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Michigan Looks for Leadership on Jobs, Schools During Obama's Labor Day Visit

What can be done to help Michigan? When Obama stopped in Detroit for his Labor Day speech, Patch talked to Michigan residents about what our national and local leadership can do to foster the state's turnaround.

DETROIT — Thousands of people from throughout Michigan gathered in downtown Detroit Monday afternoon to hear President Obama speak after the annual Labor Day parade.

While the president spoke about, Patch asked members of the audience to talk about what they would like to see our nation's leaders, as well as those in power locally, do to help the state.

Obama teased the crowd about his upcoming speech on jobs, which is planned for Thursday, saying he would propose "ways to put America back to work that both parties would agree to."

So what can our leaders in Washington do? Jobs, education: Those were the major themes these Michigan residents echoed.

What do you think? Click through the photo gallery to read what Michiganders said, and add your thoughts to the comments below.

Also visit of the president's Detroit speech and visit.

Denise Nash September 07, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Really great photos and comments! Thanks a lot for this.
Dawn Bielawski September 07, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Hi Brittney - Thanks for the story & pic. If you would please correct the spelling of my last name, it's Bielawski. Thanks, Dawn
Margaret Ostrowski September 15, 2011 at 06:04 PM
Suggestion: RECRUIT! Utilize the talents currently in Michigan. I am a Mental Health professional and many people are unaware that MH professionals attend 8 yrs of college, 2 yrs of internship, 2 yrs of a Clinical Residency, and more years if any specialty certification is obtained. That is at least 12 yrs investment - myself 14 yrs with a specialty certification. We work long hours and help keep the neighborhoods safe from others harming self or others and/or those struggling with psychosis. I love what I do - counseling – and I would love to work in Michigan alongside my husband. When we moved here a few years ago, none of the colleges responded to the resume's I sent to teach as an adjunct, so I kept my job in Ohio. I am interested in teaching at the colleges as well as private practice and earning my Ph.D. If and when I am able to obtain a Ph.D. I lean towards seeking employment in Ohio being familiar with rules/regs in MH for Ohio combined with the lack of response from Michigan. Michigan is waning as an interest of mine professionally even though I've been told by others in the profession that I have a gift for teaching. I would love to pursue this when a college gives me a chance. Let's see Michigan if you can meet the challenge to hire NEW talent in your state combined with utilizing the talents currently in Michigan. If so you will be unbeatable as a State.
Denise Nash September 16, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Margaret - help us by signing the petition to recall Rick Snyder and if you are in a district where they are recalling their legislators sign their recall petition, too. We can't expect the universities to hire highly qualified instructors such as yourself when their budgets have been so drastically cut! The Snyder administration has managed to cut education at all levels to the bone so he can give his business friends a big no-strings-attached 1.8 billion dollar tax cut.
Real Life September 17, 2011 at 01:25 PM
It's true that Mr. Snyder is a bit of a disappointment, especially on wasting our money on a new bridge to Canada when private funds are ready and willing to build a new bridge using existing infrastructure. He needs to be a great deal more aggressive in dealing with and de-certifying public sector unions and having the public get control of the levers of government. But I don't think recall is the answer. We certainly don't want another union puppet in the State House.
Bryce September 17, 2011 at 02:20 PM
I sure wish MEA members would spend more time on the betterment of education in the classroom, with the well over 10,000.00 spent per pupil, than involving themselves with political activism.
joelle gallagher September 17, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Hey Bryce, are you a MEA member??? I am, and I spend about 50 hours a week on the betterment of education in the classroom. It's really unfortunate that we have to involve urselves in politics too! Politicians are all about control and money, they don't care about what's best for kids. I sure wish people like you would spend more time on advocating, whats best for kids, than putting down those who are at the forfront every day doing just that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mark Blackwell September 17, 2011 at 03:43 PM
You're right Bryce. Never mind political activism everyone. Just go back to your homes. Nothing to see here. Consume. Obey.
Bryce September 17, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Joelle Gallagher Wrote: "Politicians are all about control and money, they don't care about what's best for kids. I sure wish people like you would spend more time on advocating, whats best for kids, than putting down those who are at the forfront every day doing just that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I Respond: All about control and money? Wow, you just described my impression of the MEA. Most likely not most individual members, but certainly the organization as a whole. The talking point you use of "What's best for the kids." couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure, it sounds good on the surface and surely makes it difficult for someone to disagree with, but in reality, the involvement in political activism is based on "What's best for the MEA."
Denise Nash September 18, 2011 at 02:55 AM
@Bryce, honestly, do people tell you what to do on your day off? They can do what they want! Believe it or not the state does not spend 10000 per pupil: http://detnews.com/article/20080723/SPECIAL01/80723001/1459/special03/Michigan-2009-per-pupil-funding-by-district?appSession=1907599306780 This is for 2009, and it is less now thanks to Rick Snyder. Of course, it costs 18,000 a year to education our governor's children properly.
Steve Cooks September 18, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Why is it that the MEA spend 13% on negotiation of contracts and Benefits for Teachers but spends 77% of its funding to elect DEMOCRATS ONLY. How can the MEA even pretend that it supports the teachers. Why does the MEA block all reforms even those from the Obama Administration? Why do MEA schools destroy generation after generation of children and force them into a life with no future? Why does the MEA leadership turn out to be in the Wealthy Class that Obama talks about needing to pull their fair share? Why does the MEA spend Tax Dollars that were paid by Teachers to improve Education but instead is just used to attack a Governor just because of the R in his name? J Granholm did far more damage to Education in Michigan but because of the D in her name no recall. The MEA has passed any need or value to society. Move the money to the classroom. Recall the MEA big shots thet profit on the backs of teachers and children. THanks.....
Ann Wisniewski September 19, 2011 at 02:17 AM
When I started teaching over 45 years ago, we teachers organized because too many administrators could fire teachers at will for anything and everything even in the middle of the school year. No one was there to defend the teacher, usually a woman. If you fell out of favor with the powers that were, then you could expect to lose your job. If a woman wanted to have a family, she often was forced out of the profession. Teachers did not make much money, but some could make a little more than others if they fit the mold of what the decision makers wanted. A sense of paranoia was easily acquired by some if they feared the loss of their job. Having any creative or unorthodox methods was scorned rather than encouraged or even allowed. Those that stayed within the profession either managed to stay in favor with the politics of the time and place and managed to make a modest living, most likely because they never married. Being a teacher then was not considered a professional career since teachers didn't stay around long enough to develop their skills. Now 45 years later, teachers who had been nurtured and valued to become better and more professional, are not considered with much respect no matter what they do. From my perception, the powers that are now who want to weaken and even do away with public school teachers, either can't appreciate history or really have ulterior motives that seem quite nefarious.
Bryce September 19, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Well, you're right Denise. According to the information provided by the link you listed, the state does NOT spend 10,000.00 per pupil in the Farmington Public School district. It spends 10,556.00, which is over 10,000.00 per pupil, as I mentioned in my initial post. Most likely the Guv spends 18,000.00 per year to EDUCATE his children (education his children? Really?) because he believes he is getting a good return on his investment. Probably the same reason that people without the financial means stand in line with the hope of getting their children into a charter school.
Denise Nash September 19, 2011 at 04:32 AM
@Bryce - okay, I'll do the heavy lifting here and we can both learn something. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/b101410_349994_7.pdf This will show you how much your local taxes contribute and how much the state contributes. It is interesting information. We do well here in Northville with less than you guys are spending for whatever reason. And sorry for the typo on my last post. Sheesh. You *do* know that some Charter schools do a good job and others fail. The percentages probably won't interest you, but here they are: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Charter_School_Performance_Study.svg You have great school, with excellent test scores in Farmington Hills. What is your beef with the public school system? Or isn't this about the kids?
Denise Nash September 19, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Ann, I wish more people would hear your story. Thank you.
Denise Nash September 19, 2011 at 04:40 AM
Bryce, really? http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/09/michelle_rhee_group_studentsfi.html Now why would Students First (love the name) put that kind of money into lobbying in Michigan? A LOT more than the AFT and MEA combined! Hmm.....could there be lots and lots of money to be made here in Michigan? Are we ripe for her style of cheating? Time will tell. Follow the money.
Sandy G September 19, 2011 at 01:23 PM
I was so happy to read these comments this morning. Good to know that at least the ppl of Michigan still care about our children even when the politicians don't. If they would only look at the future of our country. They just can't see that the more the take away from education, the more they are putting our country's future in the trash. PLEASE JUST THINK OF THE KIDS.
Steve Cooks September 19, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Sandy, you are so correct. Time to stop the MEA shooters from spending money on Politics and get the money and responsibility back into the classroom. We all need to work to Recall the MEA Rich Elites and give power back to the teachers. Just for the record even the MEA office staff make far more than the teachers that they use as income only. Thanks......
Sandy G September 19, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Thank you Steve. Unfortunately, as parents and teachers, we care whole heartily for the children and the future of our state. Others would like to say they care (MEA) but I am just not seeing it. All I am asking is to stop taking from the children. I would rather my ss be taken then the funds from education. Please don't start commenting that I am wanting ss taken away. It is just an analogy, nothing more. THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE!!! Of course, more jobs would be nice too.
Denise Nash September 20, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Sandy G - I completely agree. I am not a teacher, but I don't understand all the hate for the unions. Unions serve a purpose. If they give money to the dems, so what? The Reps get plenty from the business community! Personally, I would like to see no business *or* union being able to donate to political candidates. Steve Cooks, I wish you would get as upset with CEOs as you seem to be with union leaders. They make a lot more money, and arguably it also belongs to "the people they represent".
micheal j September 21, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Steve Cook Jennifer Granholm was on CNN yesterday and listening to hear speak one will get sick She stated that during her term the employment in Michigan rose more than the employment in the whole United States. I freally think she meant UNemployment. The education and funds for our students were the best in the country.

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