Con­tin­u­ing Michi­gan’s come­back

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY BRIAN CALLEY

Back in 2009 and 2010, there weren’t too many peo­ple who be­lieved Michi­gan was about to en­ter into a pe­riod of pro­longed eco­nomic growth. The “lost decade” saw us lose more jobs and peo­ple than any other state. What’s worse, we lost our most pre­cious re­sources — our young peo­ple — to other states in search of ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties. Econ­o­mists were pes­simistic and it was easy to see why.

What a dif­fer­ence seven years makes. Michi­gan’s come­back was no ac­ci­dent. We ac­com­plished bold and sorely needed re­forms that made a state­ment to the nation. Bal­anced bud­gets, two ma­jor tax cuts, reg­u­la­tory re­form, skilled trades in­vest­ments, crim­i­nal jus­tice re­forms, Detroit on the rise. ...

The re­sult? Jobs. More than 500,000 of them and the low­est un­em­ploy­ment in 17 years. Af­ter be­ing at the bot­tom of ev­ery list you want to be at the top of, we are now num­ber one in job growth among the Great Lakes states and num­ber six over­all in Amer­ica.

Be­fore we took of­fice, Michi­gan was 50th in the nation in pop­u­la­tion growth. To­day, not only are we grow­ing again, we are num­ber one among the Great Lakes states for in­bound mi­gra­tion of peo­ple with bach­e­lor’s de­grees and 10th over­all in 25- to 34-year-olds. Our kids are com­ing back home. Con­tin­u­ing this come­back is the right di­rec­tion for Michi­gan. We have laid a strong foun­da­tion. Now it is time to build on that foun­da­tion, mak­ing our state the most pros­per­ous in the nation.

Pun­dits, me­dia and politi­cians love to over­sim­plify the de­ci­sions of our cit­i­zens in elec­tions. They wrongly be­lieve that peo­ple want change for the sake of change. What I be­lieve peo­ple re­ally want is a bet­ter, stronger, more se­cure fu­ture for their chil­dren. To leave Michi­gan bet­ter off than it was be­fore.

Set­ting pol­i­tics aside for a moment, Michi­gan is un­de­ni­ably bet­ter off than it was at the end of the lost decade. Our fun­da­men­tals are strong and so is our re­solve to put Michi­gan back in first place.

What we’ve ac­com­plished to­gether shows that any­thing is pos­si­ble. The foun­da­tion is strong. We should cel­e­brate that, but not rest. There is still much more to do. It’s time to dream big­ger and reach higher. Michi­gan’s best days are ahead. Now is not the time to turn back to the pol­i­tics and failed poli­cies of the past. Sound bites and pol­i­tics won’t bring Michi­gan to the next level. We need bold plans and bold lead­er­ship.

That’s why I am run­ning for gov­er­nor. I’m proud of how far we’ve come, but don’t mistake that for be­ing con­tent. Tak­ing Michi­gan to the next level is all about our peo­ple. Here’s my top pri­or­i­ties:

Make Michi­gan the best state in the nation for PreK-12 ed­u­ca­tion be­cause if you want a great out­come, you need a great be­gin­ning.

Fill 100,000 more skilled trades jobs be­cause our econ­omy des­per­ately needs more peo­ple in these fields and many peo­ple still need a great ca­reer.

Trans­form our so­cial ser­vice sys­tem into a spring­board to em­ploy­ment be­cause maintaining a person on the side­lines is not good enough.

Erad­i­cate the opi­oid epi­demic be­cause ev­ery life has pur­pose, value and worth.

Bring ci­vil­ity back to pub­lic ser­vice be­cause we are stronger to­gether.

We’ve come so far in the last seven years, but now it’s time to bring Michi­gan to the next level. Please join me. Brian Calley is lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of Michi­gan and a

Repub­li­can can­di­date for gov­er­nor.


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