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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2018

More than 1,000 Local Officials Headed to Grand Rapids

Municipal and Planning Associations Join Forces for Joint Convention


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - More than 1,000 mayors, locally elected officials, managers, professional planners, planning and zoning officials, and guests from throughout Michigan will descend on Grand Rapids this week for the joint 2018 Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) Convention.

This is the first time the League and MAP have joined forces to combine their two annual fall conferences (the League’s Convention and MAP’s Planning Michigan Conference) into a single massive gathering and educational event. And it’s all happening Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 20-22) during the 2018 ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Most convention education sessions and trainings will take place in Amway Grand Hotel and DeVos Place, but there also is an extensive series of mobile workshops throughout the area that will put a spotlight on the positive things happening in West Michigan communities.

In addition, U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, will be at the Convention to speak on his initiative in Congress, “The Future of America’s Cities and Towns.” For over a year, Congressman Kildee has held roundtables with mayors, officials and policy experts across the country to discuss what cities and towns need from various levels of government to be sustainable and compete in the global economy. He will be speaking on his plans for Congress to invest in older, industrial cities at 11 a.m. Thursday in DeVos Place Ballrooms A/B.

The Convention for the League, and the Planning Michigan Conference for MAP, are the premiere annual events for both organizations, and a joint gathering like this is an amplified opportunity to inform and highlight community accomplishments.

“The League is especially excited to be in Grand Rapids this year with MAP because the West Michigan community has a lot of the placemaking assets the League has identified as making up vibrant communities, including walkability and physical design, arts and culture, economic development, entrepreneurship, strong education base and much more,” said Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and Executive Director.

“This partner event combines the best of both organizations to present a stellar educational and networking event for our members and friends,” added Andrea Brown, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Planning. “Add in our township neighbors and colleagues, and this could be the collaborative community-building event of the year.”

Both the League and MAP serve the education and advocacy needs of elected and appointed leaders and the staff that support them: managers and administrators, professional planners, and other city, village and township leaders that make up the teams that work in tandem to create vibrant, successful, and healthy communities.

The joint convention is resulting in more of what League and MAP members want: more breakout sessions, more topics, and more mobile tours to choose from than ever before.

View the 2018 Convention program here:

Other Convention highlights include:

  • Official launch of the next phase of the SaveMICity municipal finance reform effort.

  • Keynote speakers: Author Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution; Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, Indiana, and first vice president of the National League of Cities; Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center; and Phil Power, founder and chairman of the Center for Michigan.

  • Selection of the 2018 Community Excellence Award (CEA) winner.

Photos of the 2018 Convention will be uploaded to flickr throughout the Convention and can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page: for free.

For information contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at and 810-874-1073.

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at





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