumulus Media)
  • 93.7 WRCL - Frankenmuth (Rhythmic CHR, Club 93-7, Regent Broadcasting)
  • 94.3 WKUF - Flint (Kettering University student station)
  • 95.1 WFBE - Flint (Country, B95, Citadel Broadcasting)
  • 98.9 WOWE - Vassar (Urban Adult Contemporary, Praestantia Broadcasting)
  • 101.5 WWBN - Tuscola-Flint (Active Rock, Banana 101.5, Regent Broadcasting)
  • 102.5 WIOG - Bay City (CHR)
  • 103.1 WQUS - Flint (Classic Rock, US 103.1), Regent Broadcasting)
  • 103.9 WRSR - Owosso-Flint (Classic Rock, 103.9 The Fox, Cumulus Media)
  • 105.5 WWCK - Flint (Mainstream CHR, CK105.5, Cumulus Media)
  • 107.9 WCRZ - Flint (Adult Contemporary, Cars 108, Regent Broadcasting)

Regent Broadcasting's WCRZ is consistently the top-rated station in Flint and has been near the top of the ratings consistently since changing format from beautiful music WGMZ in 1984. Sister stations WRCL and WWBN also regularly chalk up top 10 ratings in Flint. Cumulus Media's top stations are WDZZ (usually the #2 rated station 12+ in Flint, second only to WCRZ) and WWCK. Citadel Broadcasting owns popular country station WFBE (which for many years was a classical-music public radio station owned by the Flint school system), as well as sports-talker WTRX and Saginaw/Bay City's WHNN (96.1 FM, Oldies) and WIOG (102.5 FM, Top 40), which both have good signals and significant listenership in Flint.

Radio stations from Detroit, Lansing, Lapeer and Saginaw may also be heard in the Flint area; Detroit's WJR (760 AM) is regularly rated among the top 10 stations in Flint and often higher-rated than any local Flint-based AM station.


The Flint Underground Music Archive is a comprehensive free online collection of streaming and downloadable media files of Flint's underground music scene from the 1970s to the present.[26]


The city has operated under at least four charters (1855,[27] 1888,[28] 1929, 1974).[29] The City is currently run under its 1974 charter that gives the city a Strong Mayor form of government. Its also instituted the appointed independent office of Ombudsman, while the city clerk is solely appointed by the City Council. The City Council is composed of members elected from the city's nine wards.[29]

Public safety

Residents are served by the Flint Police Department and the Flint Fire Department, and several private ambulance companies. Flint has its own 9-1-1 call center, located in the police department headquarters, which operates independently of Genesee County's call center in Flint Township. The Public Safety Director is Alvern Lock.


During the 1980s and 1990s, Flint gained a reputation as a city with a high crime rate. According to FBI statistics, Flint's violent crime rate has been in the top five among U.S. cities with a population of at least 50,000 people for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2007 the FBI ranked Flint as the second most violent city in the U.S, while in both 2008 and 2009 Flint had the fifth highest violent crime rate. FBI data shows in 2009 Flint had 2,244 violent crimes, including 36 homicides, 91 rapes and 1,527 felonious assaults. While homicides and assaults increased in 2009, rapes and robberies decreased, contributing to an overall 3 percent drop in crime.[30] “It’s been a very difficult year,” Walling said on December 16, hours after the city’s 64th homicide. In dealing with the city’s multimillion-dollar deficit, Walling laid off 66 police officers in 2010, including the 20 layoffs that took effect December 17, 2010.[31]

"Families of Murder Children Support Group" Robert Johnson noted the growing numbers of unsolved Homicides in the City of Flint: 2008 32 homicides, 19 convictions; 2009 36 homicides and 12 unsolved; and 2010 to date 64 homicides with 33 unsolved. As a result of the record number of homicides in 2010, a research report was published by the Center for Homicide Research describing the problem and proposing public policy changes.[32] The Layoff numbers, according to Keith Spears (Police officers Union President) "In February '09 Walling laid off 46. December 17, 2010 Mayor Walling laid off another 20. In 2008 we had 208 patrol officers (this is not counting Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and the Chief). As of December 17, 2010, we had 67 patrol officers left. In 2008 Williamson laid off 48 officers. There have been a total of 114 lay offs since 2008, but we have lost a total of 141 positions. That's because they did not replace some positions after officers retired" “We’re trying to take care of it as much as we can.”[33]

According to a study of FBI crime statistics by CQ Press, in 2010, Flint was named the "fourth most dangerous city in the United States." [34]

According to a 2011 national poll by 24/7 Wall St. Flint was named the most dangerous city in the U.S. in 2011. [35]

On September 28, 2011 it was announced the Flint Police Department has been awarded $1,225,638 from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to re-hire 6 laid off patrol officers. The officers are scheduled to be on the job starting in October 2011. [36]


Most politicians are affiliated with the Democratic party despite the city's elections being nonpartisan.[29] In 2006, Flint was the 10th most liberal city in the United States, according to a nationwide study by the non-partisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research which examined the voting patterns of 237 cities with a population over 100,000. Flint placed just after San Francisco (9) and before Seattle (16) and New York City (21).[37]


Club Sport League Venue Logo
Michigan Warriors Hockey North American Hockey League Perani Arena and Event Center
Flint Rogues Rugby Club Rugby Michigan Rugby Football Union Longway Park
Flint Fury Football Mid Continental Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Rampage Football United States Football Alliance Fenton High School
Flint Fire Basketball American Basketball Association 2011 Venue TBD

The Michigan Warriors are a tier-A junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League. They are in their first season, and play their home games at Perani Arena.

There is semi-pro football at Atwood Stadium with the Flint Fury. Atwood is an 11,000+ seat stadium in downtown Flint which has hosted many events, including baseball. When artificial turf was installed, it was no longer able to host baseball games. The Flint Fury are heading into their fourth season and second in the Mid Continental Football League. The team was founded by two of its players: Charles Lawler and Prince Goodson, who both played for the defunct Flint Falcons semi-pro team.

Although they no longer play their games in Flint, the Rampage semi-pro football team keeps Flint in their name, despite the fact that their new home field is located in Fenton, MI.

The Flint Fire ABA basketball franchise will begin play in late 2011. Their home court is yet to be announced.

Flint is twinned with Hamilton, Ontario, and its amateur athletes compete in the Canusa Games, held alternatively there and here since 1957.

Although Flint does not have its own NBA team, it does boast that many of its local players have gone to the NBA or on to play Division 1 or European professional basketball. Glen Rice and Eddie Robinson both hail from Flint,[38] as do Morris Peterson, Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell, and Antonio Smith (four of the five starters from Michigan State University's "Flintstones" 2000 National Championship team).

A local teacher, turned independent film maker, Marcus Davenport chronicles Flint's unique ties to Basketball and the basketball culture in Flint Star: The Motion Picture, a documentary film[39][40] Will Ferrell's 2008 movie Semi-Pro is based on a fictional basketball team named the Flint Tropics[41].

The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is from Flint. He beat out Stanford Running Back, Toby Gerhart and Texas Quarterback, Colt McCoy. He won with 1304 total votes. Mark Ingram attends the University of Alabama and is their first Heisman winner. He was a member of the National Champion 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

2011 Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion Tim Thomas was born in Flint. In the 2010-11 National Hockey League season, Thomas boasted a .938 save percentage, setting a new NHL record among goaltenders.

Former sports teams

Club Sport League Venue Logo
Flint Phantoms Arena Football Continental Indoor Football League Perani Arena
Flint Generals Hockey United/International Hockey League Perani Arena
Flint Flyers Baseball Michigan State League Athletic Park
Flint Halligans Baseball Michigan-Ontario League Athletic Park
Flint Vehicles Baseball Michigan-Ontario League Athletic Park
Flint Gems Baseball Michigan State League Atwood Stadium
Flint Indians Baseball Michigan State League Atwood Stadium
Flint Arrows Baseball Central League Atwood Stadium
Flint Pros Basketball Continental Basketball Association Hamady High School, IMA Auditorium
Flint Fuze Basketball Continental Basketball Association IMA Sports Arena
Michigan Stones Basketball International Basketball League Proposed team, never played
Flint Seminoles Basketball Great Lakes Basketball Association Proposed team, never played
Flint Spirits Hockey International Hockey League IMA Sports Arena
Flint Bulldogs Hockey Colonial Hockey League IMA Sports Arena
Flint Blue Devils Football Atwood Stadium
Flint Pros Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Wildcats Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Sabres Football Super Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Falcons Football Michigan Football League, Ohio Valley Football League Atwood Stadium
Flint Flames Arena Football Indoor Football League IMA Sports Arena
Michigan Pirates Arena Football Continental Indoor Football League Perani Arena and Event Center
Michigan Phoenix Women's Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Guy V. Houston Stadium
Michigan Admirals Football North American Football League, United States Football Alliance Hamady Field, Russ Reynolds Field, Atwood Stadium
Genesee County Patriots Football Ohio Valley Football League, North American Football League Atwood Stadium, Guy V. Houston Stadium
Flint Sabercats Football Proposed team, never played

Sister cities

Flint has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Movies and TV

Flint's 1980s economic depression gained national attention in 1989 when native Michael Moore[43] created the documentary film Roger & Me. The film deals with the impact that the closure of several of GM's Flint area manufacturing plants in the late 1980s had on the area's population. The city is also mentioned, and featured at various lengths, in Moore's later documentaries.

The following movies and TV shows have taken place or were filmed in Flint.

  • The Fitzpatricks (1977–78) was a short-lived CBS TV drama about an Irish Catholic working class family living in Flint. The show was filmed in Hollywood, but set in Flint. Also the family were portrayed as steelworkers, not autoworkers.
  • TV Nation (1994–1995) was the debut TV series by Michael Moore. Numerous segments were filmed in and around Flint, including one where Moore uses declassified information to find the exact impact point from the nuclear ICBM that targeted the city (ground zero was Chevrolet Assembly, one of the General Motors plants at Bluff & Cadillac Streets). Moore then went to Kazakhstan to try to redirect the ICBM away from Flint.
  • The Awful Truth (1999–2000) was Michael Moore's second TV show. It featured segments from Flint.
  • To Touch a Child (1962) A look into Community Schools.
  • With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade (1979) Documentary about the women of the Flint Sit-Down Strike.
  • Roger & Me (1989) Documentary about the downturn in Flint because of GM closing various plants. The premise of the movie was Moore's attempt to find GM Chairman Roger Smith and bring him to Flint to see how GM plant closings affected the townspeople.
  • Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1992) Follow-up of Roger & Me.
  • The Big One (1998) Documentary film Moore urges Nike to consider building a shoe factory in Flint. Moore succeeds in convincing Nike CEO Philip Knight to match his offer to donate money to Buell Elementary School, which would eventually become the locale of the infamous Kayla Rolland shooting.
  • Bowling for Columbine (2002) Moore's take on the gun industry also profiles the shooting of Kayla Rolland.
  • Chameleon Street (1990) Wendell B. Harris Jr.'s story of famed con man Douglas Street. Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
  • The Real Blair Witch (2003) Documentary about group of Flint teenagers kidnapping and terrorizing a fellow student.
  • The Michigan Independent (2004) Documentary film about the Michigan independent music community. Many segments were shot in Flint, particularly at the Flint Local 432.
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) Moore takes on the George W. Bush administration. Moore filmed students from Flint Southwestern Academy. Filmed Marine recruiters at Courtland Center and references Genesee Valley Center as a mall for more wealthy citizens, "The rich mall in the suburbs."
  • Michael Moore Hates America (2004) Filmmaker Mike Wilson travels to Flint to document small businesses and other development efforts in the city, and compares it to the depictions of the city in Moore's documentaries.
  • Flintown Kids (2005) Documentary film about violence in Flint.
  • Semi-Pro (2008) Will Ferrell movie which centers around a fictitious 1970s ABA basketball team, the Flint Tropics. It was partially filmed in Flint.
  • Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) A Michael Moore documentary about the negative impacts capitalism can have on people and communities.

See also


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ US Census Bureau. Population Estimates, census.gov, retrieved 2010-Jun-22
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Population of Michigan Regions and Statistical Areas, 2000 and 2010. At www.michigan.gov.
  6. ^ General Motors | Corporate Information - History | GM
  7. ^ Detroit News, Rearview Mirror, The Sitdown strike at General Motors.
  8. ^ Longley, Kristin (November 08, 2011). "Flint would be only Michigan city to twice undergo emergency state takeover". The Flint Journal. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/11/flint_would_be_only_michigan_c.html. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "What's Up Downtown?". http://www.whatsupdowntown.com. 
  10. ^ "WNEM plans studio in downtown Flint". The Flint Journal. http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2007/09/wnem_plans_studio_in_downtown.html. 
  11. ^ "Officials hail Durant Hotel redevelopment as another step in moving downtown Flint in a new direction". http://www.mlive.com/flintjournal/index.ssf/2008/10/officials_hail_durant_redevelo.html. 
  12. ^ "Crim offers to purchase Character Inn". http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=6028243. 
  13. ^ Tom Leonard (2009-06-12). "US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  14. ^ Longley, Kristin (September 30, 2011). "Gov. Snyder appoints team to review Flint's finances under emergency manager law, requests report within 30 days". The Flint Journal. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/09/gov_snyder_appoints_team_to_re.html. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Longley, Kristin (November 09, 2011). "About 19 percent of voters turned out to re-elect Flint Mayor Dayne Walling". Flint Journal. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/11/about_19_percent_of_voters_tur.html. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Longley, Kristin (November 09, 2011). "Dayne Walling re-elected mayor as state declares financial emergency in Flint". Flint Journal. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/11/dayne_walling_re-elected_as_st.html. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Flint Bishop International Airport
  18. ^ SkyscraperPage.com: Flint, Michigan
  19. ^ a b c "Climatography of the United States No. 20 1971−2000: FLINT BISHOP INTL AP, MI" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. May 2011. http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/climatenormals/clim20/mi/202846.pdf. Retrieved 2011−01−26. 
  20. ^ "Thread Stations Extremes". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://threadex.rcc-acis.org/. Retrieved 2011−01−26. 
  21. ^ Flint Journal: "Flint Journal to return to Newsstands on Tuesdays starting March 23", 3/7/2010
  22. ^ Broadside
  23. ^ "Innovative Health Magazine homepage". http://www.innovativehealthmagazine.com/. 
  24. ^ "Downtown Flint Revival Magazine homepage". http://www.downtownflintrevival.com/. 
  25. ^ WFLT AM 1420 Flint
  26. ^ Flint Underground Music Archive
  27. ^ The History of Genesee County, MI. Chapter XIII: Early Years of Flint City.
  28. ^ "Hon. William A. Atwood". 1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros.. 1892. pp. 801–803. http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mi/county/tuscola/book/800-803.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  29. ^ a b c City of Flint, Michigan Charter 1974.
  30. ^ David Harris accessdate=19 October 2010 (September 17, 2010). "FBI statistics show Flint fourth most violent city in America". Flint Journal. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/09/fbi_statistics_show_flint_four.html. 
  31. ^ Mlive.com, Kristin Longley The Flint Journal December 17, 2010
  32. ^ Drake, Proskin, & Crain. "Analysis of Flint Homicides". Center for Homicide Research. http://www.chronline.org/Flint%20Michigan%20Research%20Report.pdf. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  33. ^ Flint Police officers union head: Response times expected to go up another 25 percent after layoffs The Flint Journal December 19, 2010
  34. ^ The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. Are Mostly Nice Places Gawker November 21, 2010
  35. ^ The most dangerous city in America Market Watch May 24, 2011
  36. ^ 6 additional Flint police to be rehired with $1.2 million federal grant The Flint Journal via MLive.com September 28, 2011
  37. ^ The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States
  38. ^ Flint Star: The Greatest Player From Flint You’ve Never Heard Of, HoopsAddict.com Retrieved July 19, 2007
  39. ^ Flint Star: The Motion Picture
  40. ^ Catching up with Marcus Davenport maker of Flint Star “The Motion Picture”
  41. ^ Flint Tropics
  42. ^ "About Sister Cities of Flint Michigan". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. http://web.archive.org/web/20071019150808/http://www.visitflint.org/sistercities/About_Sister_Cities_of_Flint.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  43. ^ Michael Moore (1992). "Pets or Meat:The Return To Flint". IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105134/. Retrieved 2009-03-31.  Moore states in the film he was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Flint.

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