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


Detroit leaders display the art of governance

September 30, 2014 | Phil Power

Retiring Congressman John Dingell says his biggest accomplishments over nearly six decades in Washington were brought about by bringing people together for the public good. That same philosophy is now playing out in Detroit.

Serious problems demand serious, experienced politicians

September 23, 2014 | Phil Power

Michigan’s future leaders could do worse than to take part in the Michigan Political Leadership Program to hone their skills as capable public servants.

A dark-money cloud obscures issues that matter in Michigan

September 16, 2014 | Phil Power

Who’s supporting the candidates running for office? How much are they investing in the outcome? Right now, we can only guess about much of it.

A new president, a noble history

September 9, 2014 | Phil Power

Friday’s inauguration of Dr. Mark S. Schlissel at the University of Michigan was a moving demonstration of hope for our future.

Three years in, Bridge delivers the goods on public policy

September 4, 2014 | Phil Power

Bridge is making good on its promise of fact-based, trustworthy, nonpartisan news and thoughtful analysis of the people’s business.

Hosannas to Free Press for exposing charter failings

July 15, 2014 | Phil Power

What’s the sense in financially supporting charter schools if they are not producing better educational outcomes than the failing traditional public schools students are leaving behind?

The only cherry pie recipe you’ll need this summer

July 8, 2014 | Phil Power

Tracing family roots to Michigan’s unparalleled sour cherry harvest.

What Michigan voters (really) want

June 24, 2014 | Phil Power

Polls are a snapshot of public attitudes, but the state’s 2014 political candidates need the “Michigan Speaks” report to grasp what’s driving voters this election year.

A path through the political thicket for Bridge journalism

June 17, 2014 | Phil Power

This publication’s reporting – and the Center for Michigan’s engagement work – led to two big wins for Michigan’s school children. Excuse us if we brag a little bit.

Has the tide finally turned for Michigan?

June 10, 2014 | Phil Power

The case for cautious optimism for our state, which finally seems to be moving in the right direction.

Now, let’s fix the rest of Michigan

June 3, 2014 | Phil Power

Beyond Detroit, Michigan’s entire system of financing local government is tottering on the brink of collapse.

Michigan races, funded by outside billionaires

May 29, 2014 | Phil Power

Rich donors and secret super PACS are setting the agenda in the state’s governor and senate races, making Michigan’s key political campaigns anything but local.

Flush with lilacs, Michigan blooms anew

May 20, 2014 | Phil Power

April may be the cruellest month, but its reward is May.

Detroit’s last, best chance lies in current crisis

May 13, 2014 | Phil Power

It’s going to take a long time to root out the damage Detroit has incurred over a half century. Here’s hoping the city, the region and the entire state have the fortitude, far-sightedness and patience to persevere.

A chance to hear Michigan’s real voice

May 6, 2014 | Phil Power

In an age of political microtargeting, Community Conversations show the face of Michigan

Why is this lesson so hard to learn? Education should be linked to job market

April 29, 2014 | Phil Power

Two generations of Michigan governors have urged the teaching of job skills to match the labor market, to little effect.

Boiled duck, angry bear and the remorseless twilight of arctic life

April 22, 2014 | Phil Power

More than 50 years after establishing a nonprofit for Inuit artists, a frigid return to Baffin Island.

Schools must work together in lean times

April 1, 2014 | Phil Power

As the Marshall-Albion merger shows, collaboration offers school districts the best option to conserve money while helping students.

Pay for roads and college now, or pay later

March 25, 2014 | Phil Power

Election-year politics shouldn’t trump legislators’ duty to do the right thing for Michigan’s future

John Dingell got things done

March 3, 2014 | Phil Power

For nearly six decades, Dingell worked with colleagues across the political spectrum. His departure pounds another nail in the coffin of competent government in our representative democracy, now quivering in gridlock thoroughly mixed with political narcissism.