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


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

Raising the talent level of Michigan workers

October 27, 2015 | Phil Power

Encouraging investment in human capital is one of the most important policy priorities for Michigan in the next decade

Seeking excellence, without apology

October 13, 2015 | Phil Power

True excellence brings with it the impulse for aspiration, a model for following, a standard that invites achievement, for all of Michigan.

A Maasai warrior, with one foot in a more modern world

October 6, 2015 | Phil Power

The traditions of African culture run up against opportunities for prosperity in a developing Kenya.

Correcting corrections would save money, but carry risks

September 29, 2015 | Phil Power

With prisons gobbling 20 percent of state spending, policymakers are grappling how to reduce Michigan's incarcerated population while still keeping those on the outside safe.

Tell state leaders what you want at fall conferences

September 22, 2015 | Phil Power

Three Center for Michigan conferences this fall will put state political, business and education leaders in the same room with ordinary Michigan residents to talk college affordability, job training and career opportunities.

Donald Trump and The Center for Michigan

September 15, 2015 | Phil Power

Both Trump and the Center, in VERY different ways, are working to impact a troubled political system.

Celebrating Bridge’s growth and impact at age 4

September 8, 2015 | Phil Power

Four years in, Bridge Magazine is helping to shape the policy conversation in Michigan with research-based, bipartisan reporting on issues important to the state.

Make this cherry pie for Fourth of July

June 30, 2015 | Phil Power

Five generations of the Power family are tied to the Montmorency “sour” cherries of northern Michigan. Now, put them in your belly!

Our deepest thanks

June 24, 2015 | Phil Power

We are both delighted and astonished at the positive response to our spring fund raising campaign. More than 300 people have contributed in amounts ranging from $5 to $1,000. We can't thank you enough for your support.

On the summer solstice, a meditation on gardens and life.

June 23, 2015 | Phil Power

A promise of beauty and wisdom amid the wonders of Michigan.

The time is now to reform prisons, save taxpayers money

June 16, 2015 | Phil Power

Momentum is building among conservative policymakers to reduce costs in the state’s expensive prison system

After preschool gains, Michigan should now turn to 0-3 child policies

June 9, 2015 | Phil Power

Programs that help vulnerable families with pregnancy and infant care, as well as child-care options, are shown to pay dividends for early learning.

A roads solution for Michigan

May 19, 2015 | Phil Power

Like the aftermath of a sudden spring snowstorm, the ground is blanketed with various proposals to fix Michigan’s roads. And most have something else in common with spring snow: They’re likely to have melted into the ground once the sun comes out.

Proposal 1 crash shows lawmakers out of touch

May 12, 2015 | Phil Power

In today’s digital world, old school political leadership mechanisms don’t work well anymore.

Finding a haven for the moderate middle

May 5, 2015 | Phil Power

Common-sense solutions should constitute a third force in Michigan politics, which could move our two entrenched political parties toward collaboration for the public good.

Leaving elections in the hands of plutocrats

April 28, 2015 | Phil Power

There is something deeply disgusting when a very few people dominate financing of our ostensibly “democratic” political system without even the pretense of public engagement.

A broken back, polio and the test of character

April 21, 2015 | Phil Power

A book recounting how FDR’s struggles with polio helped shape his worldview reminds the author of a turning point in his own life.

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children

April 14, 2015 | Phil Power

The CMU event, open to the public, will bring experts on early childhood development from around the world to Michigan.