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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....continued on page 2