Understanding the Michigan Dream At Risk Campaign

Gary Russi, who recently retired as president of Oakland University, has fulfilled a range of influential roles within the university and throughout the local community. As a former member of the Investor-Leadership Council of the Michigan Economic Center, Gary Russi has played an active role in supporting the organization’s efforts to reinvent the state as an economic and technological hub.

The Michigan Dream At Risk Project is part of the MEC’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about foundational elements of the state’s economy—and how underfunding is having profound effects on community utilities and the everyday lives of Michigan citizens. In an effort to advance advocacy efforts on a local and statewide level, the campaign draws attention to the continued degradation of key educational and municipal assets, as well as vital public services.

In examining the long-term effects of fiscal neglect, the study reveals that from 2004 to 2012, the state has reduced transportation investments by 15 percent, reduced K-12 investments by 16 percent, and reduced real investment in higher education by 29 percent. Additionally, the average Michigan household income has dropped more than that of any other state over the past dozen years, dragging Michigan from 19th to 37th in the nation in personal income. Citizens are invited to examine the facts and play an active role in rebuilding the local economy and cultivating future opportunities for success.

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