Capital Conference Agenda At-A-Glance

Full Program (PDF)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


8:00 am-2:00 pm

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP (available for an additional fee)

Remaking Main Street: How to Design Walkable Urban Thoroughfares
The traditional American Main Street did more than move traffic; it was the ideal setting for commerce and social interaction. Today’s real estate trends show the Main Street model is back in demand in suburbs and cities alike. The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) will teach you how to resolve the challenges to building streets that make communities more valuable and livable, to meet the growing demand in Michigan. The teachings will come directly out of CNU’s Designing Walkable Thoroughfares manual. Register.

Read about Boyne City's Main Street in The Review.

9:00 am-noon                 

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS (available for an additional fee)

Driving the Food Truck Future

Mobile food vending is expected to soar in the next five years, generating up to $2.7 billion in revenue nationally by 2017. How can your community get on board this fast-growing entrepreneurial trend? Hear from the experts how innovative zoning, regulation and legislation can break down the barriers to this lighter, quicker, and cheaper approach to business and community revitalization. Food truck entrepreneurs will also offer a how-to for working with local businesses to launch a successful food truck rally in your community. Register.

Placemaking in Practice
ArtServe and the League will present successful placemaking projects from across the state with a focus on cultural economic development and public art as a catalyst. League staff will share the tools and lessons learned from successful local placemaking case studies, ranging from community-driven park management to activating underperforming space through physical design, art and performance. ArtServe will provide expertise on successful techniques of creative placemaking and the economic impacts of cultural economic development, as well as insights from its annual Creative State of Michigan report. Register.

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Increasing Community Development
Michigan's Local College Access Networks, community-based alliances committed to increasing the rate of citizens with a quality post-secondary credential, are drivers of change to shake up the way we do business in our communities and can help to create and sustain a rich, local talent pool. Hear from the experts at the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and the National League of Cities how municipal leaders can collaborate with business, education, philanthropy and nonprofits to build stronger future communities with a highly educated workforce. You'll also learn how MCAN provides ongoing technical and financial assistance to those communities who embrace a postsecondary educational strategy. Due to a generous grant from the National League of Cities, this program will be offered at a $50 discount. Register.

9:00 am-4:30 pm             

Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) 28th Annual Advanced
Institute (available for an additional fee)
Stay current on the latest legal issues affecting Michigan local governments. A group of top experts will review recent court decisions and legislation, discuss the challenges being faced, and offer strategies to deal with them. This is the perfect opportunity to “meet and greet” your colleagues while you network and exchange ideas and experiences. You will leave this session with a better understanding of current legal issues and the impact they will have on the municipalities you represent. Register.

10:00 am-1:00 pm

MML Board of Trustees Meeting & Lunch at League’s Capital Office
The 19-member League Board of Trustees is responsible for developing and guiding the organization’s public policy initiatives and legislative agenda, such as the Partnership for Place agenda approved by the Board in June of 2013.

Noon-6:00 pm                  

Conference Registration

1:15-2:15 pm

Governance Committee Meeting
The League’s Legislative Governance Committee is the “big picture” body that debates and decides on broad legislative considerations for the League, and helps develop proactive policy ideas. The Legislative Governance Committee meets two times a year: at the League’s Capital Conference and Annual Convention. Appointments to the Legislative Governance Committee are for two-year, renewable terms.

2:15-3:45 pm


Welcome to Capital Conference
Don’t rely on secondhand sources to learn about the issues that could impact you in the coming year. Hear it directly from the source! Lt. Governor Brian Calley will speak, followed by the latest legislative update from the League’s lobbying team in Lansing, on how the League’s new Partnership for Place policy agenda will be put into action this year. Read about Partnership for Place in The Review.

4:00-5:30 pm

Regional Roundtables
What are the specific issues impacting you and your neighboring communities? Regional Roundtables provide a convenient opportunity to get together with other members from your own geographic backyard and to hear directly from legislators who represent your part of the state, to share ideas and information on what matters most in the area closest to home. The Roundtable is also your one chance to enter a project in the annual Community Excellence Awards! Read about Telling Your Story in The Review.

5:45-6:30 pm

Elected Officials Academy Advisory Board Meeting
The Elected Officials Academy is a 4-level program that recognizes educational and leadership accomplishments of local government officials. The EOA Advisory Board helps develop a program of expanded educational opportunities that are responsive to the current issues and challenges in local government.

5:30-7:30 pm

MML Liability & Property Pool Capital Conference Kick-Off Party
The Liability & Property Pool is a long term, stable, and cost-effective risk management alternative for the League’s members and associate members. Join us at the annual Kick-Off Party in the Expo Hall, where vendors and attendees mix and mingle in a fun and informal setting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


7:30 am

Conference Registration Open

7:30 am-3:15 pm

Spring Expo
Check out the latest in all the services and products that are essential to local government. It’s the perfect venue for making face-to-face connections with the specialists in engineering, project management, funding, and so much more.

7:30-8:30 am

Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall


Michigan Women in Municipal Government Eggs & Issues Breakfast
Start the day with fellow local government officials to share ideas and solutions and hear updates on issues pertinent to municipalities. Use the Delegate Registration Form to reserve your ticket. Tickets must be paid in advance.

8:30-9:45 am


The State of Affairs in Michigan
Join the fast-paced and informative action as legendary political newshound Tim Skubick goes head-to-head with legislative leaders willing to sit on the hot seat for a spirited debate on the state of Michigan politics.

9:45-10:15 am

Networking Break

10:15-11:30 am


Putting Talent in Place
The newly formed Talent and Place Caucus is a bi-partisan group of legislators seeking to increase awareness about the importance of attracting and retaining talent as a fundamental aspect of placemaking. Learn how the League plans to work with these lawmakers on specific legislation advancing the goals of the Partnership for Place agenda. Read about A Place for Talent in The Review.

Crowdfunding the Future
Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Upstart…We’ve all heard how online crowdfunding has helped people fund projects that may never have gotten off the ground otherwise. Learn how Michigan’s new crowdfunding law is bringing this creative approach to economic development into the “real world.” Crowdfunding can encourage entrepreneurship and business growth in local communities trying to create vibrant places. Hear both a local and an investor perspective on what it is, how it works, and how to put this economic development tool to work in your community.

Fixing the Future of Municipal Finance
Everyone knows Michigan’s municipal finance system is broken – but how do we fix it? Join State Department of Treasury officials and members of the local government funding task force for a discussion on sustainable solutions. Read about Funding for the Future in The Review.

Live: National Transit Advocates Speak to Legislative Leaders
The League will host a joint Legislative Committee hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, our luncheon keynote speaker, will testify on the importance of transit to Salt Lake City and its surrounding communities, and the importance of transit to Michigan. John Norquist, President and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism will discuss the importance of building streets that promote livable, walkable and vibrant communities, and explain the economic benefits that accrue as a result of creating urban environments that support multiple modes of transportation.

11:30 am-1:00 pm

Awards Luncheon
The League's Outstanding Service Award is an annual honor given to recognize those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting the League's legislative efforts in Lansing on behalf of Michigan communities.

Guest speaker: Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

1:00-1:30 pm

MBC-LEO Annual Meeting

1:00-1:30 pm

Dessert Break in the Expo Hall

1:30-2:45 pm


PPT: Fixed or Fiction?
Ever since the Legislature passed extensive changes to the personal property tax (PPT) on the last day of the 2012 lame duck session, the League has been working with local government officials and members of the business community on reforms that would “fix” the many outstanding issues and problems.

Community-University Partnerships
Learn how Michigan’s 15 public universities and their public education partners are enabling the transformational changes needed to build a sustainable and diverse workforce for our 21st century knowledge-based economy, by creating places that will attract and retain talent, produce economic and cultural innovations, build entrepreneurial networks and infrastructure. Read about Addressing Michigan's Brain Drain in The Review.

The Lobbyist 2.0
The Legislature is constantly changing and taking on new issues. How can you keep up with it all? Join members of the League’s lobbying staff as we discuss the ins and outs of understanding the Michigan Legislature.

CLOSUP on Local Fiscal Health
Learn about recent trends in local fiscal health and the impact on local services, as revealed by the University of Michigan Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) survey. Read about Strength in Structure in The Review.

A Community Conversation
What is your political agenda for Michigan in 2014? The Center for Michigan wants you to be part of the conversation.  Equipment will be available to allow audience members to participate in live electronic polling. Survey results will be instantly visible and audience members will have an opportunity to give feedback. The results will become part of the Center’s statewide Community Conversation to identify and amplify the public’s priorities for the 2014 campaign year. You’ll also learn of other opportunities to participate in Community Conversations online and across the state! Click here to participate in the online community conversation. 

2:45-3:15 pm

Networking Break in Expo Hall

3:15-4:15 pm


From Local to Lansing
Do former mayors and councilmembers really forget where they came from once they’re elected to the state legislature? Who comes first: your citizens or your political party? Flint Mayor Dayne Walling asks the tough questions as he moderates a panel of former local officials now serving in public office at the state level.

4:15-5:00 pm

Crowdfunding: A Game-Changing New Opportunity for Local Development
National experts will discuss an exciting new local investment opportunity in Michigan that has resulted from the recent passing of crowdfunding legislation. Learn what it is and why it is a game-changing new development tool that local leaders can use to attract entrepreneurial talent. Our panelists will explain their experiences with crowdfunding as an economic and community development tool, and how the first Michigan local investments are already starting.

5:00-7:00 pm

Legislative Reception
End the Conference in a relaxed setting as you network with senators, representatives, key legislative staff members, and other top state officials and hear their perspectives on state issues.
Sponsored by: Michigan Association of Mayors (MAM)




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