Ending the year on a sweet note or two

Added December 5th, 2012 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs
From the League’s First Tuesday newsletter
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At our policy forum and annual meeting Monday, we had much to celebrate.

Proposal 5, which would have required all tax increases and loophole closings be approved by a two-thirds marjority, was soundly defeated in Michigan by a supermajority of voters. Forum attendees gave a hearty round of applause for that victory.

And the keynote speaker, noted economist Jared Bernstein, told the 140 attendees that an important shift happened with the Nov. 6 election. At the national level, Republican leaders have signaled they realize that revenues have to be part of the solution — not just spending cuts that hurt families and children and our economy. Bernstein, a senior policy fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that the housing market is finally on the rebound after many sluggish years and state budgets are improving, though not out of the woods.

There’s reason to hope that as we edge to the “fiscal slope” (a more accurate term than “cliff” according to the Center) that a balanced approach of new revenues and spending cuts can be realized. I also reported to the group that at an organizational level, the League has spearheaded the creation of the Prosperity Coalition, now more than 200 members strong, to move policy in a positive direction, allowing us to be on the offense rather than the defense, as Bernstein suggested in his talk.

We’ve also benefited greatly from an amazing $1 million endowment from the Nokomis Foundation. The Foundation also has offered a $500,000 challenge grant and a $500,000 bonus if the League is successful in raising $250,000 for the endowment. So $1 million, plus up to another $1 million for meeting the challenge.

And as we just celebrated the 100th anniversary of our organization, we know that the endowment means greater stability for our future.

The year also marked the League’s rebranding — a fresh look and a new name.

As we look back over 2012, it hasn’t been all rosy as services to our most disadvantaged families continued to come under attack. But the League and its supporters are well positioned to keep fighting for good public policy to make Michigan a place of economic opportunity for all.

— Gilda Z. Jacobs

 

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