New Era, New Attitude
|Hans Voss, the Institute's executive director.|
You know, this spring the Institute begins its tenth year.
If we had staked flags wherever our efforts helped make communities better, their fluttering would be heard across the state — along Great Lakes shorelines now protected from oil and gas drilling, in farm fields saved from wasteful new highways, in town centers made more economically competitive by new state policies, along untamed rivers secured from haphazard development, and in neighborhoods embracing Smart Growth.
A year ago we reached a startling conclusion: With most of our original projects completed, and with a Smart Growth champion as our new governor, the Institute had entered a new era.
We started asking questions: How should we respond to this fortunate circumstance and accelerate Smart Growth in Michigan? What new projects could best harness the entrepreneurial spirit and outside-the-box creativity that have been our hallmarks since Keith Schneider founded the Institute in 1995?
Working hard together, the board and staff produced an exciting answer: A five-year strategic plan that strengthens our Lansing and Detroit presence; more strongly influences state transportation, agriculture, economic, environmental, and urban policy; and implements those policies at the grassroots in northwest Michigan, our home region.
Now, in Year One, 2004 we are:
- Promoting our veteran organizers to project directors and expanding their responsibilities to develop ideas, manage staffs, communicate effectively, and fundraise.
- Better informing Michiganders about what is up with Lansing lawmakers and how citizens can compel them to act on Smart Growth.
- Launching bold land use, transportation, and agriculture projects in northwest Michigan that will become state and national Smart Growth models.
- Improving our financial stability by boosting donor and family foundation revenue goals by 20 percent.
As an Institute supporter, you have a real stake in our new era. Know that our emboldened strategy and spirit will only increase the formidable results you’ve come to expect.