WSW: As Election Approaches, Asking What Michigan Voters Want

May 7, 2014

The Center for Michigan's Citizens' Agenda found a desire to fix the state's roads - file photo
Credit WMUK


The Center for Michigan has released Michigan Speaks: The Citizens Agenda for 2014

The center's outreach coordinator Dwayne Barnes and President and CEO John Bebow discussed the report with WMUK's Gordon Evans. 

The center gathered information, in part by holding a series of community conversations around the state, including one in Kalamazoo. They also conducted a phone survey. Then analyzed the feedback.

The center found four big takeaways, Barnes says the one that stands out is that Michigan voters want to see the state's roads fixed. He says they're willing to pay more for better infrastructure. Barnes says there is also a desire for better education, college affordability, and reducing poverty. 

Barnes says on tax policy, there's no mandate for a tax cut right now, but he says there is also no consensus that taxes should be raised. Bebow says that made the opinion on roads "really stand out." He says otherwise, the citizens are saying you have to make due what you have, but do things differently. Bebow says school consolidation, such as the Albion-Marshall high school merger may be the sort of innovation that citizens want without more revenue. 

Now that the report is out, Barnes says there will be more community engagement from the Center for Michigan. He says the center wants to help citizens hold candidates accountable in the run-up to this year's elections. Bebow says another series of events are planned around the state and online. He says the Center for Michigan's online news service, Bridge Magazine, will continue major issues, and the Truth Squad will once again be examining the claims made in political advertising.