Michigan Radio

  • Lessenberry: Keep calm, the DIA will carry on

    Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry urges restraint in reacting to the Michigan House’s passage of a bill yesterday that prevents the Detroit Institute of Arts from renewing its millage. “The point is that the grand bargain to save Detroit and its world-class museum is just a Senate vote and the governor’s pen from reality. And the politics of getting there were a real work of art,” says Lessenberry, a political commentator at our Detroit Journalism Cooperative partner.

  • Lessenberry: Detroit needs jobs for Detroiters

    Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry advocates for jobs and job training for Detroiters as part of the city’s post-bankruptcy plans. He writes, “What if we were to create a program like the New Deal-era WPA and put otherwise unemployable people to work cleaning up rubble and vacant lots, and maybe learning some job skills? Figuring out how to structure it would take some time, and all this would indeed cost money, but my guess is that doing nothing will continue to cost us much, much more.”

  • Snyder: Hoping for progress on Detroit bills this week

    In Jackson this morning, Governor Snyder said he would like to see the legislature move on the ‘Grand Bargain” bill this week. “I don’t know if it would be realistic to say the Senate,” says Snyder, “but again seeing the House make progress this week is important.” Our Detroit Journalism Cooperative partner Michigan Radio has the rest of the report.

  • The DJC Poll: What it revealed about voters’ view of Snyder

    Impressions of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder are more negative than positive among voters, even when you factor out the heavily Democratic city of Detroit, according to a poll released yesterday. Commissioned by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, the poll sought to assess attitudes about proposed legislation that would send funds and require oversight in Detroit…but more questions than that were asked. Michigan Radio filed this report.


  • The DJC Poll: Here’s the collection of coverage showing statewide support for supporting Detroit

    The Detroit Journalism Cooperative wanted to know what voters outside of Detroit think about the state proposals to support the city’s pensioners and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts collection as part of the bankruptcy case. So we asked them in an EPIC-MRA poll, commissioned by the DJC with support from Renaissance Journalism through a grant from the Ford Foundation. We sought to measure how voters outside Detroit think about the city, and whether they back a state financial contribution to help Detroit emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

    What did they say? Below is a round up of all the partner coverage of the poll results.

    The results are especially timely as  today in Lansing legislators begin taking testimony and considering a 10-bill package to providing funding for and oversight of the city.

    From Bridge Magazine:
    State should send help to Detroit, Michigan voters say

    Michigan voters, including Republicans and those who live far from bankrupt Detroit, want the state to provide financial support to its largest city as part of a “grand bargain,” according to a statewide poll. What’s more, voters across the political spectrum said they would not hold a vote in support of Detroit financial aid against their own elected representatives. The findings come as lawmakers in Lansing debate a $350 million funding package for Detroit that critics deride as unwise and unfair to other struggling Michigan communities.

    From Michigan Radio:
    New poll: Save Detroit art and retirees’ pensions

    A new poll shows Michigan voters outside of Detroit approve using state money to support the so-called “Grand Bargain” to bolster City of Detroit retirees’ pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection. It found almost half of voters outside the city of Detroit support the state government contributing $350 million to help solve some of the sticky issues of the bankruptcy. Forty-nine percent favor the contribution, 34 percent oppose it.

    People like the plan better when they learn that the $350 million would go to bolster the retirees’ pension funds and protect the Detroit Institute of Art from having to auction off part of its collection.

    Bernie Porn is with EPIC-MRA, the firm that conducted the poll. He says after you boil it down, when people know the money goes to retirees and to help the art museum, more people approve. “When you do that, you end up with 62% support for the proposal and that includes 74% of Democrats, 58 percent of Republicans, and then only 51 percent of independents,” Porn explained.

    From WDET Radio:
    Voters want state money earmarked for pensions, art

    A new poll released today shows widespread support throughout Michigan for providing state money to Detroit especially when it’s designated for pensions or maintaining the Detroit Institute of Arts collection.

    Roughly eight in ten respondents in the new poll say they view Detroit’s financial health as very important or essential to the health of the state. Nearly two-thirds of people in the survey say it’s a top priority or important for their elected officials to address Detroit’s financial recovery.


  • The DJC Poll: Michigan voters support state money for Detroit

    A new poll shows Michigan voters outside of Detroit approve using state money to support the so-called “Grand Bargain” to bolster City of Detroit retirees’ pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection. Here’s Michigan Radio’s report on the results of the survey, commissioned by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

  • Lessenberry: A new chance for Lansing to do the right thing for Detroit

    Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry urges legislators to get the deal done that would provide up to $350 million to help shore up pension funding and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts collection from sale to pay creditors. He writes, “This would be a sensible and protected investment. The money would go directly to the pension funds, not to middlemen, and investment committees would have substantial oversight over how the pension funds invest and spend. Additionally, a one-time payment would not bind future generations. Doing this would be a reassuring sign to Wall Street and an indication to the city’s creditors, who will soon be voting on whether to accept the bankruptcy terms. Doing this would probably mean the bankruptcy process would be complete, and Kevyn Orr long gone by Election Day.”