Week of 2.20.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Public affairs research


By Lisa Brody
News Editor
Public affairs research
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(click for larger version)
03/31/2014 - Today our governments, whether local, state, or federal, are fractured and often rendered ineffective, with political infighting, special interests, and rabid polarization. Yet, it's hardly the first era which has endured this lack of collaboration, and it's unlikely to be the last. Thomas Jefferson wisely said, in dealing with his own political opponents of the time, "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

Whether the issue is education, taxes, wages, or pot holes, there are always two sides of an issue. And if there are two sides, there are likely to be three, or more, opinions. People agree; they disagree. But are they armed with the knowledge to make wise decisions for the people they represent? Over the decades, that too has been debated.

What has been constant in Michigan, despite changing political hot potatoes and issues, for the last 98 years, is the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a public affairs research organization whose sole objective since it began in 1916 has been to provide legislators, business people and the media with factual, unbiased, and independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. It is a privately-funded, not-for-profit organization which takes absolutely no political stance whatsoever, making it the ultimate resource for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

"I think they are highly regarded," said Bill Ballenger, founder and associate editor of Inside Michigan Politics. "They are regarded as one of the pre-eminent government analysts and organizations in the state. They have been for years. As far as I can tell, they have always had a reputation for being fair and balanced. I think they're excellent. They're completely non-partisan. It's almost impossible to make a case against them."

However, for many who are unaware of the work they have done and continue to perform on a daily basis, they are a secret hiding in plain sight. While they've been around for almost a century, there are many working in the public policy realm seeking information who aren't aware of their free and readily available information, which can be downloaded from their website, www.crcmich.org. They also have webinars available for free to anyone seeking information on their website. And you don't have to be a public sector worker to take advantage of their unbiased research and analysis. It's available to everyone.

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