For Immediate Release

Contact: Eric Lupher

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan Turns 100!

Livonia, Mich., April 11, 2016 – Michigan’s oldest and most trusted public policy research organization – the Citizens Research Council of Michigan – is celebrating 100 years of contributions to state and local government policy on Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

“The Citizens Research Council strives, without regard to political party or agenda, to frame educational issues in a balanced and thought-provoking context,” said Michael Flanagan, former Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Its consistent record of objectivity and thoroughness has made the CRC a high quality and immensely credible resource for policymakers at the state and local leadership levels. You can always count on CRC’s findings to be solid and trustworthy.”

Similarly, Michigan’s citizens have come to depend on the Citizens Research Council for the impartial, unbiased, and informed analysis of the governments that serve them. Citizens Research Council is the only organization that regularly analyzes statewide ballot issues to help electors, when they are asked to serve as policymakers, make informed decisions.

“It is the laser-focused commitment to improving efficiencies and services that has earned [the Citizens Research Council of Michigan] the reputation as a trusted resource and partner in the development and implementation of sound policy and best practices,” said State Representative Earl Poleski.

“Collectively, the work of the Council has undoubtedly contributed to the advancement of local and state government, and the capacity for civil servants and elected officials alike to govern more efficiently and competently, ultimately leading to a state that is more economically prosperous and socially vibrant,” declared Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive.

Over the past century, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has contributed much to the public affairs in Michigan, including these highlights:

  • Played a key role in helping the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and many other governments, adopt best practices in budgeting, competitive bidding, civil service, and government organization.
  • Served as a major asset to the 1961-1962 Constitutional Convention with studies performed before the calling of a convention, during the assemblage, and when the proposed constitution was submitted to the electors for  approval.
  • Played a unique role in monitoring the fundamental documents that define the operations of Michigan and its local governments – including the state Constitution, city charters, and authorizing laws.
  • Worked for more than 50 years to help elected officials and citizens better understand the taxes authorized to state and local governments with the Outline of the Michigan Tax System.
  • Conducted numerous studies of state and local taxes to ensure that each one is sufficiently capturing economic activity as intended so it can be levied at the lowest rate possible.
  • Identified the structural budget issues during Michigan’s “lost decade” at the turn of the century.
  • Informed decisions concerning the City of Detroit’s finances that led to its recent bankruptcy restructuring.
  • Analyzed the operations of state departments and local governments to ensure that services are delivered in the most economic, efficient manner possible.
  • Analyzed revenue transfer programs such as school aid, highway funding, and state revenue sharing.
  • Promoted the efficiencies achievable with regional service delivery.
    • Highlighted the benefits of extending the provision of Detroit Water and Sewer service throughout the region.
    • Analyzed the improvement and enhancement of county government service delivery.
    • Identified unique ways for local governments to collaborate, including calling for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
    • Examined the proposed consolidation of local governments such as Saugatuck and Douglas.

“The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is proud to have served the citizens and policymakers of the State of Michigan for 100 years with factual, unbiased, thorough and thoughtful analyses of important public policy issues, and looks forward to continuing that role as it enters its second century,” stated Terence Donnelly, the Chair of the CRC’s Board of Directors. “In this time of highly partisan politics at all levels of government, the need for such objective, independent research is as strong now as it has ever been.”

“Lent Upson, the first executive director of the organization famously said that ‘The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about,’” noted Eric Lupher, Citizens Research Council President. “In America, we very much appreciate and freely use that right to criticize government. However, many also appreciate the role of information in understanding and fueling democracy. Elected officials need information to make policy decisions and electors need information when thrust into the role of policymaker through the initiative and referendum process. Additionally, residents need information to evaluate the policies and actions of their elected leaders. The objective, credible, independent work of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has played a role in making democracy work.”

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a 501(c)3 organization with offices in Livonia and Lansing. In addition to Lupher, four full-time researchers do the work of providing factual, unbiased, independent information concerning significant issues of state and local government organization, policy, and finance. Through delivery of this information to policymakers and citizens, CRC aims to ensure sound and rational public policy formation in Michigan. Over the past century, this not-for-profit organization has authored more than a thousand papers; served as a resource to state government and numerous local governments, school districts, businesses, and citizens; acted as resources for journalists in developing news stories about government; and helped to improve government in Michigan. For more information, visit

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