Limelight Podcast

We Love Where You Live is the Michigan Municipal League’s exciting new venture into the world of podcasting! We’ll be bringing you insightful interviews on city innovations and politics, delving into the challenges of local government finance, sharing our members’ amazing accomplishments, and taking a fresh look at stories in the League’s magazine.

Listen in on our favorite device—smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop—any time it’s convenient for you!

NEW! We Love Where You Live podcasts are now available on iTunes and Google Play.

The Limelight segments highlight the incredible work being done at the local level, the stories behind the people that do it, and topics that matter to them.

Host: Emily Kieliszewski, membership engagement specialist, Michigan Municipal League


Episode 12 – Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council President

Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council President

At the League’s 2019 Convention, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones lent her talent and expertise to several sessions. In between all those activities, our Emily Kieliszewski sat down with Jones to get her take on her path in Detroit politics, her unique experience in Congress, and her advice for women and young people interested in entering the political arena.


Episode 11 – State Representative Padma Kuppa Shares How She’s Using her Power as an Indian-American Legislator to Empower Other Immigrant Voices

In our last episode, we heard from State Representative Mark Huizenga on how he successfully used his local government experience to run for statewide office – and win. In part two on the topic of using local government experience to run for state office, we welcome another perspective. State Representative Padma Kuppa, a former Chrysler engineer, is the first Indian-American woman and first Hindu to serve in the Michigan Legislature. She got involved in local government in many ways – including on the Troy Planning Commission. Representative Kuppa shares how she’s using her power to empower other immigrant voices, the value of social capital when running for state office, and her gratitude for the women who reached back with both hands to help her get a seat at the table – and how she’s now reaching back with both hands herself.

State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy)


Episode 10 – State Representative Mark Huizenga on hIs Path from Local Politics in Walker to the State Capitol

For some local leaders, running for state office is the next logical step. But what’s the difference? How can officials translate their local experience to a statewide race? What should those considering a run for higher office be thinking about and focusing on? We dive in on those questions and more with our guest, State Representative Mark Huizenga (R-74th District). Rep. Huizenga shares his path from planning commissioner to city commissioner to mayor of the City of Walker and how that led him all the way to his current seat.

State Representative Mark Huizenga (D-74th District)


Episode 9 – Communications Expert Matt Resch Shares Insights on Successful Ballot Proposals

Matt Resch, Founder, Resch Strategies

In August 2018, Michigan saw overwhelming success with hundreds of proposals on local ballots. Of the 847 local proposals Michigan residents voted on, 808 – or 89% – were approved. Michigan residents stepped up to invest in local services. But what makes – or breaks – a local ballot proposal? As more communities explore revenue-generating options, a successful proposal requires significant groundwork, including smart messaging and voter engagement. On this episode of Limelight, Matt Resch, founder of Resch Strategies – a communications, public relations, and issue management firm – shares his on-the-ground expertise.


Episode 8 – League Award Winners

Paula Zelenko, Mayor, Burton
Mark Vanderpool, City Manager, Sterling Heights

On this episode of Limelight, we sit down with two of our award winners at the League’s 2019 Capital Conference. Paula Zelenko was honored with the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award. And Mark Vanderpool was honored with the Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award. Learn more about the accomplishments of these two municipal leaders that earned them these distinguished awards.


Episode 7 – Tackling Human Trafficking at the Local Government Level

Kelly Breen, Councilmember, Novi
Theresa Rich, Councilmember, Farmington Hills

Human trafficking is real and it’s happening in Michigan, perhaps even right in front of you. According to state statistics, it is the second largest criminal enterprise in Michigan – eclipsed only by drugs. On this episode of Limelight, Councilmembers Kelly Breen (Novi) and Theresa Rich (Farmington Hills) discuss their efforts to start the conversation at the local government level. That’s important because our communities are where the activity actually happens. To learn more, listeners are welcome to attend the Human Trafficking and Our Community Town Hall at the Novi Civic Center on Thursday, April 11.

Episode 6 – MML Foundation #GivingTuesday Campaign Supports 16/50 Project

Gisgie Gendreau, President, Michigan Municipal League Foundation
Karen Lancaster, Finance Director, City of Ann Arbor

This episode focuses on MML Foundation’s #GivingTuesday campaign, which is raising money for the League’s 16/50 Project. Emily chats MML Foundation President Gisgie Gendreau on what #GivingTuesday is, why they chose the 16/50 Project for their campaign this year, and the positive things the Foundation does for our members and communities. Emily also talks with Karen Lancaster, finance director for the city of Ann Arbor, about her role in 16/50’s Women’s Municipal Leadership Program, some of the specifics the current class of women have learned to help them become successful managers, and why these trainings are critical for women looking to get into the field.

Episode 5 – Catherine Bostick-Tullius, 2017-18 Michigan Municipal League Board President

Catherine Bostick-Tullius, 2017-18 League Board President, reflects on her experience as president and her hopes for the League moving forward.


Episode 4 – Deb Stuart, City Administrator, City of Mason

Deb Stuart was the recipient of the League’s 2018 Community Builder Award, She discusses her work with MEDC and the transition to municipal management, her advice for women in government, and the City of Mason’s unique characteristics that make it a desirable place for residents and businesses.


Episode 3 – Muskegon Wins Strongest Town Contest 2018

Guest: Frank Peterson, City Manager, Muskegon


Episode 2 – Kimberley Sims, Muskegon Heights Mayor and Michigan Municipal League Board member


Episode 1 – Illuminating the Gender Balance Challenge

Guest: Pam Antil, assistant city administrator, Santa Barbara, CA, and chief administrative officer, League of Women in Government


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