Motown Museum – July 2019 Update

Since our last post, the Motown Museum was left battling mother nature to finish our placemaking space project. Once all the permits had been acquired, and plans approved by the historic commission, we found ourselves in February and March of 2019 doing two things:

  1. Getting multiple quotes for concrete work.
  2. Waiting for the weather to reach at least 50 degrees so we could pour the foundation of the park.

Since we first started the project, quotes on concrete doubled in price, seriously affecting our budget.  We looked at alternative concepts such as wood decking and paving stones, but none were as attractive or as functional as concrete. Eventually we found a small, independent contractor who really wanted the job, and who would do it within our original budget. We hired them and waited for the weather to warm. In the meantime, our program staff continued to plan programming in our new park for the summer, so that we would be ready to engage the community when construction was completed.

After reaching temperatures that would allow us to lay concrete, the endless rains continued to delay the project as we needed at least five straight days of no rain to prep and pour the concrete. April finally presented us a small window of good weather during which we completed the foundation work and planting.

Within weeks, we painted the surface to fit the concept design, and ordered all our outdoor tables, chairs and umbrellas. We finished the space by installing a Motown “M” metal sculpture that anchors the park.

The concept for the space was created by Hamilton Anderson, a Detroit-based firm. Hamilton’s staff chipped in to help by assisting with landscaping work, painting and by building the community message chalk board that adorns the park.










Last, but not least, we installed party lights over the park, and a new sound system that allows us to play music all day and allow for artists to plug in and play during special events. We were ready to open the Dancing in the Street Park!

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Motown Museum opened our new placemaking community space during its annual “Founder’s Day” event. The event featured live bands, food trucks, free tours of the Motown Museum, and community tables with art and music activities for kids, and Henry Ford Hospital performing health screenings for attendees. The event drew over 1,000 people who watched Robin Terry, Motown Museum’s Chairwoman and CEO officially open the park with Mayor Mike Duggan in attendance. The grand opening was kicked off with Motown legends, Martha Reeves and original Vandellas, Rosalind Ashford-Holmes and Annette Sterling-Helton performing the classic song the park was named after: “Dancing in the Street.”

Eden Gardens Block Club – July 2019 Update

Eden Gardens Community Association had a successful grand opening of our intergenerational park on June the 9th. The new equipment added to the playground was a playscape, and baby swings. Eden Gardens still have one more piece of equipment to add to the playground and that is the bench curl. We look forward to adding the bench curl later this month.

On June the 9th children as well as the seniors came together to celebrate having a place to communicate and have fun. The playground was full of the voices of young children. The seniors laughed, joke and reminisce about old times. There was plenty of food to eat and things to drink. The DJ played music from the 60’s on up to today’s music, and we danced. Many of the seniors participated in dances such as the hustle. The entertainment did not end there. The community was entertained by 3 drummers.  The drummers told stories of what part of Africa the music originated. He explained the meaning of each song and invited the audience to not be afraid to join in and dance to the drums.  Children played in the two bounce houses, rode a train and on the playground. Adults and teenagers played chess, checkers and horseshoes. We had voters registration, help to prevent water shut off and foreclosure prevention. It was indeed a day of celebration.

On June the 30th the community once again came together with the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue to have our annual building a bridge over dinner. This event takes place at least twice a year; once in Eden Gardens and once in the downtown synagogue. This year we exchanged names and numbers with people we didn’t know and vowed to call that person at least twice a month to say hello. With plenty of food, both communities came together to heal the wounds of the past between the Jews and Blacks. Together we are learning to accept each other cultures, and religions to build a better future for our children.

Looking forward, we are excited to offer a day to celebrate all graduate day on July the 14th. Every household that has a child that has graduated be it preschool, kindergarten, middle / high school or college will be honor by the community for reaching one of their many milestones in life.

On July the 27th Eden Gardens will have a day for the seniors. On this day the seniors will have an opportunity to come out their houses and meet their neighbors once again. Play cards, horseshoe, checkers and more. We plan to introduce yoga in the park. We are building a strong community rooted in diversity, understanding and fun for all.

Detroit Theater Organ Society – July 2019 Update

The biggest challenges the Detroit Theater Organ Society faced to transform this vacant lot were the profoundly compacted dirt in the space and the lack of a water source inside it. The question became, how to make the space beautiful and inviting without tilling and extensive planting that would be difficult if not impossible to maintain?

The answer soon became clear. MULCH!








On Saturday, June 1 a rotating crew of about 20 people participated in the effort to freshen the look of the space using wheelbarrows, rakes, and buckets. The mulch mountains were enjoyed the most by our youngest volunteers!












Artist Scott Ferguson, as part of the Ours Film Festival, put the finishing touches in his mural later that day. He took his inspiration for this mural from the Senate’s Mighty Wurlitzer theater pipe organ console, pictured below.









Thanks to the DetroitNeighborHUB program the Detroit Theater Organ Society was able to schedule one epic Saturday in which long-time members and new friends gathered to transform the former home of the Senate Coney Island. Eight hours of labor, 60 cubic yards of mulch and an incredibly talented muralist made a huge impact.

Jordan Garland, the organizer of the Ours Film Festival, put together this short video featuring highlights of all the action.

The following weekend, we took the Senate Coney Island Yard for a test ride. Moped, motorcycle and bicycle riders converged on the Senate for a 50th Anniversary screening of Easy Rider.

One thing we learned was that motorcycles are too heavy to park on mulch, but they look great in front of the theater.








We were still missing one thing. We needed to replace the eight foot tall, barbed-wire-topped fence. Neighboring business owners strongly recommended that we replace the fence with something secure yet attractive. So we did!









Starting at Easy Rider, we’ve been asking guests for input on what they can imagine happening in the Senate Coney Island Yard and are continuing to gather ideas and recommendations for activating and making the space available. Immediate next steps include addressing the gap between the fence and the sidewalk and purchasing picnic benches.

Detroit Phoenix Center – July 2019 Update

The development of the Detroit Phoenix Center’s (DPC) Asset Based Resource Center – Zen Zone is well underway. The first six months were dedicated to rapid prototyping, research, planning, and establishing a system for a successful space creation. Once the system was created, we were able to move fluidly.

As we were working on giving the space a facelift, we hosted one pop-up event in the space, entitled “It’s LIT:  Resource Kickback.” 100 young adults showed up to receive haircuts, hygiene kits, clothing, make-up tutorials, book bags, and more resources. The event was received extremely well by local youth and our partners. We hope to host the event.

We recently moved beyond the planning and prototyping phase to the space development phase.  The volunteer application we put out sparked a lot of interest. As a result, partnerships were established with Google and Comcast Cares. We were grateful to welcome and engage more than 100 volunteers from all walks of life who assisted with our space development. The volunteers painted, sorted clothes, cleaned, laid carpet tile, assisted in our food pantry, and met all of our needs. It was so refreshing to see so many individuals eager to serve!

We are super excited about the next steps, including open drop-in hours, where teens in need will be able to come into our new space and access critical and much-needed resources. We are most excited about our life skills and educational programming curriculum that includes financial literacy, tutoring ACT/SAT prep, basic computer classes, cooking classes, gaming, Zumba, and more. With more community partners on board, we look forward to higher engagement from the community and youth.

If someone wants to volunteer with DPC, they can visit our website at Volunteers, youth, and community partners are the lifeline of this development. We are grateful to continue as a collective to drive this work into fruition.

Carrie Morris Arts Production – July 2019 Update

Carrie Morris Arts Production (CMAP) provides a forum for contemporary puppetry and performance for Detroit residents, and the progress on our NeighborHUB project has been remarkable these past few months. We originally proposed a formalized amphitheater with infrastructure that could support our outdoor summer programming. Working with the landscape architecture firm livingLab, we were able to facilitate a resident-led design process that provided insight on the possibilities for our space that went beyond just presenting programming, and would create a unique amenity and public green space for the neighborhood.

Our finalized outdoor plan to date includes not only the stage and tiered landscaping that will serve as audience seating, but also mound topology that will serve as a children’s play scape, a series of interconnected ADA-accessible pathways around all aspects of the space, spaces for larger workshops and puppet builds, and a series of seating and gathering spaces.

In addition we have been working with architect Aaron Jones for an amphitheater design that would share some of the aesthetics that we have employed in our Pedestrian Permeable Architecture fencing system (which we originally commissioned Aaron to design – a fence system that would prevent vehicle traffic on the property and curtail large-scale dumping, but that was open enough to allow access for kids and local residents who play soccer to get through).  Aaron’s work as an architect and as a partner with local performing arts groups – such as Complex Movements, whose mobile performance/visual art installation Beware of the Dandelions employs a set piece that is Aaron’s work – meant that he had a solid understanding of the dynamics needed for an amphitheater that could function as both an art piece, a component of a kid’s play scape, and a venue for outdoor performances. The attached rendering of the stage is now under the review of a structural engineer, who is providing the technical components necessary to install the work on a solid foundation in the next 1-2 months.

And finally we have kicked off our CMAP Outdoor Summer Series, which began back in April with our Detroit puppet slam and continues on Friday July 19 with a performance by jazz composer and saxophonist Molly Jones, who is staging her performance SECRETS in our outdoor space. Come check it out – or see our last performance of the season on August 17 where spoken work poet One Single Rose will hold a poetry workshop at 1 p.m., then provide a full set of her original spoken word works at 8 p.m. that evening.

Lessons from the CEO Mind of Ford Land’s Dave Dubensky

“However you choose to get involved, it’s got to be you,” said Dave Dubensky during Inside the CEO Mind on Thursday, June 20, at the Ford Motor Company Conference & Event Center.

Dubensky, CEO of Ford Motor Land Development Corp., spoke with members about his leadership philosophies rooted in authentic engagement and led a dynamic conversation in which he shared best practices for building strong teams and taking impactful action.

“In building a team, it’s so important to build one with people who are not like me. You need that diverse team,” Dubensky said.

During the discussion, Dubensky outlined his three-prong leadership toolkit:

  • Engage to understand
  • Adapt to build trust
  • Act to make a difference

Beyond achieving business objectives, Dubensky cited these approaches as effective ways to “get to know the hearts and minds of the people you work with” — something he credited as key to his professional successes.

An area where he’s been putting these practices to work is with the redevelopment of Michigan Central Station in Corktown. Getting to know the area’s history and people has been essential to Dubensky and his team as they face the challenge of transforming the region into a mobility corridor while maintaining its heritage and legacy.

Wall Street Journal – A Fascinating Long Weekend in Detroit: The Essential Guide

June 19, 2019

Wall Street Journal

By Matthew Kronsberg

View the original article here.

IN ITS MIDCENTURY boom years, when Motown ruled the airwaves and the big three ruled the roads, Detroit defined America. But, in the subsequent decades, no city fell farther, or harder. Now a much-publicized revival is unfolding there. Downtown is a hive of construction, its sidewalks buzzing with tech-bros and tourists on app-enabled electric scooters (at least until they randomly discard them). Neighborhoods like Midtown (née Cass Corridor) and the West Village are rebounding with ambitious new bars and restaurants, many served by urban farms which have sprouted where houses once stood. Though the hollowing out that made those farms possible is still an issue (the city’s population today is just below 700,000, sharply off its 1950s peak of 1.8 million people), rampant development has become an equally pressing concern for many Detroiters. Even the city’s industrial ruins, like the old Packard Plant, which have aged into beloved icons for many, are targeted for restoration. The time to appreciate them is now. Taking in everything that Motor City has to offer over the course of a long weekend is challenging. As the T-shirts say, Detroit Hustles Harder. You’ll have to adopt the same motto if you want to fit it all in, but feel free to opt out of our ambitious itinerary now and then.

Day One: Friday

5:30 p.m. Land at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and pick up a rental car. The Motor City’s spread pretty much demands you have wheels.

7 p.m. Check into one of the four rooftop cabins at the intimate El Moore Lodge in Midtown. From your deck, you’ll have views for miles. The hotel just created a small public park on the corner next door, and DJ Casey Kasem grew up where the El Moore’s greenhouse now stands (cabins start at $200 a night, The city’s downtown construction boom has resulted in a surfeit of glitzy hotel options. Shinola, a company that has capitalized on “brand Detroit,” opened a highly polished luxury hotel this January, while the Siren has refurbished the Wurlitzer building to its deco glory (, from $255 a night, from $139 a night).

8:30 p.m. Chef Kate Williams’s cozy Lady of the House occupies a former Irish pub in a residential corner of Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood (reservations recommended). Start with a dozen oysters and a martini, made with the restaurant’s own gin, from Detroit City Distillery, and don’t miss the “carrot steak” (1426 Bagley St.,

11 p.m. In Detroit’s midcentury heyday, the clubs and bars atop downtown’s skyscrapers were the places to see and be seen. The new Monarch Club rekindles that tradition on the roof of the Element Hotel, about 10 minutes away. Get a Last Word cocktail and claim a spot on one of the bar’s three terraces. If there’s a Tigers game on, you can even see some of the action in Comerica Park from your 13th-story perch (33 John R St.,

Day Two: Saturday

9 a.m. Start the day as countless Detroiters do, with a trip to Eastern Market, about a 10-minute drive away. The Russell Street Deli has, in its 30 years, become a Detroit institution, beloved for its civic mindedness and for its soups. A cup of gazpacho sets the tone for a summer’s day nicely, while hearty and well-spiced pastrami hash adds necessary ballast. As developers set their sights on the market and its environs, many longtime businesses are facing displacement, including the Russell Street Deli, which will close at the end of September, so get there while you can (2465 Russell St., While strolling among the market’s produce and plant vendors, be on the lookout for Pingree Detroit, selling luxury bags and shoes made by veterans using surplus leather from the automotive industry (

10 a.m. Take a respite from the market’s hubbub in Trinosophes, an airy gallery space a five-minute walk down Russell St. Inside is Warda Patisserie, serving French and Algerian pastries and dishes such as mahallabi, an almond milk and rice pudding topped with seasonal jam (1464 Gratiot Ave.,

10:30 a.m. Walk next door into the adjoining People’s Records, a store and museum with a focus on soul music 45s, but a purview that seems to take in all of Detroit’s musical history (1464 Gratiot Ave.,

11 a.m. By now, you’ve noticed those rentable electric kick scooters discarded on sidewalks everywhere. Commandeer one (downloading the app and registering is a two-minute affair) and zip down into the Dequindre Cut greenway from the entrance on Gratiot Ave just beyond Orleans St. Exit to Lafayette Street, and scoot into Lafayette Plaisance Park to see the apartment buildings and townhomes designed by Mies van der Rohe, a modernist utopian rejoinder to the single-family sprawl of the rest of the city. Back in the cut, you can continue to the river; from there at full speed, it’s less than 10 minutes back to Eastern Market to retrieve your car.

12:15 p.m. Park at the hotel and walk a block to Selden Standard for lunch. The restaurant was one of the earliest supporters of urban agriculture in Detroit. Look for seasonal specials like fava and pea toast (3921 2nd Ave.,

1:15 p.m. Walk three blocks to Third Man Records, a vinyl shop founded by Jack White of the White Stripes. You can cut your own record in its 1947 Voice-o-Graph booth, and two Saturdays a month the staff offers tours of their record-pressing plant, soon to press its millionth record (441 W. Canfield St.,

2 p.m. Go fetch your car to visit a farm. With a little advance planning, Fisheye Farms can show you their 2 acres in Core City, one of them within sight of an abandoned engine-casting plant ( Or drive 10 minutes to Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, spread over 6 acres in the city’s North End neighborhood. Wander past the farm’s henhouse and apple orchards, and stop to buy some mulberry Afro Jam. Revenue supports future projects like the restoration of Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine parlor, where Motown stars like the Temptations would harmonize out front while waiting to get their shoes buffed before heading downtown to perform (9227 Goodwin St.,

3:30 p.m. Less than a 10-minute drive away in the enclave of Hamtramck is one of the nations last remaining Negro League ballfields. The grandstands are fenced off, awaiting repair and upgrades. But the field, where greats like “Turkey” Stearnes of the Detroit Stars and Satchel Paige played, is in use thanks to the efforts of the Hamtramck Stadium Grounds Crew, a volunteer band of green thumbs, and the financial support of Jack White who has made a substantial donation for restoration. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll catch a game of 19th-century style “Base Ball” being played (3201 Dan St.,

5 p.m. The two-block-long sculpture garden at Olayami Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum, about 10 minutes’ drive from Hamtramck Stadium, is an epic cosmology rendered in paint and found objects. Standing in the overstuffed museum (and store) listening to Mr. Dabls expound on what it all means is one of the city’s great pleasures (6559 Grand River Ave.,

6 p.m. Time for a little liquid courage—trust us you’ll need it soon. With its stylishly vintage interior and a cozy patio, Kiesling is more than just another pretty space. Sip a bracing but balanced cocktail like the Rose Colored Glasses, made with grapefruit, lemon and amari, and you’ll quickly taste why this is seemingly every Detroit bartender’s favorite bar (449 E. Milwaukee Ave.,

7 p.m. You haven’t seen Detroit until you’ve seen the Motown museum and studio, and the only way to see them is to take the tour (reservations recommended). And the only way the tour ends is with your tour group singing (and dancing to) “My Girl” in the studio where it was recorded (2648 W Grand Blvd.,

8:30 p.m. If there’s one restaurant that captures the spirit of Detroit today, it’s Flowers of Vietnam, about 15 minutes away, on an ungussied-up stretch of Vernor Highway. Chef George Azar, a native Detroiter of Palestinian heritage, who’s done time at Alinea and Noma, turns out boldly flavored Vietnamese dishes like glazed chicken wings, and “shaky beef,” made with dry-aged rib-eye cap. The mood is welcoming. Hip-hop music courses through the dining room most nights, but when a server brought out a candle-bedecked pie for a diner’s 70th birthday, the music stopped and the restaurant broke into “Happy Birthday” (4430 Vernor Hwy,

10 p.m. Drop the car at the hotel, about 10 minutes away, and change into something swanky. Walk two blocks to the Willis Show Bar, a gorgeously renovated art moderne lounge with a stage behind the bar, and performances ranging from soul revues to burlesque (4156 3rd St.,

Day Three: Sunday

9 a.m. Get an early start at recently opened Ochre Bakery, in Core City, about 5 minutes away. Scrambled eggs are fluffy and strewn with locally grown herbs, and the pastry case, especially the oat-and-coconut Anzac cookie, is not to be ignored (4884 Grand River Ave.,

10 a.m. If you get to the Detroit Institute of Arts right when it opens, you might just get the courtyard with Diego Rivera’s monumental murals to yourself for a bit. His depiction of Detroit’s industrial might, as well as the inherent tension between labor and capital, makes this possibly his greatest work (5200 Woodward Ave.,

11:45 a.m. The Guardian Building, a 10-minute drive into downtown, is one of Detroit’s most beautiful skyscrapers. Take a few minutes to marvel at the cathedral-like lobby, or join one of Pure Detroit’s free tours. Also on offer: tours of Albert Kahn’s magisterial Fisher Building in New Center, and (paid) hard-hat tours of the remnants of Kahn’s massive Packard Automotive Plant (500 Griswold St.,

1:30 p.m. It’s 10 minutes to the West Village and to Marrow, a combination butcher shop and restaurant with a dining-in menu that keeps one foot squarely in Asia. Pick up picnic fixings, like smoked kielbasa and housemade pickles and grab a slice of eye-opening coffee-buttermilk pie next door at Sister Pie, which has gained national renown for its sweets (8044 Kercheval Ave.,; 8066 Kercheval Ave.,

2:30 p.m. Take your treats on a 5-minute ride to 982-acre Belle Isle. The idyllic island in the Detroit River is home to an aquarium, a botanic garden and, for a time in the ’60s, several Nike nuclear missiles. Find a patch of grass and gaze across the water at Canada (

4 p.m. Get yourself outfitted at downtown’s Détroit is the New Black, home to a rotating roster of local and indie designers, including Nelson T. Sanders Jr., who makes bespoke suits under his label, Dandy. (1430 Woodward Ave.,;

5 p.m. Walk 5 minutes to the Belt, a street-art-decorated pedestrian alley. Stop into the Skip, beneath the parking garage overpass, for a well-crafted slushy cocktail or tiki drink. (Grand River Ave. between Farmer St. and Broadway St.,

7:30 p.m. Detroit has a distinct style of pizza—thick-crusted or rectangular—with an edge-to-edge shellacking of cheese that, critically, caramelizes into a frico along the sides of the iron pans the pie is baked in (supposedly derived from car-factory utility trays). While Buddy’s lays claim to originating the style, Loui’s Pizza, about 20 minutes north, in the suburb of Hazel Park, provides the perfect mix of pie and place, with red-checked tablecloths and walls covered in wicker wrapped Chianti bottles (23141 Dequindre Rd., Hazel Park,

9 p.m. Drive 10 minutes to Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, which claims to be the world’s oldest jazz club. Performers are booked into this intimate space from the upper echelons of the talent pool, which means something in Detroit (20510 Livernois Ave.,

11 p.m. Detroiters, more than anything, are tenacious. Celebrate that tenacity by belting out Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock” at karaoke night at UFO Factory, 15 minutes away. The Corktown rock ’n’ roll bar’s owners refused to sell to developers, forcing them to build around it (2110 Trumbull Ave.,

Day Four: Monday
10 a.m. Check out of your hotel, and breakfast healthfully at Folk in a bright corner storefront in Corktown, about 10 minutes away. Think yogurt bowls and undetectably gluten-free Belgian waffles. Beverages include colorful milks, infused with things like turmeric and rose (1701 Trumbull Ave.,

11 a.m. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, a 20-minute drive away, could easily take up an entire day if you try to visit the 80-acre complex, and take the Rouge Factory Tour. Visiting the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is essential. Sitting in the bus where Rosa Parks defied segregation can be a moving experience, as can witnessing John F. Kennedy’s limousine. Walking through Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House is a thrilling view of a future that never came to be (20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn,

1:30 p.m. Having walked up an appetite, drive 15 minutes into Dearborn for lunch at Al Ameer. Even in a city where a significant percentage of residents are of Middle Eastern descent, this Lebanese restaurant is a standout, with superlative stuffed lamb. You will be tempted—encouraged—to over-order (“I’ll pack it up for you, honey. You want some extra toum?”). Do it. Leftovers are the best souvenirs, especially the toum, a creamy sauce that sets everything it touches alight with garlic (12710 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn,

2:30 p.m. Head to the airport. Fingers crossed that you get a row to your garlicky self.

Walsh Golf Event Raises Over $72K in Scholarship Funds

TROY, Mich., June 26, 2019 — Gray skies didn’t keep golfers away from the 28th Annual Walsh Scholarship Golf Classic on Monday, June 24 at Franklin Hills Country Club in Franklin, Mich., where more than $72,000 was raised to fund scholarships for Walsh students. Presenting event sponsors included Fifth Third Bank, Plastipak Packaging, Inc. and Dynamic Marketing.

More than 100 people attended, including David Girodat, regional president, Fifth Third Bank (Eastern Michigan), event committee chair and double Walsh alumnus. Scholarship recipient Chris Gagnon addressed the audience during lunch. Gagnon will complete his master’s program in the fall and already has a position waiting for him at a major certified public accounting and business advisory firm.

“Knowing there are complete strangers who care enough to support scholarships and see students like me succeed inspires me to someday afford others the same opportunity,” said Gagnon.

“Fifth Third Bank is committed to improving lives of people in the communities we serve, including college students like Chris,” said Girodat. “We are proud to sponsor the Walsh Scholarship Golf Classic.”

Alumnus Richard Pearson (’61) founded the Walsh Scholarship Golf Classic in 1991. To date, it has raised more than $1.5 million in scholarship funds.

For more information about Walsh, visit

# # #

Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

Legislators propose first statewide electric vehicle charging network in the nation


June 26, 2019

Read the original article on Driven here.

LANSING — Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), along with legislators from the House and Senate, today announced a bipartisan package to support the growth of electric vehicles in Michigan and establish the first statewide charging network in the nation.

The four-bill package would:

  • Create the Electric Vehicle Council within the Michigan Department of Transportation. The council, comprised of experts in energy, technology, transportation, environment, economic development and other related fields, would be tasked with developing a plan for a statewide charging infrastructure in coordination with utilities and private companies;
  • Allow the state to install or lease space for electric vehicle charging stations at state park and rides;
  • Allow the state to install or lease space for electric charging stations in state parks, generating revenue for the park system; and,
  • Provide tax incentives for small businesses and multi-unit housing to install electric vehicle charging stations.

“Michigan built the American automotive industry, but it’s an industry that’s changing more rapidly now than any other time before. No other state has the history, talent and capability to design and build the next generation of electric vehicles, but we need to have the infrastructure in place to support that development,” Sen. McMorrow said. “These bills encourage our state to create a collaborative and coordinated plan, working with private companies, small businesses, utilities and various state departments to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, making Michigan the first fully networked state.”

MICHauto, an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, supports the legislation. “The industry is rapidly transforming; our automotive companies are integrating emerging technologies for all aspects of next-generation mobility. With a commitment to sustainability and solving global issues, Michigan’s signature industry and leaders are working together to lead the nation in bringing electric vehicles and the needed infrastructure to our state,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “I applaud Senator McMorrow for her leadership and commitment to Michigan’s competitiveness.”

Eight state senators and representatives join Sen. McMorrow in introducing the bill package.

Rep. Julie Alexander (R-Jackson), sponsor of House Bill 4788, on charging stations and tourism: “This is an opportunity to give residents and visitors what they need as they explore our state. Installing charging stations at state parks will ensure people have the infrastructure they need to get from one point to the next, support local businesses and enjoy the natural beauty and recreation opportunities across our state park system.”

Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), sponsor of House Bill 4789, on the benefit to businesses: “This electric vehicle legislation would preserve good automotive jobs as the industry continues to shift, reduce taxes on businesses and encourage those who stop to charge vehicles to put dollars back into our local economies while they wait. This bill gets it done for Michigan residents and our state as a whole.”

Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), sponsor of Senate Bill 408, on establishing charging stations to ease travel for commuters:

“Allowing charging stations to be installed at park and rides along our state’s highways will give drivers confidence that they can reach their destination no matter where they travel within our beautiful state.”

Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), co-sponsor of the package on supporting the growth of electric vehicles:

“As a small business owner, I know that this package of bills would not only support our state’s changing automotive industry, but also infuse dollars into our economy overall as drivers stop in communities, state parks and downtowns to charge their vehicles. This is a smart step to support Michigan jobs as the automotive industry continues to evolve, protect our environment, give residents what they need and generate additional state revenue.”

Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Township), sponsor of Senate Bill 407, on adding charging stations in state parks:

“As electric vehicles become more prevalent, it will be important that we have the necessary infrastructure in place at our state parks to ensure both residents and visitors alike have the ability to charge their vehicles while they enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors. This bill is both good for the economy and the environment.”

Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), sponsor of House Bill 4787, on the installation of charging stations at park and rides: “Our automotive industry is changing and, as automakers continue to develop cars with less impact on our environment, we must also do what we can to support the jobs workers and suppliers across the state depend on. Establishing a reliable charging station infrastructure at Michigan’s park and ride locations will mean more drivers can feel confident opting for electric vehicles and automotive companies can employ more workers to develop these next generation technologies.

Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton), sponsor of House Bill 4786, on automotive innovation and technology: “As Michiganders, we take pride in our state’s history as a leader in automotive innovation. Electric vehicles will be a critical aspect of our transportation future, and we should continue to lead by example by embracing its continued development. The Electric Vehicle Council will play a crucial role in developing a comprehensive charging infrastructure plan and ensuring our state is prepared to support this transformative technology.”