Hey, Elon: Consider yourself officially invited to Flint

FLINT, Michigan—Well, well, this is sure getting interesting. So Elon Musk has Tweeted his commitment to “fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination” above federal levels. 

Consider yourself invited to town. Officially.

In a 1-minute video aptly titled, “Hey Elon,” the billionaire owner of electric car maker Tesla Motors is invited — repeatedly — to come to Flint, to make good on his pledge, and to see the city’s investment opportunities. 

The brainchild of local photographer and videographer Mike Naddeo (who also is a Flintside photographer), the video features a core group of downtown business people and advocates inviting Musk to Flint. 

Check out the full video above. 

“I want Elon to come and experience our city for himself, to see what we are all about and to ultimately see that we are hoping for a long-term and sustainable investment that will help us to grow as a community,” Naddeo says.

Musk made the pledges via a series of Tweets to his 22.3 million followers on Wednesday, July 11. (Here's a link to his Twitter page.) Although traveling in China, he said a new email — #HeyElon — would be created to help Flint residents contact him for assistance. 

According to Forbes.com, Musk’s net worth is $20 billion. It credits him for “revolutionizing transportation both on earth and in space.” An original cofounder of PayPal, Musk also has rocket company SpaceX.

He made headlines this week after building a miniature submarine in an effort to help in the rescue of the soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand. Designed by Musk and built using rocket parts, the submarine was not used in the successful rescue.

The video opens by featuring the prominent, new Flint structure revealed in Brush Alley earlier this week. Then, person after person, invites Musk to visit Flint and invest in Flint. Each starts with the video’s signature phrase: “Hey, Elon.”

David Olilla, president and chief innovation officer for Skypoint Ventures, asks Musk to come to Flint and collaborate with local businesses. “If you are going to change the world, this is the place to start,” Olilla says.

Flint businessman Phil Shaltz points to the city’s rich history as an enticement for Musk. “Hey, Elon: Flint did it for combustion. We can do it for electric,” he says, seated inside 501 Bar and Grill.

There also are invitations to enjoy a “great lunch” from Matt Veihl at Steady Eddy’s in the Flint Farmers’ Market and “great cup of coffee” from Tif Sommers at Café Rhema. 

“We’ll welcome you with open arms,” said Kathleen Gazall, a downtown Flint resident, employee, and volunteer do-gooder involved in too many things to list.

Kathy Jackson from Healthy Dollar Holla took a very practical approach. “Come on here to Flint: We’ve got the manpower; We’ve got the land,” she says.

The video also features Flint resident Emily Doerr of Metro Community Development and Theresa Roach of the Crim Fitness Foundation as well as images of the famed Weather Ball, GoodBoy Clothing, Foster Coffee Co., Buckham Alley murals, the Capitol Theatre, and the digital City of Flint sign in the downtown Flat Lot. 

The video closes encouraging viewers to join the effort and also encourage Musk to come to Flint asking people to use the hashtag #HeyElon “to let him know.”


Read more articles by Marjory Raymer.

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