The Michigan Municipal League today (June 6, 2012) launched three new blogs about city operations, digital innovations and the importance of private and public investment in communities. These blogs are part of the League’s key mission to serve as the one clear voice for Michigan communities.
Read a news release about the blogs here. The League’s Anthony Minghine, associate executive director and chief operations officer; will write a regular blog called “City Ops” about the practical things that cities deal with on a daily basis. The League’s Rob Ferrari, director of digital strategies, will write the blog “inKNOWvate” about how messaging and technology can generate stronger community engagement, identity and support. The blog “Communities Count” by the League’s Arnold Weinfeld, director of strategic initiatives and federal affairs, will focus on why it’s vital to invest in Michigan’s communities.
While these three blogs are new, the League has been blogging for years, including a legislative blog called Inside 208, and a blog about the eight assets to creating vibrant communities, called 21c3 (Center for 21st Century Communities.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. Reach him at 734-669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan State University has been awarded a $915,000 grant over five years from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create a pioneering economic development center that focuses on new ways of generating businesses and jobs.
The MSU University Center for Regional Economic Innovation will work to support research in economic development innovation in a collaborative manner through partnering with other colleges, local and regional governments, private businesses and other groups to produce or identify innovative ideas and practices that can be shared.
The project will have a statewide focus, both urban and rural, and particularly in economically distressed regions. The center will seek opportunities to improve economic development in a variety of industries, such as information technology and the health and energy sectors.
To begin its work, the REI Center is asking for help in identifying innovative economic development tools, models, policies and/or practices that may create businesses and jobs in our state. Fill out the survey here. Suggestions may be featrued in webinars and presentations at the "Innovate Michigan! Summit, scheduled for Thursday, September 6, 2012.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail
Thirty-three communities along the I-69 corridor in Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Shiawassee counties and several in the Grand Traverse area have signed inter-local agreements to form trade corridors and become hubs for commerce and freight and logistics in their regions.
Both have initiatives have received a Next Michigan Development Corporation/Aerotropolis designation from the Michigan Strategic Fund.
As noted in a press release from the Prima Civitas Foundation, the goal of the I-69 initiative is to "enable the I-69 Corridor to market the region's collective strengths to businesses that are engaged in international multi-modal commerce as an alternative to the congestion occuring at other border crossings, rail shipping/receiving yards, and airports." As a region there are many such assets including Bishop Airport, major freeways, the Blue Water Bridge, CSX and Canadian National rails, and several water ports.
These regional collaboartive efforts involve not only local government but other public sector entities and the private sector as well. Public/Private regional collaboration on economic development is a key element in creating the vibrant kinds of places emphasized in the League's Center for 21st Century Communities program.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
Technology is driving change at a fast and furious pace, altering our lives in ways that we could never have imagined only a short time ago. Now, in an economy of shrinking budgets and staff, emerging technologies are allowing the public sector to completely rethink how they function, deliver services, and engage their citizens.
Enter Civic Commons Marketplace, a recently launched app "store" that was highlighted in a Fast Company article. Developed by Civic Commons, a nonprofit organization that is helping the public sector navigate the tech world, this site is a place where governments can search for software, compare alternatives, and share the technologies that they are already using. Some of the exciting software includes DistrictBuilder program which allows for creating and editing redistricting plans (Detroit is one of seven cities using it in the country) and check out SeeClickFix, which encourages a more engaged citizenry to report non-emergency problems in their neighborhoods with one quick click.
This new app store is a resource that can spur the public sector to think outside the traditional parameters of operation and create more transparent and efficient governments.
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-669-6320 or by email@example.com.