Michigan speaks!

It is with great pride that the Center for Michigan presents our latest report, “Michigan Speaks: The Citizen’s Agenda for the 2014 Elections.

Since September 2013 through early April 2014, 5,500 Michigan residents participated in helping us collect this citizen’s agenda through 166 in person meetings, 2 large phone polls, and an online version of the community conversations.

This report serves as a to-do list for candidates seeking the surest path to representing the needs of Michigan residents.

The residents of Michigan have identified several key issues that stand in the way of our state’s success and have provided some suggestions for addressing these problems.

We heard the public express a clear mandate for leaders to:

  • Invest in roads bridges, and infrastructure. Residents want repairs with lasting results, and are willing to pay more in taxes to get them.
  • Bolster Education. Participants deemed increasing high school completion rates, improving K-12 student performance, and intensifying education and job training urgent priorities for Michigan.
  • Improved college affordability. This issue touches a raw nerve for Michigan residents. This and other workforce issues will frame the Center’s next public engagement campaign.
  • Intensify the fight against poverty. 1.6 million Michigan residents live in poverty. Participants across all demographic groups believe it is an urgent concern for our state.

It also seems that when it comes to tax policy, Michigan residents are at a standoff. Would-be tax cutters do not have the public mandate to do so. Those who would call for tax hikes can only find public support when it comes to roads.

Otherwise, Michigan residents are asking leaders to come up with innovative solutions for addressing our state’s complex needs at current tax levels.

To read the full report, a PDF copy of the report is available here. Please share it with your, friends, colleges, or even send it directly to candidates.

This report is only the beginning! To ensure that your voices are heard by candidates from now through November’s election, the Center will organize numerous community and candidate engagement events throughout the summer and fall.

This work would not be possible without generous financial support from more than three dozen corporate, foundation and individual investors in the Center for Michigan’s work. Those investors are listed in the report and we are extremely grateful for their support and trust.

Thank you to the more than 5,500 participants who helped set the Citizen’s Agenda for 2014. We value the time you volunteered to share your priorities, needs, hopes, and ideas for Michigan’s future.

This citizen’s agenda truly belongs to you.

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