Phil Power

Center for Michigan Founder and Chairman Phil Power was the owner of HomeTown Communications Network, Inc., a group of 64 community newspapers in Michigan and the Upper Midwest that together won more state and national awards for excellence than any other group in the country. He sold his newspapers in 2005 and founded The Center in 2006. Power graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1960, where he was editorial director of the student newspaper, the Michigan Daily. He was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in 1962-64. The former U-M Regent helped found the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and served as Vice Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He welcomes your comments at


Binding cities, with few ways out

May 24, 2016 | Phil Power

State policies over many decades are choking off revenue to cities across the state. Is Michigan willing to change?

A death on the Internet and the gift of time

May 17, 2016 | Phil Power

Acceleration of events imposes dimly perceived but very important changes in the way we think

Chinese copy cats and Japanese bullet trains; lessons for America

May 3, 2016 | Phil Power

On a trip overseas, the perils of international free-trade agreements appear in China, and the wonders of a strong infrastructure unfold at 200-mph in Japan.

Don’t trust government? Help to change it!

April 12, 2016 | Phil Power

This year, The Center for Michigan’s public outreach campaign focuses on how to restore public confidence in government. Signing up for our local Community Conversations allows you to be part of the solution

Oligarchs and demagogues, as America teeters

April 5, 2016 | Phil Power

All it takes is an inattentive or bored citizenry to set the stage for the decline of the republic

Flint report shows government’s size is less critical than its effectiveness

March 29, 2016 | Phil Power

If the experience in Flint teaches anything, it’s that when lots of local people complain loudly and persistently about things going wrong, usually there is something going wrong

Would a Bloomberg run break a fractious two-party system?

March 1, 2016 | Phil Power

We are witnessing the slow deterioration of a political system that is showing itself incapable of governing our country effectively

For a free executive education, look no further than Flint

February 16, 2016 | Phil Power

The catastrophe in Genesee keeps revealing itself, with lesson after lesson on how to miss seeing, and mishandle, a modern meltdown

Second thoughts on the Flint water debacle

February 9, 2016 | Phil Power

As we ponder conflicting accusations of who is to blame for the water disaster in Flint and the financial crisis in Detroit’s public schools, let’s also take a moment to consider some of the root causes that led to these emergencies and how to fix them.

Iowa is dealt a hand with three wild cards, no aces

February 2, 2016 | Phil Power

The fact Trump, Cruz and Sanders are all contending indicates conventional wisdom isn’t anymore, so all bets are off

Flint water and Detroit Schools raise doubts about emergency manager law

January 26, 2016 | Phil Power

Emergency managers threaten the trust local residents have in government. They should be used carefully, with concern for the health and welfare of those affecte

A friend’s death, a community’s loss

January 19, 2016 | Phil Power

The death of a former school superintendent underscores the importance of leaders who can bind a community together

In search of competent government

January 12, 2016 | Phil Power

The state’s slow response to lead poisoning in Flint and school debt in Detroit shows a government unable to execute important tasks in the public interes

With record interest in state parks, let’s take steps to protect them

January 5, 2016 | Phil Power

Bold public-private partnerships could offer a model for conserving Michigan’s ecologically important landscapes and the wildlife that live on the

Donald Trump and America’s new political path

December 15, 2015 | Phil Power

Envisioning a future in which nativist know-nothings duke it out against an elite political establishment

Supporting Bridge Magazine’s nonpartisan journalism

December 1, 2015 | Phil Power

Our ambition is to make Bridge the most trusted news source for Michigan residents. Will you contribute to our fundraising campaign?

How technology can disrupt divide over government’s role

November 17, 2015 | Phil Power

Ordinary citizens now trapped in endless pro- and anti-government arguments may suddenly be able to escape from that sterile maze, thanks to technology.

Road deal made by politicians who won’t face the consequences

November 10, 2015 | Phil Power

Fully half of the $1.2 billion road deal will have to be diverted from the state’s general fund, which means inevitable cuts to education, safety net benefits and the like. By that time, most of the architects of this deal will be out of office.

The fight for teacher evaluation reform

November 3, 2015 | Phil Power

“Insider baseball,” sure, but on legislation that could make a big impact on public education