Flashpoint 6/2/19: State leaders address Michigan’s future at Mackinac Policy Conference

June 2, 2019

Click On Detroit

Devin Scillian

State leaders sat down with Flashpoint host Devin Scillian to address key issues facing Michigan at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week.

Segment One:

Democratic US Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan’s 12th congressional district, and Republican US Rep. Frederick Upton of Michigan’s 6th congressional district.

Segment Two:

Georgia politician, Stacey Yvonne Abrams.

Segment Three

Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson.

View the segments and full article here


Congressional Leaders to Discuss Bipartisan Leadership

Civil discourse in politics has given way to extreme partisanship, preventing forward progress on key issues impacting all Americans — from health care and trade reform to immigration and improving the nation’s infrastructure.

On Thursday, June 1, a panel of Congressional lawmakers will take Michigan’s Center Stage to discuss how they are working together at the federal level to advance major issues to move the country forward.

Moderated by Carol Cain, senior producer and host of “Michigan Matters,” the panel will examine how Michigan can capitalize on its strengths to build sustainable communities that provide opportunity for all of its residents. Panelists include:

  • Debbie Dingell, U.S. Representative, D-Dearborn
  • Brenda Lawrence, U.S. Representative, D-Southfield
  • Dave Trott, U.S. Representative, R-Birmingham
  • Fred Upton, U.S. Representative, R-St.Joseph

Michigan Congressional Delegation: In Digital Age, Michigan Positioned to Lead in IT, Automotive and Defense

By Daniel Lai

When it comes to Michigan’s economy, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says he is bullish.

“This is an incredibly exciting place to live,” Peters said during remarks at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Networking Reception with the Michigan Congressional Delegation at the Skyline Club in Southfield on Monday.

Peters, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, kicked off the reception by informing more than 170 regional executives about the delegation’s work to position Detroit and Michigan as a leader in automotive, mobility, defense and information technology.

Peters spent the day visiting with companies in Macomb County’s Defense Corridor, including stops at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. The tour included meetings with representatives from General Motors, who are working collaboratively with Army researchers on a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2. The vehicle will be used for U.S. Special Forces operations.


“We are at the cutting-edge of technology right now,” he said. “There hasn’t been another time in our history where we have been on the cusp of transformative technological change since the first car rolled off the assembly line, and it is happening right here in Michigan.”

Addressing the race for connected and automated vehicles, Peters said the Michigan delegation is working feverishly to make sure industry stakeholders have the tools they need for research and development.

“For self-driving cars to work, it requires machine learning. Therefore, the moonshot for artificial intelligence is self-driving cars. Michigan can be the epicenter of this development and our delegation is committed to achieving that vision,” Peters said.

He also emphasized the transformative impact of collaboration while praising the Chamber for its effort to convene regional stakeholders on issues important to businesses.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow spoke on the importance of urban revitalization and the critical role of Michigan’s agriculture industry on the U.S. economy.

“I always say Michigan doesn’t have an economy unless someone is building something or growing something,” Stabenow said, adding that increased development in Detroit is a positive sign for the state and region’s long-term prosperity.

“It is incredible to see so many people working so hard for Detroit, but we know we have to do more,” she said. “It only works if the neighborhoods are doing well, too.”

Acknowledging the need for federal funding to improve Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure, Stabenow said the delegation will continue to fight for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a key piece of legislation that provides federal dollars to protect the largest source of fresh surface water in the world. Additionally, Stabenow said the delegation is planning a tour of the Soo Locks near Sault Ste. Marie this year to call attention to their regional and national role as drivers of economic growth.

Peters and Stabenow were joined at the reception by U.S. Reps Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Dan Kildee (D-Flint), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph).

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Read more from Daniel Lai:

Digital Marketing Experts: It’s Time to Rethink How You Connect with Your Audience

Macomb County Celebrates Business Community’s Impact on Economic Growth


Michigan Cements Mobility Leadership with American Center for Mobility Groundbreaking

One of the 2016 “To-Do” list items from the Mackinac Policy Conference is to support the establishment of the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run. A special event, held on Monday, Nov. 21, makes achieving that goal, well on its way.

Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, John Maddox, president and CEO, American Center for Mobility, and Steve Arwood, CEO, MEDC, as well as some of the state’s top automotive technology leaders were on hand to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the $80-million project in Ypsilanti Township.

“This is a significant day for Michigan,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We put the world on wheels and now we are leading the world in bringing autonomous vehicles to the world.”

As one of the founding partners of the Michigan Mobility Initiative, MICHauto worked tirelessly to keep the Center’s opening a focus for the state.

Stevens, who sits on the Center’s Land Services Board, has been instrumental in helping establish the legal and financial operating parameters for the testing site.

The Center, located on 335 acres at the existing Willow Run site, is designed to test new and emerging technologies and will play an integral role in positioning Michigan to lead in the race for the connected and autonomous vehicle development.

The Center will be available for use by private industry, government, academia, among others and will serve as a technology hub, allowing companies to lease office space, garages and other amenities.

Construction is scheduled to begin next spring with the Center being open for business by December 2017.

More information on the American Center for Mobility can be found at www.acmwillowrun.org. To learn more about the future of mobility and its importance to Michigan’s ongoing economic resurgence, visit www.planetm.com.