Michigan Municipal League ConventionThe Michigan Municipal League’s evolution into the concept of Community Wealth Building will be front and center during our upcoming, first-ever Virtual Convention.

The League revamped our mml.org home page earlier this year to focus on this direction for Michigan communities. Our organization has multiple sessions planned to explain it to our members during the Convention, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. You can register for this year’s event here and view the full agenda here.

Here’s a look at the three planned sessions:

The Road to Community Wealth Building: 10-10:30 during general session, Wednesday, Sept. 30

League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin will explore the concept of community wealth building and what it means for the future of Michigan’s communities. Community wealth is an inclusive block-by-block approach to building resilient, adaptable communities that purposefully creates opportunities to improve the human experience. It is the idea that for economic prosperity to be real, it must be infused in, across, and through the community. New value is created in community wealth building. This evolution of the League’s commitment to placemaking will help reshape what economic opportunity means for Michigan’s communities.

Building Community Wealth through Social Enterprises: 12:45-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30

This session will explore how cities can partner with businesses to create social enterprises that help build community wealth. Social enterprises address unmet community needs or help solve social and environmental problems through a market-driven approach. Panelists will discuss successful models and tools for supporting these organizations.

Panelists: Joan Nelson, executive director, Allen Neighborhood Center; John McMicken, CEO, Evergreen Cooperatives; and Mitch Tomlinson, CEO emeritus, Peckham Inc.
Moderator: Janet Dillon, councilmember, City of Saline.

Building Community Wealth Through Philanthropic Partnerships: 2:15-3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30

How can local governments work with philanthropy to create more just and equitable communities? Through shared efforts to develop fresh approaches to planning and design, community engagement, public spaces, and more, partnerships like this can bring about a better quality of life for your residents. Join the Michigan Municipal League Foundation for a panel discussion on how developing relationships with your local funders can build civic muscle and equitable community wealth for an active, engaged, and caring community.

Panelists: Freyja Harris, project director, Pontiac Funders Collaborative; Regina Bell, Michigan Foundations; and Michael Shaw, program director, Hudson-Webber Foundation.
Moderator: Helen Johnson, president, Michigan Municipal League Foundation
Technical support: Danielle Beard, associate program officer, MML Foundation

From helping our communities in the fight against COVID-19 to leading the effort to build community wealth and expand opportunity for all, the Michigan Municipal League is a voice for proven policies that make Michigan a better place to live, work, and play.

The League supports intentional, block-by-block approaches to making resilient, adaptable communities that improve the human experience by building incomes for all, creating broader ownership of housing and businesses, and prioritizing inclusion. After a time of intense separation, we believe the need to create these meaningful outcomes is even more important. Check out this video where the League’s Dan Gilmartin explains the idea behind focusing on Community Wealth Building.