Since January 2012, the Center for Michigan has once again been travelling the state holding Community Conversations to gather and amplify the voices of Michigan citizens to ensure that policy discussions taking place in Lansing reflect the views of Michigan people.
CLICK HERE to read “10,000 Voices to Transform Our State,” the final report of our Michigan’s Defining Moment public engagement campaign.
CLICK HERE to read “The Public’s Agenda for Public Education: How Michigan citizens want to improve student learning,” the final report from our Future of Education public engagement campaign.
We will be back in the field in 2013 to hold additional Community Conversations across the state. Check back here for updates.
A Short History of Community Conversations
Since its founding in 2006, The Center for Michigan has sought to engage Michigan citizens statewide in small, informal town hall meetings we call “Community Conversations.” To date, we have engaged more than 10,000 citizens in this process. Importantly, participant demographics – gender, race, geography, age – look like the face of Michigan. This is the largest public engagement project in Michigan history.
Motivated by our deeply challenged state economy and a hyper-partisan political culture, we launched the Center with the following mission statement: “Conducting research into public policy issues affecting the people of the state of Michigan, developing public policy initiatives for the improvement of civic leadership in Michigan and educating civic leaders and concerned citizens in Michigan as to more effective approaches to public policy and governance through dissemination of written materials and sponsorship of conferences or forums.”
Our initial effort, Michigan’s Defining Moment Public Engagement Campaign, quickly became the Center’s central project. We launched “MDM” in 2007 in partnership with Public Sector Consultants, Inc. and the more than 100 statewide “Founding Champions”. We sought in-depth citizen deliberation rather than the standard telephone polls that allow brief and shallow comments to shape public policy. We worked to collect and disseminate detailed non-partisan information about Michigan’s challenges and, in turn, gathered pragmatic, grass-roots ideas to build a better future.