Speaking with reporters on Thursday in downtown Detroit, Clarke acknowledged that obtaining such a bailout for the city is a long shot, but said he refuses to give up hope.
"I understand the political reality, but I can't accept that things can't change," said Clarke, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
Clarke, who also launched his reelection campaign on Thursday, personally lobbied President Obama in January for "emergency aid" for Detroit from federal agencies, but so far nothing tangible has emerged from those talks.
"Bottom line, I'm asking for federal aid to avoid massive layoffs, especially for our public safety officers," Clarke said after his chat with the president. "That's what we actually need to attract businesses here who create jobs. We need safe streets and we need good schools."
Clarke’s announcement on Thursday came in response to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s Tuesday unveiling of a state-imposed management plan for Detroit.
The Free Press reports, however, that a spokesman for Snyder responded to Clarke by pointing out that government reforms are needed in addition to money.
"We're happy for him to pursue any type of federal money he can, but if there isn't structural changes, the city will be in the same situation down the road," said Geralyn Lasher.