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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Your source for Michigan news in 2023 and beyond

Bridge Michigan’s year-end fundraising campaign is happening now! We have big plans for 2023, including holding elected officials accountable for promises on the campaign trail, following the latest developments in public health, the Great Lakes, K-12 and post-secondary education, helping you understand and prepare for a turbulent economy and much more. Will you help us achieve these goals? Your tax-deductible support makes it possible!

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Community Conversations

Since its founding in 2006, the Center for Michigan (Bridge Michigan's Nonprofit publisher) has sought to engage Michigan citizens statewide in small, informal town hall meetings we call “Community Conversations.” To date, our public engagement campaigns have involved more than 75,000 Michigan residents. This is the largest public engagement project in Michigan history. Click on the titles below to download PDFs of the final reports from our public engagement campaigns.

No Substitute

2020: In the fall of 2019, a Bridge Magazine investigation revealed that uncertified, long-term substitute teachers are leading more than 2,500 Michigan classrooms. These individuals can teach for an entire school year without any educational training or background in the subject they are teaching.

Pure Waters

2020: Michigan residents want clean water in their household taps, local waterways and the Great Lakes. Residents say state leaders should enforce stringent regulations improve the quality of the state’s waterways and assure infrastructure provides safe, affordable drinking water.

Fixing Michigan’s Road Mess

2019: Michigan’s roads are bad, getting worse, and the state should spend more to fix them. Michigan residents agree on that much. But Michigan is divided on how much more the state should spend and where that money should come from.

Moment of Truth

2018: Improve schools. Protect roads and water. And make state government more transparent and less partisan.

Michigan residents have spoken and, yet again, are pleading with state leaders to focus on the basics: Better schools. Reliable infrastructure. Clean water. And lawmakers who, at long last, are willing to put the people before political party.

Those were the most common themes struck by residents across the political spectrum during the Center for Michigan’s 2018 Truth Tour.

Fractured Trust

2016: This campaign showed an alarming lack of confidence in state government from participants across Michigan, and little consensus on what to do about it. However, Michigan residents do suggest two concrete ideas for improving trust in state government: Reform of the state emergency manager law to give more control back to the people, and improved transparency in how state leaders fund their campaigns. In both community conversations and telephone polls, Michigan residents emphasize that it is crucial to improve state government’s performance in all areas, including education, public health, services for low-income residents, environmental protection and fostering economic growth.

Getting to Work

2015: This campaign resulted in concrete public recommendations for improving career counseling and college advising in high schools, making college more affordable and reducing student debt loads, providing more hands-on training and work experience for young people, and intensifying retraining and continuing education for adults.

Michigan Speaks

2014: This campaign outlined public priorities for the statewide elections, including the key issue of fixing Michigan roads. The legislature ultimately put a road funding ballot issue before voters.

The Public’s Agenda for Public Education

2012-13: This campaign developed a common ground vision for intensified early childhood education, tougher teacher training and greater educator accountability. Governor Snyder and the legislature responded with the nation’s largest expansion of preschool and tougher teacher certification tests.

Weighing in on Reinvention

2011: Michigan’s newly elected governor and legislature implemented business tax reform, transparent and timely state budgets, and education and government reforms in line with this campaign

Michigan’s Defining Moment

2011: Michigan’s newly elected governor and legislature implemented business tax reform, transparent and timely state budgets, and education and government reforms in line with this campaign