As Day Two of the 2007 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference comes to a close, the consensus I am sensing in attending sessions and talking to individuals from the diverse array of companies, corporations and civic, governmental and non-profit organizations is that, this year, progress is being made. Sure, there is rhetoric (much of it familiar), however it is talk with a purpose; words linked with action steps.
From the One D regional branding initiative to the ambitious Aerotropolis project detailed by Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano with Detroit Renaissance president Doug Rothwell and others, positive things are happening in Metro Detroit—and not a moment too soon.
Regional cooperation, innovative ideas, risk taking and the putting aside of politics is vital to a state reeling from budget woes, resident flight and overall economic uncertainties.
For those who have never experienced Mackinac’s “meeting of the minds,” I can report, first hand, that it is not just about drinks on the porch of the Grand Hotel and pecan nut rolls in the dining room. Rather, it is about positive attitudes and outlooks, fresh ideas and taking responsibility.
The clock is ticking. Let’s hope future report cards rate high marks.