Michigan Prosperity Agenda: A Conversation from the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit!

Michigan Prosperity Agenda: A Conversation from the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit!

Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

radioshowIt’s not every day that more than 1,300 people from throughout the nation come to see the exciting things happening in Detroit, but that’s exactly what happened when the Motor City, for the first time ever, hosted the 2014 National Main Streets Conference at the GM Renaissance Center. And the Prosperity Agenda radio show was there to catch all the action. This month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR hit the road and was taped in the conference’s exhibition hall on May 18. This event showed how Detroit is working to re-emerge as one of America’s premier cities. The conference featured more than a dozen mobile workshops in and around Detroit, 60 education sessions and several special events.

The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show 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.

The hour-long radio program is hosted by Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the Michigan Municipal League (the 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., May 28 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen by clicking the links below. Listen as we talk about efforts to revitalize Detroit from the 2014 National Main Streets Conference held in the city.

View past radio shows here.

Listen to the full show: (37:51)


Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.

Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (1:06)

David Zeman

David Zeman is the editor of the Center for Michigan’s Bridge Magazine. He is a former 20-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press, where he worked as a reporter and editor and won some of journalism’s highest honors, including the Pulitzer Prize. David discusses the recent surprising results of an EPIC-MRA statewide poll published in Bridge regarding how voters outside of Detroit think about the city.

– Zeman explains while some people surveyed questioned the future of Detroit, many who had been to Detroit recently had an excellent experience in the Motor City. (7:40)


Joe Borgstrom

Joe Borgstrom is the Director of the Downtown and Community Services Division at the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority. He discusses the National Main Streets Conference and some Michigan Main Street success stories.

– Borgstrom and Atkinson share a segment and Joe explains why the National Main Street Conference is in Detroit and Ashley talks about her organization and the benefits of growing local food. (9:38)


Ashley Atkinson

Ashley Atkinson is co-director of Keep Growing Detroit. She also serves as the sustainable agriculture representative for the Detroit Food Policy Council and as an advisor to organizations including the Restaurant Opportunity Center – Michigan, Great Lakes Bioneers, Fitness Works Detroit and Grow Dat youth farm in New Orleans. She was a panelist at the conference and discusses urban farming alternatives in Detroit.

– Borgstrom and Atkinson share a segment and Joe explains why the National Main Street Conference is in Detroit and Ashley talks about her organization and the benefits of growing local food. (9:38)


Cara Bertron

Cara Bertron is the director of Place Economics’ Rightsizing Cities Initiative, which works to strengthen neighborhoods in legacy cities. She has completed a number of innovative preservation-based revitalization projects including the RELocal tool for strategic decision-making around vacant and abandoned properties, a new methodology for hyper-efficient citywide historic resource scans that was piloted in Philadelphia, and fresh approaches to cultural/historic preservation in Seattle. She discusses a model they have developed that uses 77 different variables to measure the health and potential of neighborhoods.

– Bertron shares some success stories of land banks in Detroit and Flint that are not just demolishing blighted buildings, but also restoring buildings where possible. (10:09)

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is franchise owner of Painting with a Twist studios located in Ferndale and Farmington Michigan. She is a native Detroiter and started the business because she felt people in Metro Detroit were searching for a stress relief outlet during tough economic times. She opened her Ferndale studio in 2010. She’s been profiled in the Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit Business. She discusses the project and her decision to move back to the city.

– So what’s the “twist” part of Painting with a Twist? Listen to find out. Hint … it has something to do with adult beverages. (9:18)


April 23, 2014: Revenue Sharing and the Importance of Investing in Communities

Mar 26, 2014: Crowdfunding Movement; Making a Better Michigan

Feb 26, 2014:Placemaking is a vital part of making our state prosperous again

Jan. 22, 2014:Jobs, jobs and more jobs

Dec. 20, 2013:“PlacePlans” effort taking hold and improving communities across the state

Nov. 27, 2013:The National Media’s Perspective on What is Happening in Detroit

Oct. 23, 2013:The League’s efforts toward an urban policy agenda that moves Michigan toward prosperity

Sept. 25, 2013:Strategic lessons on placemaking from the League’s annual conference in Detroit

Aug. 21, 2013:Michigan’s Port Communities – a Vital Element in the State’s Economic Prosperity

July. 24, 2013:Michigan cities and downtown centers experiencing population growth despite challenges

June. 26, 2013:Complete Streets – Designing roadways to accommodate all users, not just motorists

May. 22, 2013:Engaging citizens is vital to creating prosperous communities

Apr. 24, 2013: Repurposing Property Through Private and Public Partnerships to Revitalize Communities

Mar. 27, 2013: Town-Gown Partnerships Between Cities and Universities Helping to Move State Forward

Feb. 27, 2013: Retiring Baby Boomers Provide Opportunity to Communities

Jan. 23, 2013: Aging in Place

Dec. 26, 2012: Placemaking in Michigan – A Year in Review

Nov. 26, 2012: What is Placemaking and What is MSHDA’s Role in It?

Oct. 24, 2012: Embracing Green Technology in Neighborhood Revitalization

Sept. 26, 2012: Entrepreneurs are Key to Economic Turnaround

August 22, 2012: The MIplace Partnership Initiative Improving Cities and Neighborhoods

July 25, 2012: Arts and Culture Important to Placemaking

June 27, 2012: Entrepreneurs Key to Thriving Michigan Communities

May 23, 2012: Attracting Talent Key to Michigan’s Future

April 25, 2012: How Do We Bring it Back to Michigan?

March 28, 2012: Vibrant Michigan Downtowns Good for Business

Feb. 18, 2012: Making Our State More Sustainable

Jan. 25, 2012: The Benefits of Federal Funding for Neighborhood Stabilization

Dec. 29, 2011: The Year in Review

Nov. 27, 2011: Transportation in the State and the Role it Plays in Michigan’s Future Economic Prosperity

Oct. 26, 2011: League’s Recently Released Book Emphasizes Quality of Place to Michigan’s Economic Prosperity

Sept. 26, 2011: How will Michigan’s foreclosure crisis impact the state’s future prosperity

August 24, 2011: League Releasing Book Emphasizing Quality of Place

July 27, 2011: What’s Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

June 22, 2011: What’s Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

May 25, 2011: Why Transit Matter’s to Michigan’s Future Prosperity

April 27, 2011: Why Place Matters to Michigan’s Future Prosperity

Mar. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s Proposed Budget and What it Means for Michigan

Feb. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s Proposed Budget and the Potential Impact on Michigan Cities

Jan 26, 2011: Civic Engagement and Getting People Involved in the Community

Dec 23, 2010: Why Higher Education is Among Main Pillars for Building Michigan’s Future

Nov 24, 2010: New Leadership and the Impact on Jobs, Education and Quality of Life

Oct 20, 2010: Michigan Governor Candidates Talk Cities

Sept 23, 2010: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Aug 25, 2010: Green Initiatives

July 28, 2010: Economic Gardening

June 23, 2010: Rightsizing Cities

May 26, 2010: Attracting and Retaining Talented Young People

Apr 28, 2010: The New Urban Neighborhood

Mar 24, 2010: Arts, Entertainment and Culture

Feb 24, 2010: Talking Transit

Jan 27, 2010: Making a Better Michigan

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