Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He certainly could have been talking about our times. In recent years, the national and Michigan landscape changed dramatically when it came to government overreach and spending and media spin. One consequence was the lack of education for our children, as union leaders kept government schools closed and some parents were told they had no voice in what children were being taught.
The Mackinac Center’s leaders viewed these shifts as an opportunity to change the way we thought about fundraising priorities. One result was a market research study to make a concentrated effort to listen to the policy priorities of our philanthropic supporters. We asked many leaders in the fight for freedom to identify the policy changes that are most necessary to make Michigan the most free and prosperous state in the nation. And then we listened.
Free-market advocates told us that we must fix education, and now in 2022, we are championing a legal and legislative effort to break up the education monopoly and give parents more control and choice over their children’s schooling. We call it Let Kids Learn. Other friends of freedom told us that government transparency was important and finding reliable sources of information was a major challenge. So, we launched The Frank Beckmann Center for Journalism. The Beckmann Center will shine daylight on government overreach and provide Michigan residents with reliable and accurate media sources.
We know that listening to philanthropists can inform our mission, so we are committing this year to market research interviews and listening. If you are concerned about our state and would like to participate, let us know. We’d welcome an opportunity to speak with you.