Let’s Save Michigan works in a lot of different ways to engage our audience, activate our communities, and advocate for change. We’ve held a few contests, conducted some “Twitter Town Halls,” organized email campaigns and petitions to lobby for legislation at the state and federal level, and supported a range of on-the-ground projects. Here is a little recap of most of our major initiatives over the last four years:
This November we concluded a design contest engaging Michiganders to explore the many needs of transportation planning, including moving vehicles through while safely providing for other forms of transit and quality public space. Contestants designed a balanced solution for a location in Michigan and exceeded our expectations with their creativity and ambition.
Two Blog Series on Transportation Projects
From June through October 2013, we ran a blog series called “Highways for Habitats,” featuring posts on recent highway projects from around the world that have helped roads that have to move goods through communities work better for the people living within those communities. In June of 2013 we wrapped up a series on the use of oft-threatened Transportation Enhancements and Alternatives Funding for projects in Michigan.
In 2011-2012, Michigan’s legislature considered (for the 24th time since the 1970s) the establishment of a Regional Transit Authority for Southeast Michigan, which will make transportation around the area more efficient, connected, and ultimately, usable for riders. And finally, this time, it stuck. The RTA was signed into law in December of 2012. Our readers, during the time of the bills’ consideration, submitted 2,172 letters to the governor and state senators encouraging them to pass the series of bills needed to establish the RTA.
In 2012, nearly 50 teams or individuals entered It’s About Place, our placemaking design-and-build competition. Over 17,000 people voted to help us reach our top 10 finalists, four of whom were selected to receive prize money towards the implementation of their project by a panel of placemaking judges.
In March of 2011, we launched a campaign to encourage the state legislature to maintain funding for two programs that are critical to redevelopment in cities and towns. The Historic Preservation Tax Credit and Brownfields Program had a track record of bolstering economic growth around Michigan. While these programs were ultimately eliminated in favor of a new way of funding urban economic development projects by the state, we’re proud that state senators and reps received 1,612 letters from our readers opposing this change.
During the spring and summer of 2010, we collected over 343 signatures on a petition in support of the Complete Streets bills in the Michigan House of Representatives. These bills were passed by the State House and Senate in July, and signed into law by Governor Jennifer Granholm in early August, 2010, making Michigan the 14th state to pass Complete Streets legislation.
In 2010, over 60 people entered the Poster Contest we ran in partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts. Individuals submitted posters that represented their vision for the ideas and issues that would move Michigan forward. You can still browse the entries by Michigan’s talented artists and designers here.
On the heels of the Poster Contest, we collected 1,273 signatures on a petition to Michigan’s legislature and governor to restore critical arts funding.