Alexandra Schmidt

Alexandra Schmidt is the Public Engagement Director at the Center for Michigan and public engagement reporter at Bridge Magazine. In both roles, she focuses on discerning how state policy impacts residents' daily lives and amplifying those experiences to achieve stronger public discourse. She holds a bachelor’s degree with high honors and distinction in Urban Studies from the University of Michigan. Before joining us in 2017, she worked with HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the Big 10 Network, TBS, and Comedy Central. You can reach her at or 616-901-5764.


Michigan teachers: Flunking won’t help kids read. We have better ideas.

September 3, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Bridge spoke with 29 Michigan teachers in a Facebook group about the read or flunk law that hits third-graders this year. They’re dubious the law will improve literacy but have plenty of other ideas.

How to have your voice heard during the Your Water, Your Voice campaign

August 5, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

The Center for Michigan is hitting the road to find out how residents view management of the state’s waters. Here’s how to have your voice included in our Citizens Water Agenda, which will be delivered to every state leader.

What to know about the Michigan minimum wage law before the Supreme Court

July 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt, Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan’s high court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether Republican efforts to pass the ballot measure, then gut it, violated the constitution. That does not mean the court will decide the matter, at least right now.

Paid sick leave: What to know about the Michigan law before the Supreme Court

July 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court is hearing arguments Wednesday on whether Republicans in Lansing acted lawfully in passing a paid sick leave bill last year before neutering it. The court may offer its opinion, or it may not, raising the specter of a formal lawsuit. 

Invasive plants choke Michigan waters. So why can anyone order them online?

July 11, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Residents can order invasive plants through specialty websites, even though they are illegal in Michigan. Is there a better way to protect the state’s fish, waters and tourism industry? 

New Flint water prosecutors face a skeptical hometown crowd

June 29, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

The state's new prosecution team delivered a scathing rebuke of how the investigation was handled by former Attorney General Bill Schuette. But their promises to deliver justice for the people of Flint were greeted by skepticism and even grief.

Calling Michigan teachers! How would you improve 3rd-grade reading skills?

May 30, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Michigan’s young students continue to struggle with basic reading proficiency. What would Michigan teachers do differently if they were in charge of state education policy?

Reader FAQ: Does Michigan Lottery money really go to schools?

May 17, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Michiganders often express skepticism that state lottery money earmarked for schools actually goes to, you know, schools. Bridge offers insight to the most frequently asked lottery conspiracy theories.

From Michigan Truth Tour: Fix our schools and roads, end partisan games

January 29, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

The Center for Michigan heard from 23,000 people across the state in 2018 on what they want from lawmakers, and what they don’t. Now, we’re talking your views to every legislator in Lansing and to the governor’s office.   

The Michigan Truth Tour in 18 pictures

January 29, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

A peek at what it’s like to speak with over 8,000 people statewide in one year - all with a puppy in tow.

Federal shutdown gets real in Beer City: Michigan summer ales in jeopardy

January 18, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

This year’s new seasonal brews may never hit the shelf, and some smaller breweries along West Michigan’s “Ale Trail” fear their openings may be at risk. Thanks, Washington!

Michigan approves recreational marijuana. What you need to know.

November 6, 2018 | Chastity Pratt, Alexandra Schmidt

Here’s what you can - and cannot - do now that voters have overwhelmingly approved recreational marijuana

Who is funding the fight over a redistricting proposal in Michigan

October 10, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

Each side in the battle over partisan gerrymandering has brought in national money for their campaigns. That’s where the similarities end.

Michigan ballot issues: What to know about Prop 1 (recreational pot)

October 9, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

In the first of three reports on ballot measures, Bridge begins with marijuana: Who is behind efforts to fund and oppose it, its risks and benefits, and its impact on communities. 

Who's funding the fight over recreational marijuana in Michigan?

October 9, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

Interest groups, individuals, and businesses fund the legalization campaign. One group funds majority of their opposition.

Two Michigan House rivals say hello, talk. In other news: Hell freezes over.

September 13, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

What candidates across a divided political landscape can learn from two men competing for a House seat in Kalamazoo.

East Michigan pub trivia competition to launch in Metro Detroit

August 3, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

How well do you know Michigan? Are you ready to compete for $1,500 with others around metro Detroit? Test yourself with practice questions!

More pot and lower taxes if Michigan marijuana vote passes this fall (slideshow)

June 27, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

The Michigan marijuana initiative would allow customers to possess more pot and pay lower taxes than most states that legalize recreational marijuana. Bridge compares state laws.

What’s legal, and what isn’t, under Michigan recreational marijuana plan (slideshow)

June 27, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

Legalizing recreational marijuana would not mean a free-for-all. Here are the legal limits if the measure passes in November.

Announcing Winners of the West Michigan Trivia Championship

May 3, 2018 | Alexandra Schmidt

Think you could have won? Take the interactive trivia quiz to see if you would have stood a chance!