If you care about Michigan’s future, if you care about real facts in today’s climate of social-media-driven fake news and hyper-partisan politics, the Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine aim to be your home for informed and engaged citizenship in the important statewide election year of 2018.
For the first time in eight years, the governorship and all 148 seats in the Michigan Legislature are up for election at the same time in November.
Today we announce the launch of the nonpartisan “2018 Michigan Truth Tour” and “Michigan Solutions Summits,” part of a year-long focus by the Center and Bridge to engage and inform Michigan residents on the most critical issues facing the state, while fighting fake news and fake politics throughout this campaign year.
Phil Power column: Feel ignored in Lansing? Let us help you find your voice
MICHIGAN TRUTH SQUAD
Our popular political fact-checking service launched last week with the vetting of campaign claims by four leading candidates for Michigan governor. You can depend on Truth Squad to fact-check candidates’ (and interest groups’) commercials, websites, social media feeds, public statement, and even the mailers that will land on your front porch. Truth Squad will help citizens sort the pronouncements and claims on all sides of politics – including the races for governor, attorney general, Michigan House and Senate, and potential ballot issues. And you can help with that effort. Tell us! what claims you’ve heard that seem questionable and we’ll take the best tips to fact-check.
Related Michigan Truth Squad coverage
- Bill Schuette’s track record as attorney general
- Gretchen Whitmer’s role in Larry Nassar case
- Brian Calley’s claims on state’s economic gains
- Abdul El-Sayed promises single-payer healthcare
MICHIGAN SOLUTIONS SUMMITS – RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY:
In March, the Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine will gather dozens of experts and stakeholders at locations across the state to factually ground the 2018 elections in the biggest substantive issues facing Michigan. These Solutions Summits, open to the public, include:
- Wednesday, March 14: Solutions Summit: A Great Place to Live & Good Government: Don’t miss this day-long discussion about Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure, the health of cities, balancing economic growth and natural resources protection, and the numerous ballot issues voters may face in November. Location: The Huntington Club conference facility inside Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Reserve your seat today
- Thursday, March 22: Solutions Summit: An Educated Michigan: Don’t miss this half-day morning conference on Michigan’s education performance crisis and what to do about it. Co-hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan, the event will feature education experts, lessons from other states and a call to action for 2018 candidates to develop robust policy platforms for Michigan’s education future. Location: The General Motors Auditorium at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. Reserve your seat today.
- Thursday, March 22: Solutions Summit: Personal Prosperity: Don’t miss this half-day afternoon conference featuring business, philanthropic and community leaders discussing strategies to best ensure economic opportunity and prosperity for all Michigan residents. Location: The General Motors Auditorium at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. Reserve your seat today
- Friday, March 23: Solutions Summit: An Educated Michigan: Don’t miss this half-day morning conference on Michigan’s education performance crisis and what to do about it. Co-hosted by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature education experts, lessons from other states and a call to action for 2018 candidates to develop robust policy platforms for Michigan’s education future. Location: Downtown Grand Rapids. Reserve your seat today.
MICHIGAN TRUTH TOUR – COMING TO A VENUE NEAR YOU
Be on the lookout for our mobile news and citizenship van on Michigan’s highways and byways all summer! The Michigan Truth Tour plans up to 100 stops across the state from April through Election Day in November. The Center for Michigan is partnering with community leaders to hold town hall meetings and documentary screenings, discuss substantive local and state issues, distribute Michigan Facts & Issue Guides, give you an opportunity to meet our spokespuppy Truth Dog, profile communities in Bridge, and cover and fact-check prominent campaign events in your area. Contact the Center’s Public Engagement Team today to book a Truth Tour stop in your community!
Related coverage: How to spot fake news
THE MICHIGAN FACTS & ISSUES GUIDE
This week, Governor Rick Snyder will give his last State of the State address. At the same time, the Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine will publish our State of the State. The Michigan Facts & Issues Guide will provide comprehensive facts, figures, and context on the major issues that will define Michigan’s future. Presented in a quick and easy-to-understand format, this nonpartisan guide can factually ground candidates of all parties and is designed to help voters sort fact from fiction during campaign season. Bridge will publish the online guide on Tuesday. The Center for Michigan will print and distribute thousands of copies through public libraries, festivals, campaign events and other public venues throughout the year.
MAKING CITIZENSHIP FUN
The Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine will soon launch three fun and engaging ways for Michigan residents to learn about state issues and compete for prizes.
- “YOU BE THE GOVERNOR SIMULATION GAME”: How would you lead Michigan if you were governor? Our online simulation game will allow you to build the kind of Michigan you want. You can cut taxes, raise taxes, cut government spending, or invest more in the priorities you think matter most. You’ll see how your choices would change Michigan’s state budget. You’ll see the kinds of political victories you could claim if your choices were enacted. You’ll see the criticism you’d have to endure from political opponents. And you’ll be able to share your version of Michigan through social media. “You Be the Governor” will debut later this winter and continue all year.
- MICHIGAN TRIVIA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Think you know a lot about Michigan? The Michigan Trivia Championships in April and August are your chance to prove it – and win prizes! The Center for Michigan is partnering with a leading Michigan trivia company – Sporcle – to launch trivia competitions in venues across Michigan. Dates and locations will be announced in Bridge Magazine and on social media soon. Hint: Read Bridge and the Michigan Facts & Issues Guide to get a leg up on the competition!
- MICHIGAN PROPHECY CONTEST: Prove yourself among Michigan’s best armchair prognosticators and win prizes! The Center for Michigan will take entries from citizens everywhere throughout the 2018 Michigan Truth Tour. Watch for contest launch at the Issues Summits in March. And enter any time you see the Truth Tour van all summer.
“MICHIGAN DIVIDED” DOCUMENTARY
Bridge spent the past year chronicling the lives of Michigan voters across the political spectrum. From the Upper Peninsula, to Lansing, to Flint, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Jackson, the resulting, hour-long “Michigan Divided” documentary captures our deeply divided culture, but also brings partisans together and illustrates how, at heart, there are also some values that are shared. The documentary will debut at our Issues Summits in March and will be shown frequently during the Michigan Truth Tour. Watch for exact viewing times and locations in Bridge and on social media.
BRIDGE MAGAZINE COVERAGE EXPANSIONS
By popular demand, Bridge recently launched an in-depth, twice-monthly Michigan Environment Watch report. Because, you Bridge readers, have consistently asked for deeper coverage of Great Lakes and natural resources issues. You’ve also asked for deeper watchdog coverage of Lansing policy issues, the Legislature, and 2018 political campaigns. In response, we’ve launched a new Lansing Watchdog reporting team. And, to continue to grow Bridge’s reach, we’ve hired one of Michigan’s most experience online and social media audience experts. We’re very excited to introduce you to our new hires here.
Why are we doing all this?
Because making Michigan a better place by engaging and informing the public is the mission of the Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine. We’re nonprofit, nonpartisan, data-driven and deeply rooted in this state.
We’re not concerned with partisan politics or who wins elections. Instead, we’re concerned with doing everything we can to assure that candidates of all stripes are focused on real facts and real issues central to a prosperous future in Michigan. And we’re concerned with providing Michigan’s busy, hard-working voters with credible, convenient and engaging facts, news, and analysis to help you navigate the state’s economy, education system, government – and the choices you face in the ballot box.
So… Welcome to the 2018 Michigan Truth Tour and please join in our commitment to combating political spin with facts, context and truth-telling.
It’s going to be quite a ride!