Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Michigan is Redeveloping its Way to Economic Vibrancy
Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan
Michigan’s push to become a national leader in providing residents good-paying jobs, excellent universities, and vibrant places to live is propelled by communities across Michigan that are embracing redevelopment and innovation. On this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR, we talk with community leaders across Michigan who are using creative thinking and new ideas to redevelop their cities and towns. The Prosperity Agenda is an hour-long radio program that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR since 2010 and is hosted by Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen by clicking the links below. Listen as we talk about the upcoming conference and how to build better Michigan communities.
Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains that the Prosperity Agenda radio show is about challenging listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. Gilmartin said having vibrant and prosperous local communities is a key factor.
- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (56 seconds)
Detroit Free Press reporter John Gallagher is the co-host for this month’s show. He covers urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan and has written several books about Detroit, including, “Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Renovation”. He has written a lot about the various projects underway in Detroit and why the nation seems so interested in what’s going on in the Motor City.
- John shares his thoughts about why Detroit is the poster-child for reinvention. (6:39)
Jennifer Rigterink has been the manager of the Redevelopment Ready Communities Program at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation since 2011. She joined the MEDC in 2010 as a CDBG Program Specialist. Jennifer talks about the Redevelopment Ready program and what it means for the state and communities involved. She reviews some of the strategies communities have adopted to pave a path to success..
- Jennifer gets calls from other states about what is happening in Michigan in the area of community redevelopment. What’s the toughest obstacle to change? Listen to find out. (9:42)
Bill Wild has been mayor of Westland since 2007 and has lived in Westland most of his life. He serves on the Legislative Governance Committee for the Michigan Municipal League, is a member and past chairman of the Conference of Western Wayne, and a delegate on the SEMCOG executive committee. He talks about how his community took an abandoned Circuit City building and turned it into the city’s new city hall.
- Cities must get creative to do redevelopment projects, but sometimes state laws get in the way. Mayor Wild discusses the importance of local control. (9:52)
Elizabeth Schultheiss has served as the executive director of the Albion Community Foundation since August 2008 and currently as the Board Chair for the Friends of the Bohm Theatre. She has lived in Albion for 15 years and served as the executive director of Kid ‘N’ Stuff, an interactive children’s museum, and as the executive director of the Albion Downtown Development Authority before joining the Foundation. Schultheiss explains all the work that went into the recent restoration of the Bohm Theatre in downtown Albion. Last month, the project won the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, along with four other winners.
- The Bohm Theatre restoration is just one example of redevelopment projects happening in Albion. Listen to find out what the city did with a former JC Penney store. (10:42)