“The point of cities is multiplicity of choice,” Jane Jacobs once wrote. We agree.
Downtowns should be dynamic hubs, with jobs, parks and recreation, good municipal services, stores and restaurants, all within walking distance or accessible via a variety of transportation options. Vibrant city centers attract a diverse mix of businesses and residents. For too long, Michigan’s state officials have passed tax incentives that have routed jobs and industry away from Michigan’s core communities, ignoring existing infrastructures, services, and business networks.
Funding for parks, public services, transit, and the arts isn’t a luxury—while remaining mindful of fiscal realities, we must make certain our cities keep their unique character. We insist that our legislators embrace policies that support museums, restaurants, bars, libraries, and performance spaces—the lifeblood of vibrant cities.
Let’s Save Michigan is a non-profit initiative to support Michigan’s renaissance through the revitalization of its cities. Let’s Save Michigan works through:
- Education: We write about policies and trends that affect our cities, hold virtual conferences like our “twitter town halls” and share information through social media.
- Engagement: We coordinate initiatives to empower citizens to improve Michigan cities from the grassroots on up.
- Advocacy: We empower our network to communicate to state leaders in support of policies that are good for Michigan cities.
Michiganders can look back on the 20th century with immense pride. Our state helped lay the groundwork for the American middle class, and our residents enjoyed an unparalleled quality of life. Our assembly lines and recording studios churned out cars and music that shaped the modern world, and our cities sprouted world-class museums, buildings, parks, festivals, and other monuments to prosperity and cultural abundance. But right now, Michigan is struggling. Michigan is enduring drastic job losses and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, resulting in residents moving out of state and declining tax revenue. Unless we seize this opportunity to redefine and rebuild our beloved state, we may lose the very things that make it such a special place to live.
The Let’s Save Michigan campaign provides people with a wide range of opportunities to make a difference, big and small. With the right policies in place, Michigan can create the vibrant communities that will attract 21st century workers. Let’s make Michigan the place it can be—and the place it needs to be.