The following quotes are from council members regarding their population growth strategy recommendations.
“I am pleased with the progress we’ve made thanks to the collective efforts of my colleagues on the Growing Michigan Together Council. These policy strategies are the result of a collaborative and transparent process that sought to incorporate the genuine feedback of Michiganders across the state,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and voting member of the Council. “This work serves as yet another example of what can be accomplished when we prioritize bipartisan partnerships and diverse perspectives. Let us continue in the same spirit as we move to implement these strategies and fulfill our mission of growing Michigan’s population, boosting our economy and showcasing our state as the place to call home.”
“I would like to applaud the Governor for taking on such a difficult task as addressing the population shortfall in Michigan,” said voting member of the Council Patrick “Shorty” Gleason. “GMTC was well represented in every walk of life, covering every sector of Michigan. We all know that taking on such a challenge was long overdue. I believe the benchmark has been set and the strategies made will lead to the growth of Michigan.”
“The task of the Council was to put forth bold, equitable solutions that can grow the population and create a better future for all Michigan residents,” said voting member of the Council Maha Freij. “We took our role seriously and have accomplished that with this report, which serves as a culmination of thoughtful research and dialogue between my colleagues. I fully support the strategies outlined within and look forward to seeing them come to fruition.”
“I am extraordinarily grateful to the Governor and the Lt. Governor for bestowing upon us the honor of doing this important work. Thank you to all Michiganders who are the embodiment of resiliency and innovation,” said voting member of the Council Ollie Howie. “Michigan is an amazing place to be educated, establish roots, work, live, and innovate because the people of the state make it so. We are the new hope we seek. I’m confident these recommendations will make Michigan an even better state. Thank you to the Governor, Council chairs, Council members, and citizens of Michigan for being intentional and thoughtful around growing together.“
“At Detroit Future City, we believe the future of our state is reliant on our ability to be open to innovative solutions that can grow critical industries, economic equity, climate resiliency and ultimately ensure all residents can thrive right here in Michigan ,” said voting Council member Anika Goss. “The report created by the Growing Michigan Together Council (GMTC) positions us to lead the state in these areas and change the trajectory of our population trends. Most importantly, for any plan to be successful in leading Michigan’s future it must intentional, direct and unapologetically make sure current and future Black, Latino, Indigenous and immigrant residents are not only included, but are economically thriving. The GMTC report is just the beginning. Collective and collaborative implementation of the strategies to make Michigan a state of equitable opportunity is the challenge ahead of us.”
“I was so honored by Governor Whitmer’s appointment to the Growing Michigan Together, and was proud to be part of the outstanding team that put this report together,” said Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Michigan and voting member of the Council. “Our recommendations for making Michigan a top-ten state were informed from a thoughtful, deliberative process, and while the hard work now lies ahead, U-M will be there to support the initiatives every step of the way. We look forward to working with our partners to attract, educate and retain talent, drive economic development and increase hope, growth and opportunity.”
“Growing our population is not an easy task. This report gives us a sense of what we’re up against as we work to attract and retain talent, and it gives us a roadmap on how we can work together to solve the challenges we face as a state,” said Senator Darrin Camilleri, voting member of the Council. “As a former teacher and chair of the PreK-12 budget, I’m particularly excited about the emphasis on investment and expansion of our education system. I’m thankful to be part of this process and to our councilmembers for uniting on a vision for our future. Michigan is the best state in the nation, and I can’t wait for us to showcase and improve our communities so that others realize that, too.”
“The process has been thoughtful and thorough. I am especially encouraged by the PreK-12 and Higher Education recommendations as they provide the right balance between researched best practices that are lacking in Michigan, deeper and equitable investments in education, and more accountability for student performance, which will ultimately yield greater economic development that in turn will increase Michigan’s population over time,” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, voting member of the Council.
“Over the past six months, Michiganders shared with the council the same desires my family had when we came to this state: strong communities, robust educational opportunities and welcoming neighborhoods. Our recommendations today all aim to build on our state’s strengths and target our weaknesses. Working with everyone across background, place and peninsula to prioritize our key shared values, we will build a brighter future that makes the case for why everyone — especially young people — should become Michganders,” said state Rep. Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
“The Growing Michigan Together Council Report makes the compelling case that Michigan is in crisis. It is an urgent call to action to unite behind a common vision for our state’s growth that will improve the lives of current residents as well as those who will return home or choose to live in this great state. We, as business leaders, have long advocated for cohesive, holistic solutions to address Michigan’s population crisis that can withstand disruptions, transcend politics, and initiate lasting improvement. Getting population trends back on track is critical to ensuring our state’s economic prosperity, political influence, and competitiveness. The risk is greatest if we do nothing. We are encouraged by the report’s focus on three interwoven and visionary strategies around education, the economy, and our communities. These are a set of guiding principles that, when developed and implemented, have potential to impact and change Michigan for the better. This is a unique opportunity to chart the course of our collective future, one that values and supports all Michiganders. The status quo won’t get us where we need to be. We must approach these challenges differently and come together to create the Michigan we want for today, tomorrow, and generations to come,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and Brian Calley, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan and voting members of the Council.