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


In an era of fake news and layoffs at the dailies, you can count on Bridge

November 29, 2016 | Phil Power

Your tax-deductible investment in nonprofit journalism will help Bridge expand our data-driven policy analysis, political watchdog work and the best education coverage in the state

Reflections on Trump’s election: Taking the long view

November 15, 2016 | Phil Power

There is often a direct relationship between a candidate having a compelling vision for our society and the enthusiasm of the voter

After bitter campaign, dark days for the Republic

November 8, 2016 | Phil Power

When we cannot even agree on facts, how can we reasonably discuss politics or policy, much less governance?

Tom Hayden, reflections on an old friend

November 1, 2016 | Phil Power

Admiring the leadership traits that turned the University of Michigan student into the leading voice of the 1960s campus anti-war movement.

Vote yes on the metro Detroit mass transit proposal

October 18, 2016 | Phil Power

The RTA plan isn’t perfect, but it may be our last, best chance for moving our region forward.

Bridge Magazine turns 5 with pride

October 4, 2016 | Phil Power

Fighting the tide of media cutbacks, Bridge journalism provides insight into the events of the day and a sense of community togethernes

Will Lansing commit to transparency and high education standards?

September 27, 2016 | Phil Power

Here’s hoping the Senate won’t weasel out of a bill that makes lawmakers subject to the open records law. Lansing must also keep the rigorous M-STEP test, Michigan’s best bet for accurately gauging our students’ success.

Saving money on the backs of college grads

September 13, 2016 | Phil Power

Students today are being asked to assume debt levels that are far higher than they were before Lansing started cutting back on support for higher ed

Two Kalamazoo leaders put their hearts, and money, into city

September 6, 2016 | Phil Power

As the state continues to starve Michigan cities of needed revenue, two civic-minded philanthropists are working to ease the financial burden on their beloved Kalamazoo.

An educational system doomed to keeping failing

July 19, 2016 | Phil Power

A very big reason Michigan students are falling behind is the very structure of our education system blurs responsibility and eliminates accountability

When elites ignore the people, the center cannot hold

July 12, 2016 | Phil Power

History teaches that when political leaders are tone deaf, frustrated and aroused citizens often take things into their own hands.

Savor the wonders of summer with this family cherry pie recipe

June 28, 2016 | Phil Power

Reflecting on the special glories of a Michigan summer holiday

Finding lessons in Flint’s tragedy

June 14, 2016 | Phil Power

Bridge Magazine’s new book on the Flint water crisis, “Poison on Tap,” reminds readers what can happen when our institutions start breaking down.

Transgender bathrooms or crumbling infrastructure?

June 7, 2016 | Phil Power

It’s time for leaders in the legislature to put aside short-term skirmishes that produce momentary headlines and focus on longer-term imperatives that will leave a lasting mark.

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