Flashpoint 4/21/19: Celebrating two decades on air with a look at show’s most memorable moments

April 19, 2019

Click On Detroit

Devin Scillian 

[…]

In 2004, Devin Scillian and Emery King hosted a special primetime edition of Flashpoint on race issues in southeast Michigan.

Recorded during a session at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the original show was full of candid admissions and honest conversation about a variety of ways in which people experience race.

The 2004 show also contained clips from a frank conversation on race during a dinner party hosted by Walbridge CEO John Rakolta.

During the course of the discussion, many participants came to new realizations about their personal experiences regarding race.

Roundtable guests on this week’s Flashpoint continued the conversation, discussing what has changed regarding race over the intervening 15 years, including how race factors into regional challenges like transit and housing.

Watch the episode here

2019 Legislative Priorities Focus on Growing the Detroit Region

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors recently adopted its legislative priorities for 2019. These 14 priorities, which are critical to economic development and growth of the region, include investing in infrastructure, support for a reliable regional transit system, maintaining a pro-growth tax structure, and creating pathways to postsecondary education and careers, among many other pro-business policy issues. This year’s priorities are aligned with the five pillars that guide the Chamber’s economic development strategy to position the region for global competitiveness.

 People:

  • Maintain a pro-growth tax structure that allows Michigan to compete globally for business and talent.
  • Encourage smart spending policies and long-term budgeting that prioritizes fiscal solvency.
  • Maintain a regulatory climate that is conducive to Michigan’s growing economy.
  • Support reforms for Michigan’s criminal justice system that reduce lengthy and costly sentences and provide age-appropriate rehabilitation.
  • Support policies that expand employment opportunities for chronically underemployed populations.

Community:

  • Increase dedicated infrastructure funding and lead efforts to prioritize regional transit options for the Detroit region.
  • Encourage regional policies that are consistent with state and federal law and balance local needs with economic growth.
  • Promote policies that increase access to health insurance while opposing policies that drive up costs for employers and individuals.

Talent:

  • Maintain rigorous K-12 standards that allow students to succeed in the global economy.
  • Create greater accountability for quality and siting in charter schools.
  • Increase postsecondary education attainment through policies such as increased dual enrollment and expanded, need-based financial aid.

Global Connectivity:

  • Create pathways to career opportunities in the automotive industry that develop high-skilled talent, including support for immigration reform and the attraction of international students.
  • Promote smart trade policy, including continued USMCA participation and resisting short-sighted trade restrictions or tariffs that inhibit growth.

Next-Generation Mobility:

  • Support policies that allow Michigan to continue to lead in research and development testing for next generation mobility solutions and other emerging industry sectors.

 

‘Yes’ Vote on Connected Transit System Essential to Region’s Future

A Roadmap for Economic Resilience

By Sandy K. Baruah

Transit. This seven-letter word has been on the hearts and minds of Michiganders for over a decade. To some it represents economic opportunity, while to others it is a lifeline to family, hospitals, and other essential services.

Over 100 years ago, business leaders from this region identified transportation and the ability to move individuals and products safely and efficiently as one of the primary challenges facing the region. A century later we are still dealing with this fundamental issue. Transit in the Detroit region has fared poorly compared to other metropolitan regions across the country, with studies placing the region near the bottom.

From the perspective of the business community in our region, lack of a safe, reliable connected transit system linking Southeast Michigan’s four counties (Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Washtenaw) is a missed opportunity. According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, 92 percent of the region’s jobs are not reachable within 60 minutes using our current transit options. That is simply unacceptable.

I have lived with coordinated public transit most of my life. In my former hometowns of Portland and Washington, D.C., I have seen firsthand the economic impact that transit can have on cities and surrounding suburban communities. If we desire to be a world-class city and region, coordinated public transit is an absolute necessity.

The Chamber applauds the hard work and dedication of our elected leaders, who, along with the RTA Board of Directors, came together on an agreement that benefits all residents in the region. This compromise is an extension of the type of collaborative leadership that has become the hallmark of our elected leaders. Gone are the days of divisiveness and “go it alone” mentality, replaced by strong leaders who do not shy away from tough decisions while working collaboratively to erase the “dotted lines” on the map.

Now it is our turn as voters. Metro Detroiters face an unprecedented opportunity to chart a new path forward for our region’s long-term economic prosperity by voting “yes” on transit in November.

The proposal voters will be asked to approve is the very definition of “bang for the buck” and offers a path forward we desperately need. The benefits will be felt throughout the entire region. For the first time, we will have connected communities that allow residents to navigate via public transit, regardless of political boundaries, and job-hunters will be able to answer “yes” when a job application asks whether they have reliable transportation.

Not only is it the right thing to do for our businesses, it is the human thing to do for our residents. A properly funded transit system will also provide seniors and people with disabilities with increased independence and better access to employment, health care and family.

Finally, Detroit and our other cities will be able to compete on equal footing in the battle for talent — a critical need for employers starving for qualified employees to close the gap. It is not enough to simply say, “come check us out.” In study after study, millennials put regional transit at the top of their wish list when considering their career. If we truly want to be a contender for the next generation of talent, we must have the infrastructure in place that attracts and retains our young people and can safely and reliably get them from their home to their job and to our world-class colleges and universities.

By voting yes for robust transit to connect Southeast Michigan, we will be able to grow and compete with other regions, build for the future and ensure a better collective quality of life for all.