My wife put an interesting question to me the other day, and I thought I would share it.
“Bill Gates draws your name out of a hat, and gives you 1 million dollars with which to help the City of Ypsilanti out in any way you saw fit. How would you spend the money for long-term gain?”
I thought about this for a while, and after the visions of the wildest street party you ever saw and other frivolous adventures dissipated, I then figured that a million really isn’t enough to do anything meaningful…. Then I thought about it some more.
The only thing I could come up with that would actually help the city in the long-term (that a million dollars could help with) is if Lansing produced some legislation that allows built-out cities to collect fair taxes.
To have any clout at all, such an initiative needs to have the backing of many municipalities, and there must be thousands of businesses state-wide that are hurting because their downtowns are deteriorating.
A million would go a long way to drafting a piece of legislation that businesses and municipalities could get behind, and that Lansing could benefit from as well, and hopefully the businesses would be able to add a little to the pot to put greater pressure on Lansing to act. A couple of studies that make the point, a protest rally or two, you get the idea…
So there it is. Organize a state-wide campaign to MAKE Lansing listen. It wouldn’t solve all of Ypsilanti’s problems, but it would sure up one part of its funding.
So… what would you do?