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Governor Partners with Local Communities to Develop "Cool Cities," Spur Economic Growth

September 19, 2003

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that she has asked the mayors of more than 250 Michigan cities to help her focus on ways to make Michigan’s cities more attractive for new jobs and new citizens. In letters sent to mayors earlier this week, Granholm asked the mayors to convene local "cool cities" advisory groups to explore ways to "encourage people – especially young people – to be more interested in living, working and shopping in your city."

A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that more than 33,000 young adults left the southeast Michigan region of the state, alone, between 2000 and 2002.

"Our younger generations hold the key to our economic future," said Granholm. "When young people leave Michigan, they take with them their talent, job skills, solid educations, and economic growth potential. We’re going right to the source to find out what will make them want to stay."

Granholm asked 30 of the mayors to name one person from their local group to sit on a statewide "Cool City" advisory panel that will provide input to her and Department of Labor and Economic Growth Director David Hollister. The 30 mayors were selected by the Michigan State University Center for Urban Affairs to represent a diverse group of Michigan communities.

The goals of the initiative are two-fold: first to bring discussions about supporting and investing in cities to a statewide level; and, second, to find out what state tools and resources local citizens think would be most effective in improving their communities.

The ideas generated from these local groups will be presented to the statewide advisory panel. The advisory panel will use that information to help the Governor and Director Hollister offer stronger assistance in developing strong cities.

"The initiative offers a fun and constructive way for communities to brainstorm creative solutions and improvements within their cities despite the tight budget constraints the state faces," Granholm said.

Cities interested must indicate so by September 22. The results of the state advisory panel are to be reviewed by the Governor and announced in December.