Starting Tuesday, the Center for Michigan -- parent to Bridge Magazine -- is launching its next round of community conversations across Michigan. This year-long campaign, through the end of 2012, will focus on a singular topic of extreme importance to Michigan's future: K-12 education.
These town hall-style meetings are modeled after the Center's "Michigan's Defining Moment" Public Engagement Campaign conducted from 2007-2010. That campaign convened more than 10,500 residents statewide and resulted in a citizens' agenda taken up by political candidates of both major political parties.
The first session is an "Issues & Ale" collaboration with Michigan Radio, to start at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolverine State Brewing Company in Ann Arbor.
"It became clear in Lansing that the insiders were in a mighty tussle, but we did not sense much discussion with the customers of education: parents, job providers and students themselves," explained CFM Executive Director John Bebow. "We think those voices are crucial, if the state is going to design an education system in the future that meets its maximum potential."
Phil Power, who founded the Center as a "think-and-do tank" committed to finding centrist solutions to Michigan's challenges, noted that many of the Center's supporters are attracted by the idea of reaching out to Michigan citizens to gauge their views on important topics -- and for the Center to "amplify those views and to take them into the corridors of power to get something done.
"Additionally, we want to ensure that people participating in community conversations represent all economic, geographic, and social groups because so often their views are not taken into consideration," Power said.
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If you are interested in hosting a Community Conversation, contact Courtney Thompson, Outreach Manager at the Center for Michigan: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.769.4625.