Category Archives : Michigan Cities

Ideas to Revitalize Michigan Cities


A Tale of Two States: Guest Blogger Rick Haglund’s Final Post

Many states have cut benefits to the poor and unemployed in the belief that these payments dissuade people from looking for paid work. Minnesota takes a different view. It has created one of the strongest safety nets in the country, spending generously on benefits to help those who have lost jobs or been stricken by […]

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A Tale of Two States: Welcome Everyone

Many states have “welcome” signs at their borders. Minnesota means it. It’s a state that embraces immigrants, sees same-sex marriage as a civil right and an economic benefit, and recently enacted groundbreaking legislation designed to improve conditions for women in the workplace. Contrast those policies with Michigan, which is fighting to prevent the legalization of […]


A Tale of Two States: The Road To Prosperity

Michigan residents are clamoring for the Legislature to better fund the state’s crumbling roads, bridges and mass transit. But lawmakers have repeatedly failed to boost taxes that would raise the $1.2 billion more a year that Gov. Rick Snyder has said is necessary to fix the roads. Minnesota years ago developed a comprehensive transportation funding […]

Minneapolis skyline, bridge, and Mississippi River

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A Tale of Two States: Education & More from #StatePoliciesMatter Author, Rick Haglund

Art Rolnick, the former director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank and an expert on economic development, says the secret to Minnesota’s decades of prosperity is found in its commitment to developing human capital. “The key to the success of Minnesota’s economy over the past 50 years is the quality of its work […]


A Tale Of Two States: From the Author of Michigan Future’s Latest Report

Metro Minneapolis-St. Paul has long been one of the nation’s most prosperous metropolitan areas with a rich mix of businesses and one of the best-educated work forces in the country. In 2012, metro Minneapolis had per capita income of $50,260, the 27th highest of all metro areas in the United States, according to the Bureau of […]

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Stuck in the past

My biggest concern for the state and its regions––particularly metro Detroit–is that we have a vision of what we want the future to look like and a public policy agenda, from across the political spectrum, that are grounded in the past––which we can’t go back to–-rather than the future. So we end up not having […]


Growing Ann Arbor 2

Had an opportunity to talk with the Ann Arbor City Council about the economic future of the city. (For an excellent summary of the session see this MLive article.) My remarks and the conversation was mainly about retaining and attracting college educated Millennials. But we also had a chance to discuss Ann Arbor being part […]


Mayor Heartwell

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell’s latest State of the City Address is terrific. Worth reading. It lays out an agenda for making Grand Rapids a place where people from across the planet want to live and work. Its an agenda that other Michigan cities should want to adopt as their own. And the state too. […]


Repopulating Detroit as the priority

In an interview with the New York Times, new Detroit mayor Mike Duggan said: “Everything that we are doing, from the time we get up in the morning, we’re thinking about: How are we going to build the city where the population is growing again?” Mr. Duggan said. “And that’s ultimately what’s going to define this: […]