Michigan used to be the place people flocked to for opportunity. Our cities were bustling with jobs and growing rapidly. This was the state families of varying races, nationalities and religions packed up and moved to because they knew the jobs that were available paid fair wages – regardless of the color of your skin.
This was the place where automaking jobs provided a ladder up into the middle class for thousands of Michigan families, where you could earn enough to raise a family and buy the car you built at the factory. Michigan built the middle-class and created pathways to opportunity for people of all ethnicities who couldn’t find them elsewhere.
But today Michigan cities are struggling. Municipalities across the state have suffered from drastic population loss, severe cuts in state funding for essential services, economic development that fails to reach residential neighborhoods, and a state government that values profits over people – particularly in communities of color.
Many families living in Michigan cities today are struggling just to get by, much less get ahead.
In 2017, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and I joined leaders from urban communities across the state in an Urban Listening Tour. Too many candidates talk about issues they don’t understand without taking the time to have meaningful conversations with real people.
After touring the state and hearing directly from people who face these challenges every day, I have a deeper understanding of the policies our state needs to revitalize our cities, embrace our diversity as a strength and get things done that will help fight urban poverty.
Solving these problems will require a strong partnership with state, local and community leaders. As governor, I am committed to bringing people together to build strong, vibrant and healthy communities across the state, so we can build a better Michigan for everyone.
To accomplish this goal, my administration will pursue policies in the following areas:
- Pathways to Employment
- Closing the Economic Inequity Gap
- Safe Communities and Affordable Housing
- Ending Racial Disparities