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


Imagining what kind of candidates would be drawn to a job in a part-time Legislature

June 20, 2017 | Phil Power

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s initiative would only double down on the inexperience that’s already hurting the Legislature’s ability to pass good policy

A call to public service, in a land filled with discord

May 30, 2017 | Phil Power

Memorial Day reminds of our national values and shared sacrifice

Giving Michigan voters what they want

May 23, 2017 | Phil Power

Instead of buying in mindlessly to either Republican (cut) or Democratic (spend) doctrine, politicians running for state office in 2018 must think about what ordinary residents want. Creating a citizens’ agenda for Michigan.

France avoids disaster, but tremors of political instability remain

May 9, 2017 | Phil Power

Automation, globalization and fears raised by immigrants raise political stress that will only yield to leaders who can bring people together.

Among likely candidates for governor, who can unite our divided state?

May 2, 2017 | Phil Power

Phil Power visits three candidates, Dan Kildee, Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer, all likely to seek the governorship in 2018. All are smart and able, but each has yet to find a theme that can bring Michiganders together.  

New book on Detroit’s 1967 uprisings; events feel like yesterday

April 19, 2017 | Phil Power

The riot – or rebellion, as some call it – raised long-suppressed issues of race, poverty, joblessness and despair among African-American Detroiters. How much has truly changed?

Election reform critical to restoring public trust

March 28, 2017 | Phil Power

Michiganders told us they can’t count on Lansing to handle the basics. Ending term limits and legislative gerrymandering are two ways to make politicians more responsive to all residents.  

Residents are giving up hope for a better Michigan

March 21, 2017 | Phil Power

If we don’t have public confidence in our system of representative government and in our political leaders to reform and improve, our options are pretty much reduced to chaos or authoritarianism.

Send Bridge the worst examples of bad government writing

March 7, 2017 | Phil Power

How you can help the state clean up the best of the worst examples of incomprehensible government forms, laws or other documents.

Phasing out income-tax revenue a dangerous game

February 21, 2017 | Phil Power

Lansing’s tax-cutting obsession is leading Michigan down the drain

In Legionnaires’ story, an example of Bridge Magazine’s mark

February 7, 2017 | Phil Power

Bridge Magazine just won its second straight “Newspaper of the Year” award. Dogged reporting like that shown in uncovering some mysterious pneumonia deaths near Flint is one reason why.

Getting Lansing to consider our long-term infrastructure needs

January 31, 2017 | Phil Power

Lawmakers are floating elimination of the state’s income tax at a time when evidence shows that Michigan desperately needs more state revenues to fix crumbling roads and keep drinking water safe.  

In search of common ground

January 25, 2017 | Phil Power

Bridge Magazine’s “Michigan Divided” project aims to walk in the shoes of, and find common values among, those who are different from us.

‘Fake news’ and the delegitimization of traditional journalism

January 18, 2017 | Phil Power

Living in a post-fact world, in which there is no independent standard by which to judge the accuracy of any assertion.

Cold? Spend a winter in Alaska, then we’ll talk cold

January 12, 2017 | Phil Power

Drunks in snowbanks, toes chopped off with an axe, and other pleasant tales from the arctic tundra.

The end of fake news

January 6, 2017 | Phil Power

The Center for Michigan and Bridge are embarking on the immense task of developing fact-based, statistical measures of Michigan’s economy, education system, health and environment to help solve the state’s most vexing problems.

Wolves of Christmas Past

December 19, 2016 | Phil Power

Even the coldest, loneliest holiday season can be warmed with Handel, a pet wolf and a caribou roast

Betsy DeVos’ path to an easier confirmation

December 13, 2016 | Phil Power

The U.S. Education Secretary nominee should recommend that the state markedly improve oversight of charter schools and demand the release of private charter companies’ financial statements.

A Chinese voice on Trump, free speech and political correctness

December 6, 2016 | Phil Power

A heavily censored Chinese media is not conducive to a well-informed citizenry. But free speech alone won’t solve problems facing the U.S.