Last weekend corporate CEOs, lobbyists and politicians gathered on Mackinac Island for the annual “Mackinac Policy Conference,” sponsored every year by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. Generally the Detroit Chamber tries to douse the event with a centrist sheen – but this year they dropped all pretenses, inviting education corporatists like Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee to come give keynote addresses that gave political cover to Gov. Snyder’s education agenda.
This week lifelong educator and brilliant blogger Nancy Flanagan suggested next year’s MPC should be replaced with a “People’s Policy Conference.” Flanagan wrote:
Keynotes would come from outstanding teachers, school leaders and others with deep knowledge of education policy and practice. Policymakers could explain, for example, their decision to make Michigan a right-to-work state for educators, while preserving collective bargaining for police and firefighters. School leaders could share their practice-based decision-making in successful public schools.
The Detroit Chamber agreeing to this seems unlikely to us, but we are hosting our own People’s Policy Conference – and it’s this weekend.
The 2013 Michigan Summit will feature speeches from Leslie Moody from the Partnership for Working Families, Bob King from the UAW, and Lila Cabill from The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. We’ll offer great panel discussions with campaign finance experts, current and former lawmakers, pollsters, organizers, and other progressive leaders.
We’re excited to welcome hundreds of progressives to the campus of Michigan State University this weekend. We hope you can join us too.